Leadership overrated?

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In the past ten years, we’ve been systematically replacing words like manager and supervisor with leader. Everyone attends “Leadership” training instead of “Management” training. Are we putting too much emphasis on leadership and not enough on management? We’ll explore more on that below.

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Leadership Overrated?

Have we shifted the conversation too far towards developing leaders instead of developing effective managers and supervisors?

Differentiating management and leadership typically involves labelling managers as perpetuating the status quo while leaders blaze new trails and inspire employees to follow them towards a grand vision.

In reality, we need solid management and supervisory skills to actually get work done and deliver value to customers and results to the bottom line.

Think about the supervisors and managers in your organization. Who has a reputation for executing well and getting things done versus the people who talk a good game but don’t have the results to show for their efforts? 

Think in terms of having effective leadership skills embedded in solid management skills. The management process typically includes Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling.

Planning: Deciding what needs to get done, how well it should be done and providing the necessary resources.

Organizing: The assignment of specific tasks to individuals in order to meet the desired schedule or timeline.

Leading: The inspirational piece where employees become engaged and motivated to achieve the desired results and complete the tasks they have been assigned.

Controlling: Reviewing what was achieved in order to figure out what needs to be improved in the future.

In our experience, front line supervisors and managers spend most of their time organizing and reacting to problems. Without an effective set of management or supervisory skills they can easily become trapped in a vicious cycle of constant reaction.

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you enough people in key positions who excel at execution or do people talk a good game and not deliver?
  2. Are front line supervisors and managers in constant reaction mode or do they take a systematic approach to improving performance?
  3. Does the team need some development to improve their skills?

In the next LeaderFeeder we’ll examine followership – are you investing enough in the employees who can most impact your results?