Leadership

Seven reasons we need managers, not leaders

Leadership articles often generate a lot of comments discussing differences between leading and managing. People provide definitions and quotes to reinforce their points of view. This week, John M McKee may be adding to the heat.

The United States is facing a crisis of management. Not leadership. Management.

Nearly three years after the start of "The Great Recession," there's still no end in sight. The Feds report that unemployment is +9.5%, but those figures are drastically understated. The real figures include people who have given up looking or are no longer on unemployment insurance -- they aren't counted. If you include those individuals, the real national level is more like 12% - 13%.

Across this country and outside it, people talk about the reasons for the slow recovery of the still-dominant U.S. economy. A lot of reasons are cited. Among the more popular are mortgage issues, fear of inflation/deflation, the growing strength of China, gridlock in the government,...and a lack of leadership.

Each of these is important. But none of them is the most critical factor. The single most important reason is that we have a management issue.

The United States (along with many other Western countries as well) has too many leaders. In fact, I believe that we're probably "over-led." And we no longer have enough managers; we're undermanaged.

In his seminal work on the differences between leadership and management, John P. Kotter noted a few of the most critical: 1. “Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action…… Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment.” 2. “Strong leadership with weak management is no better, and is sometimes actually worse, than the reverse.” 3. “Management is about coping with complexity….. Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic… Good management brings a degree of order and consistency…."

In these difficult times, we need hands-on men and women who:

4. Can figure out how to move things forward using the talent and resources already in place. 5. Understand what makes things tick in their company or industry. 6. Know how to push their organizations, their communities and their businesses to make change.

In short, what managers do.

However, many managers don't have the power to help the organization succeed. Too often, they can't create change because those at higher levels on the org chart are detached leaders who really don't understand how things get done in their own place.  7. At this point in the recession, here's what we don't need:
  • more setting of targets to be achieved
  • more communication campaigns (especially ones with slogans)
  • another offsite meeting with an expensive facilitator
  • leaders who are too busy because they're doing things outside their organization

What we do need are more people at the top who actually understand how to do things themselves. These are the new power players -- men and women who can manage and, at the same time, show others how to get stuff done.

Instead of trying to define the differences between leaders and managers, let's just get back to having managers who can lead us back to success.

Here's to the future...

John

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

62 comments
bcgumbert
bcgumbert

Do not know why you posted this article again. I will say again it was managers that got us into the mess we are in and it is always managers who create the problems in a business. Go read The Prince by Machiavelli. Mangers created the "politically correct" environment we have to deal with today. But what being "politically correct" is really just lies about something instead of the truth. As the comment in The Prince once someone starts lying to keep their power than they have to keep it up to so they can maintain their power. Lets face the facts, the legislative branch of the government is suffering from a lack of leadership as are the big business and lobby groups who support them. They want to maintain their power and do not care who they step on to do that. That is because the fundemental difference between a manager and a leader is that a manger is only out for themselves and do not care about the people who work for them where a leader is always concerned about their people. So again Mr. Mckee I understand your misguided article. You are a manager and wrote this to justify your ignorance of the facts. Kind of like a Republican telling you that they are not responsible for the economic mess this country is in. Step up to the plate and be a leader and take responsiblilty for your actions. One final thought since this country was founded on Christian principles the entire malaise we are in could be solved with every manger following God's command to not lie (or bear false witness against your neighbor). I have known both leaders and managers over the years. A leader will admit they are wrong but a manger never does. A manager wants everyone to bow down to them even if they do not have a clue. All managers have been promoted to their highest level of incompetence. A leader does not suffer from that problem. Like Shakespeare stated what is the first thing you do in a revolution kill all the lawyers. For the 21'st century you need to add managers and 99% of the people who hold MBA degrees (the 1% are those people who hold MBA degrees that are leaders who go them thinking they needed them when they really did not).

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

GOVERNMENT? Oh, sorry, did I say an naughty word? :p

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

The failure of democracy is that we choose policies based on popular acclaim, not on whether they help achieve goals. Shoot, we don't even talk about goals. The politicians tell us what we want to hear and we reward them with our votes, just like the clueless CFOs who buy software based on the brochure (which says it will fix problems the company doesn't even care about).

cynic 53
cynic 53

It is the same here in the UK. This silly term "Leadership" is used instead of Management . I refuse to use it and still refer to my Managers as "Management". It put this down to another silliness engendered by the MBA Degree. "Leadership" is a personal quality NOT a job title. For example in the UK Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair had Leadership, John Major and Gordon Brown did not, or in the USA Ronald Reagan had it but Jimmy Carter didn't. We should return to the good old fashioned job titles which everyone could understand and which had real meanings instead of these puff candy Neverland ones.

wizard76
wizard76

I didn't read all the comments but most of this is semantics. It seems most 'leaders' and 'managers' are not interested in leading or managing. And if you want to include politics, most 'politicians' aren't interested in governing. Most of them don't even know what that would mean. I know this isn't true of all but way too many are short sighted, self-centered and not helping the situation. I can think of very few people I know of or have met who even seem to put the interests of their company, country or world ahead of themselves.

sygrar0a
sygrar0a

I have to agree with the majority of what John has written, he quotes the US and Europe has having these problems but I also have to add the Middle East which in my experience has far greater Management problems. In the main we do not have either Managers or Leaders any more, we just have people with large egos whose only interest is themselves. I have worked for both Managers and Directors who constantly use their position to further their careers at the expense of both staff and company. A good manager has to be both a manager and a leader. As a manager he has to have a firm understanding of what it is he is responsible for , how to achieve the best from his knowledge of the marketplace, the requirements of his stakeholders/the organisation he works for and the staff for which he is responsible. In order to achieve this he also requires excellent leadership qualities. I learnt my trade as both a manager and a leader from my time in the military and it is this training which has enabled me to achieve all the ambitions I had as a young person. I believe that this type of training is no longer available to the younger generations, hence the poor quality of both managers and leaders we see today.

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

Being retired from the US Navy I have to totally disagree with your comment. Grace Hopper said something along these lines "You lead people and mange programs." I have worked for fortune 500 companies and their biggest problem is a total lack of leadership not a lack of management. I hold degrees in business and IT. I never learned anything new about management after the first course I took in that discipline. What American needs are leaders. Managers by their very nature are followers. They are about maintaining the status quo and axeing anyone who threatens their view of the world. That is why we are in this mess. My view of things is that anyone who tells me that they have a MBA degree is telling me they think they are smarter than you are when they are not. Look at the modern MBA degree. All it is a BS in business without the general ed requirements. The problem is that instead of American business promoting leadership they promote and emphasis management. A leader can handle complexity and most issues are issues with people. A leader is able to get everyone to follow them because that is what they do. A manager does not have a clue on do to that. So the question is why are there not more leaders out there. I can teach a anyone to be a manager but you can not teach a manager to be a leader. Shakespeare made a comment in one of his plays that the first thing you should do after a revolution is shoot all the lawyers. To update that comment to the 21st century you should include anyone with an MBA degree. If you believe this then it is kind of like a pack of lemmings headed for a cliff.

HapGail_HomeInMd
HapGail_HomeInMd

I once heard, and do believe, if you want your car fix correctly and with no excuses, find a mechanic that?s HUNGRY.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Leadership is a pure psychological and social condition. It's dealing with individuals and groups of people; and influencing them to take some kind of action. It has nothing to do with industrial processes, physics, chemistry, time, and capital resources.

visionary1usa
visionary1usa

The article is quick to attribute leadership competencies to managers. Leaders - have followers - simple. Look it up. Short of an ability to have teams below them execute - the best manager in the world is useless. If you attribute empty visions and insincere words to leadership - of oourse we can do without it. But if you think competent pencil-pushing and planning can triumph over a lack of trust and buy-in with the employees, you are wrong again. The productivity edge in America has been lost - because we have an absence of both. And you can not maintain an edge without a great plan and solid execution - the heart of management and leadership - respectively. If you have people beneath you - and can not do both - maybe someone else should have your job. If you can not drive a team beyond commodity execution - and your teams function is being outsourced - you the manager or perhaps someone up the food chain - were the problem. You must not only know what to do - but have the courage and trust of your reports - to do it. Management and leadership. Making a scapegoat out of leader or manager is the easy way out; A lack of competence with either is a problem needing quick attention.

cbt.duke06
cbt.duke06

I'm not sure what to say about the division between leadership and management... but it seems to me that the core problem is largely political, and stems from the sad reality that most of our political "leaders" are basically incompetent crooks who are bent on looting the government coffers and engaging in ridiculous and pointless escapades (endless wars in faraway places, unnecessary and massively inefficient govt. bureaucracies), and then handing the bill off to the taxpayer. The American voter is largely to blame for this as well, since in spite of most Americans expressing distaste for their politicians at the state and federal level, they continue to vote for them anyway. I'm a political independent and I cannot understand why so many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, defend their party politicians in spite of obvious gross incompetency and corruption. Then again, I never got why people have favorite pro sports teams, either. In the business sector, it seems that there is often a dearth of job applicants with adequate technical skills. This stems, I think, from a declining educational system, at the heart of which is, again, incompetence (teachers and educational administrators) and leniency (dumbing down of classes, not holding students accountable for turning work in on time, etc.). Businesses are also sometimes to blame because they refuse to train new hires adequately, though I realize the purse strings are tight now and so it may not be very feasible to do so. Individual applicants are also at fault for not investing themselves in the companies they work for - many just show up, expect a large salary and good benefits, and think they shouldn't be expected to earn it. This neglect factor is a two-way street and both sides should learn to invest in one another, and give one another a chance.

ackerman
ackerman

I think you have taken the easy way out. Leaders need to have passion (yes, we have tons of folks with that), a few defined goals (a mission and a strategy would be better) (doing nothing is not a goal), a direction (that means a plan to go somewhere- and that is what we are sorely lacking; NO is not a plan, Maybe we can do this is not a plan). Having managers without a plan or leadership is at least as bad as having leaders without managers. Because then each manager does what he/she thinks best. Oh, wait. I just described America...

nonimportantname
nonimportantname

If you were looking to create a buzz, you did it. I'd argue that you need both. Yes managers can manage, but often times they suffer from tunnel vision. I've had higher ups describe to me a certain way that a product should work that I actually consider a novel innovation...and one that I hadn't thought about. A manager is not going to be able to manage ANYONE or ANYTHING out of a quagmire if he/she is only familiar with his/her own scope. It takes someone with a broader understanding of how each component works together to actually initiate the necessary changes that will bring us through. Who's to say that the manager's old tools won't become immaterial in an ever-changing landscape?

hal.jeffery
hal.jeffery

Yes, managers do a better job of controlling chaos. But leaders are the ones who will find a path to a better way. This sounds too much like "You need more of me. You don't need the other guy." When in reality both are badly needed. It can be argued that too much leadership can make things worse. But it will never grow without leadeship as well as management. This is what's slowly destroying US prominance: What's best for today without looking at what is needed for a better future.

Englebert
Englebert

Managers balance the risk taken by leaders. While some risk is good, excessive, unthinking, full-speed-ahead risk is not. Eventually, this will backfire, as it did so spectacularly in 2008. The salient point made by the author is very true. Everybody and their uncle keep harping about ' leadership ', yet you need the counterweight of strong management to get the best out of both worlds.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

We need Leaders at all levels. We need Leaders who can Manage, and Managers who can Lead. If you are a manager who cannot lead, you will be less effective. Although part of being a manager requires that you be a leader, so I don't think you can be a GOOD manager without being a leader. If you are a leader who cannot manage, you will need help from people who can, in order to be effective. The biggest problem I have with John's 7 Reasons, is #7. The list is not an example of leadership, it is an example of a manager doing "stuff" he read about without considering whether it is appropriate for his company. A leader listens, provides thoughtful direction, stands when others sit, and takes care of his own organization before taking his ego on the road to "help" others. (The list of things a good leader does would be very long, but he or she will adjust to the situation.)

ccsouls
ccsouls

I think one of the main reasons "leaders" have become detached from "managers" is because the new larger project scopes managers have been asked to take responsibility for and the increased level of complexity in those projects has caused many "mangers" to become more dependent on delegation and thus they start becoming more detached.....leading to what is described in this article.

dask
dask

Since the Universe is based on a balance between Centrifugal Force and Gravitational Pull, it stands to reason that to endure many business issues and economics; it requires a balance of Leadership as well as management. Leadership denotes direction, whereas, management denotes efficiencies. The economic situation, in my mind was caused by leadership taking a totally profit oriented direction by setting management goals for quick returns. The bundling of good and bad loans into purchasable packages along with extended risks when writing the loans to meet some Corporate Scorecard or Sales quota was caused by poor leadership and management following the leadership to be considered a team player. It has always been my belief that balancing the goals or our organizations with the goals of humanity is a great start. If leadership focuses on the Right things and not just the WIIFM Syndrome (What's In It For Me) they will be good leaders; then good management can attain the goals effectively. One cannot succeed without the other. Don't let Politics, Fast Returns and WIIFM get in the way or long-term achievement.

dmills
dmills

In my 20 year Army career I observed that most successful organizations from Company to Corps have three things: 1) someone who pokes at the "leading" edges; 2) someone who prods at the back (manages); and 3) a bunch of folks who do their jobs. That does not mean forward looking ideas are the sole domain of leadership, nor are getting things done the sole domain of management and for the most part the number 3 folks have some good ideas too. Organizational balance, fit for the situation at hand is the key.

bill.andersen
bill.andersen

Its not because we all need managers or leaders, its because we lack managers and leaders with backbone to stand up to the people who really run the countries in the Western world. The last decent president the U.S. had and who was willing to stand up and take back control of the country's wealth i.e. the power to print money as per the constitution, was Kennedy, and since then all presidents are afraid to buck the system for fear of the same ending. Obama is finding out the hard way that all his pre-election promises are worthless unless he has the guts to take back this power, and he seems to have given up and fallen into line with the status quo. We can never have a decent society until we weed out the element who have consistently taken over control of the Western world through greed, manipulation, theft, and political gangsterism. We need a whole political party with Kennedy's guts! Its not the same having only the charisma like Obama has, unless you also have cajones like Kennedy. This also applies to business, unless you have someone at the front who can lead and show that you are going in a positive direction with a favourable end result then the rest will just tag along for the ride (status quo).

Dknopp
Dknopp

To me a "leader" is nothing more than a marketing person who gets by on his personality.

david_smith
david_smith

Leaders who have not placed strong managers within their organization are not strong leaders. The primary job of a leader is the identification of individuals who can accomplish what is needed.

M_Ski
M_Ski

The article & survey present a false choice, and omits a third factor: Productive contributors There exists not only a lack of "Ivory Tower" leaders (like them or not, they are certainly vital), but also skilled managers (as opposed to the MBA automatons), and productive contributors who not only possess appropriate talents and skills, but a work ethic. Why the shortage of all of these things? It is by design. This is what the Federalized education and post-secondary systems were designed to produce: Useful Idiots who cannot reason, think, or innovate. (Hence the vehement opposition to private / home schooling which reduces cost & produces results which consistently outperform federally funded peers.) Billions of dollars worth of propaganda, along with a political system and a carefully engineered culture which embraces sloth while rejecting accountability to the Creator has paid off in spades toward the end goal of reduction to the least common denominator.

corneliusgoh
corneliusgoh

I don't agree with you. USA needs more leaders like Steve Jobs, Lou Gartners, Goshen, etc, to re-invent the industry. On the contrary, we shd worry about companies being over-managed, becomes too bureaucratic which stiffle innovation. Read the book by Lee Iococca @2006 "Where are the leaders in America"?

alistair.k
alistair.k

Which did better for Microsoft. Gil Amelio = Manager, Steve Jobs = Leader. Again... Vision and leadership is needed otherwise what you have is a very well ordered, well organised, fully compliant company which is also filing for bankruspsy. The current economic climate only makes it more so, not less. Unless you want to be driving a Chinese car, phoning China to speak to your bank on your Chinese made (and branded) phone, through a Chinese telco you find searching on Baidu, on your Lenovo PC... etc. then the traditional western economies need to pick up the pace, and that has to be driven by vigorous business leadership. You need good managers to make it happen too.

brucely
brucely

Leaders optimise upside, managers minimise downside. Both together are needed in appropriate balance to maximise returns. When the rising tide (and expanding bubble) meant that everything was up, up, up, the leaders thrived because no one saw the need for management to guard against any downside. We really needed the management ten years ago. Calling for more management now is a sort of closing the barn door when the horse (and jobs and investment values and trust) has bolted. In general, I think 10 years for 'leadership/upside' obsession has meant an under-investment in management and attention to downside risks for an extended period. However, wallowing in the downside right now, we do need our share of leaders who will find new opportunities and take calculated risks to spur new economic activity and enterprise. My blog brucelynnblog.wordpress.com has been exploring precisely this topic for half a decade now. Bruce Lynn

leszek.kobiernicki
leszek.kobiernicki

I don't agree. Managers can be taught. Leaders are born. It's up to the people to ensure we get rid of the Leaders from Hell, and free up the creative space for the true leaders who arise from amongst the people themselves. They inspire. Managers only direct ! Managers are confused about the difference. Leaders, when taught to hone & refine their vocation, are not

kevaburg
kevaburg

Leaders are the people that a team will instinctively follow. Managers are the people that will guide a team to a goal. The first is a trusted person that knows how to get the best from what he has, whether it be the members of his team or project assets that have been given to enable the job to be completed. A manager tends to simply delegate responsibility to someone HE/SHE deems fit and able to accomplish that goal. But it is most certainly true: Managers have a skill set that requires academic study (project management, finance and budget management etc;) whereas a leader works with what he has. But what if we trained the people we have identified as natural leaders to work in a management role? Would we have the perfect symbiosis in a single person? Surely a good start point would then be to identify our natural leaders (the ones that get things done) and train them to be managers to enhance their own range of skills.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

A Manager is entrusted with the well being of the organization. They are shepherds entrusted with keeping the flock fed, productive and healthy. While they take calculated risks, it is always in defense or care of the organization. (vision inward) A leader operates on the fringe discovering greener pastures or falling over cliffs. By their very operational nature they may not care/know how many sheep fall over the precipice. (vision outward) You can't be completely successful without both but as John says you need many more managers than leaders. And while you can do w/o "leaders" I'm positive you can't get by w/o "managers" in an organization.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

Forgive my spelling of Rorschach if incorrect, but how can an article meant to provide helpful tips to the readers (whether they consider themselves to be managers, leaders, staff, or whatever), generate such vitriol? I don't see the reason for hatin' on the author, or managers, or leaders, or politicians... Lay your honest opinion out there on the subject, but try to do so in a manner conducive to a discussion of the pro's and con's, and not an argument on killing MBA's. In the Rorschach Test, you look at ink blots and tell the shrink what you see. In TechRepublic blogs, some people see value, and others see an opportunity to vent. I am sure Dr. Rorschach would enjoy analyzing the posts. Peace

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Gotta love Highlander they settle disputes over leadership the old fashioned way! I would agree that "management" and "employee" is correct usage. However when you get down to instances of such objects you do wind up with - leader - one manager - many employee - many Note that I do not assume the leader came from "management".

santeewelding
santeewelding

Is like so many of the platitudinous here. Got it all figured out, do you.

misrose673
misrose673

I agree that we need both manager and leader-types. I always pictured a leader as someone who has already learned how to manage and graduated beyond that. But I could be wrong on that point... As far as the US in general, I think the major issue we have is that everyone has forgotten how to manage THEMSELVES, regardless of their employment situation. Too many entrust their own future to others (that they may not even know!) because they don't want the stress or have the courage or whatever other reason. Immigrants from other countries to the US are known for how they study and/or work hard, because they take responsibility for their own futures, while US-born citizens are still waiting for the perfect manager/leader combo to come along and fix their problems, calm their fears, and guarantee them a salary. Each of us must take responsibility for leading and managing ourselves. We have to do the right and healthy things, educate ourselves, treasure good counsel, work hard, make sacrifices, put important things first (like family), and be careful to only lean on those that we have reason to believe will do the same. We are responsible for ourselves first, and we and ours will pay the price for our choices the most. And may God help us.

leszek.kobiernicki
leszek.kobiernicki

The mind-set of leadership is not one that managers find comes to them quite naturally. Leaders in the commercial world are visioneers who happen to trun that into an entrepreneurial direction. Managers are just slightly more elevated employees, whose direction of labour herds other employees in tactical directions. A leader will think & act strategically, with regard to a big picture. A manager will CYA and sacrifice others to secure their own position. That's my experience of having to work in companies - from the multinational to the right down to the SME and even the community company, or cooperative. The same difference is observable at every level ..

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

Bill Gates is a leader in the tradition of Hitler and Napoleon. His early business practices if you know what is strategy was through ethics under the bus and promoted his greed.

BruceLynn
BruceLynn

I disagree with your characterisation of Gates and Ballmer (sort of). Of course, every characterisation is a bit of an over simplification, but I think the Gates/Ballmer salient points are more complex than you paint. Gates was a strategic/long-term leader and also a short-term operational manager. Ballmer is really his complete complement (strategic manager, operational leader). The power of that partnership says a lot about the basis for Microsoft's rise and the possibilities for how organisations can balance leadership and management. My complete examination on Gate and Ballmer in this context - http://brucelynnblog.wordpress.com/2006/06/29/the-bill-steve-leader-manager-partnership/

kevaburg
kevaburg

But your post seemed to indicate that higher up the corporate ladder one is, the more need for vision and leadership. Working down the ladder needs more management to help realise this vision.

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

You do not need to train a leader to be a manager. A leader can learn how to manage anything in their sleep. The harder thing is to training a managers to be a leader. Our educational system and corporate promotion systems have the management thing down pat. What they have not figured out is how to train the manger to be a leader because it is to difficult for them to do.

Fregeus
Fregeus

To be a great leader, you need to "think outside the box", to think on how to grow outside of the known constraints, to evolve to a new level. All these things can be summed up into "breaking the barriers". a good manager is someone who will set up the barriers, the process and procedures that will take the leader's vision and put it into practice, make it work, fill in the blanks, create harmony within the organisation. Those are opposite to me and cannot truly be focused together. I also believe that it?s not necessarily the manager that needs to have the academic training. You can have very good manager who are "old school" type or are from the "University of Life" types. Leaders don't always need the academic training, but it can't hurt. But that's my opinion TCB Edited to restructure my response

robin
robin

Leaders appear to be natural born because they are made through gradual lifelong learning and doing, rather than in a classroom, as managers can be. Contrary to the article premise, there is not an excess of leadership. There is a distinct shortage of leaders, which makes it impractical to rely on turning leaders into managers. Moreover, in some ways true leaders are big threats to managers, who often use their power to prevent the true leaders from being able to exercise their leadership.

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

Leaders do not jump off cliffs and they care about their people more than mangers. Most of the problems and in fighting are cause by managers trying to protect their turf. Managers think that they can replace people like replacing a battery in their laptops. The only thing they are really concerned about is maintaining their power and taking credit for things they did not do any time they can get away with it. Like an old management adage. You are promoted to your highest level of incompetence. Problem today is to many of these types of managers have been promoted past their incompetence level which has resulted in the mess we are in today.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

Very good analogy. By their very operational nature they may not care/know how many sheep fall over the precipice. I liken a good leader/manager as one who DOES know how many sheep would fall over the precipice, as well as one who would take whatever measures necessary to prevent any of them from falling. Collateral damage of the worker bees getting swatted because they don't fit into The Great Vision is unacceptable to me. How many times when there is a budget squeeze in an organization do the VIPs get fired or take a pay cut, even temporarily, to help the overall health and "vision" of the company? The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Bill Ford Jr. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38596384/ns/business-autos He got by on his personal assets and even if taking a pay freeze was symbolic, he still did it for 5 years until the company returned to profitability. I have a lot of respect for that, and I'm sure a lot of underlings took that gesture positively. The captain of a literal ship needs to know every bolt and hull plate is secure in order that the whole may function and carry its crew and cargo safely. He may delegate the finer details to his specific crew members, but ultimately it sinks or floats because he has assembled a competent crew who can provide him with the information he needs. He trusts their skills in making good judgment in their specific areas. He also takes the responsibility to go down with the ship if it fails instead of making excuses or blowing off everyone else to save his own hide. So it is indeed possible for "leaders" to have that kind of blended scope if they are honest and not greedy. Unchecked greed is what takes down any system, whether it be an individual business or a nation.

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

Spoken like a true manager or to quote a tee shit slogan. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Is a dead end. In the case of Highlander, it is literal. In the case of those who surrender, it is death figurative.

kevaburg
kevaburg

So what is your take on the subject?

bcgumbert
bcgumbert

How true and it applies world wide. I have lived in to many countries and different states and found that your comments are universally applicable.

BruceLynn
BruceLynn

Sorry, but I disagree with your characterisation of Gates. I'm no longer part of MSFT, have plenty to criticise about it and Gates, but I would not support your assertions about his 'ethics' and 'greed'. It sounds as if you are parroting caricatures painted by his often biased detractors.

kevaburg
kevaburg

To be a manager, there are academic issues that need to be addressed. Managers are responsible for (for example) budgeting, funding, organisation and so on. These are subjects that can be learned. Leaders on the other hand are inspirational. Through judgement by experience (not simply by classroom learning), people skills (nasty people remain nasty people no matter how long they sit in a classroom!) and simple but effective communication skills, they have a natural following. These aspects cannot be learned. They simply exist. Managers are (in my experience) generally (very) intelligent people with degrees and diplomas and what not coming out of their ears but they lack a certain amount of sensitivity and humaneness (if that is actually a word!) when dealing with the human issues. In short, leaders will see the need for academic improvement and act on it. Managers can't (or won't) see their own flaws and believe others are at fault.

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

I never said leaders "jump off cliffs". They may "fall" because their operational mode is to "go where no one has gone before." I stand by my assertion which is backed up by countless historical post mortems that employees get hurt when they follow their leaders over the precipice. Of course they might starve to death if they don't follow their leader to greener pastures. Caring about the employee (manager or leader) is irrelevant when gravity takes over...

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

"I usually had a tethered prisoner to push along in front of me while I followed in his footsteps." from Vietnam: Walking Through A Minefield

santeewelding
santeewelding

Is to cringe at the notion of "leader" among sovereigns.

kevaburg
kevaburg

But it doesn't change the point of my post.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You make it so. No need to account for it, given the pith of your account.