Monday, August 14, 2017

Management and Leadership

man·age·ment ˈmanijmənt/ noun
  1. 1.
    the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.
    "the management of elk herds"
  2. 2.
    archaic trickery; deceit.

(I wasn't going to consider the 2nd, but I realize that some see the second definition of "management" as a tool to accomplish the first ☺)

lead·er·ship lēdərˌSHip/  noun
  1. the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

    synonyms: guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision; 

I've noticed that a lot of managers I've dealt with equate the terms Management and Leadership, treating the two as if they were interchangeable.

I maintain that you can manage or control things other than people (elk herds?) and know nothing about leadership.
You might even manage groups of people without a knowledge of how to lead them. See that second definition involving deceit.

Management is pretty much an analysis of the goal and finding the resources to get to the goal.

Goal: Get a team of people to a conference in Chicago.
       1. Find address and time.
       2. Call Travelocity and find rooms and airline tickets.
       3. Email/Fedex results to team members.
Management can often be paid for in cash.

Leadership on the other hand is getting people to make your agenda, their agenda. Getting them to buy in to your vision.

Leadership cannot be paid for in cash. It is purchased with example, loyalty, support, information and trust (a synonym for faith).

Good management can get a return of up to 100%.
Good leadership will get more than that.

So what makes a good leader?
I once was a young airman who was in charge of the barracks upkeep.
The guys (and I) did the cleaning routines and I oversaw that it was done right. One day I got notice of a surprise inspection and I snuck out of class to double check the barracks. Of course, if you do it right, you don't have to double back, but that's a different topic.
I was met at the entry by the Colonel conducting the inspection, and he invited me to join him.

He could have asked why I wasn't in class (lesson 1).
We walked through the barracks and he commented favorably 
(lesson 2).
We came to the bathroom and he stopped at a urinal.
He said that the drain of the urinal needed better cleaning. 
(lesson 3).
I replied that we had tried scrubbing and chemicals.
He then pulled a pocketknife, opened it and scraped the crud, showed it to me on the blade and then proceeded to wash his hands and knife in the sink. (lesson 4).
Obviously, if he could do it, I was expected to.

He had given me an example (at personal expense), respected my position as a subordinate (no screaming, yelling), given me information (good and bad) I needed to do my job, and trusted me to make the changes needed to accomplish his goal at the same time making his goal, my goal.

I still remember the names of many of the supervisors and managers I've worked for over the years. The good and the bad.
At my dad's funeral, a number of men who had worked for him over the years came to the funeral, much to my surprise. They each spoke of his support for them and what a great guy he had been to work for.

As employees, we spend the majority of our waking hours at our place of employment. 
A good leader can be the difference between loathing the job and, if not looking forward to it, at least not hating it.
Retention of good employees being important to an operation in order to keep the expertise and continuity of process in house, it's critical that a manager also lead well.
If your employees are an investment of salary and benefits, good leadership is the key to getting a greater return on investment.
A good leader can get a team to put out 110%.

So what makes a good leader? What can make a team respect you, follow you and accomplish the goals you set?
A great leader once gave one of the best techniques that can have an impact on your ability to lead:
Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.

Words to live by.


  1. This is what I've always looked for and have endeavored to deliver when in position to do so.

    However, we live in an age where deceit is valued far too much by those who seek to run the world as if there is no God to limit them from being as gods themselves. And technology has convinced those in such positions that they can fool enough of the people all of the time to remain in power and still die of natural causes.

    In such times, having someone remind us of the difference between managers and leaders is a very good thing. We need the latter more than ever to enable us to regain control of natural causes.

    Thank you Ed.

    1. I had to resort to the Wayback Machine to find this.

      An insight from 2006 Malevolent Misleadership provides evidence that the problems were already bad. And now they're much worse.

      An example given then was "Being accused of intolerance for warning others of danger. Raising hurt feelings to a higher level than danger of physical harm."

      I was hardly Nostradamus. The point to take away is that the signs of our sick society were so clear back then that only misleadership would have insisted on ignoring the evidence indicating where to apply the fixes.

      Food for more thoughts on the nature of the fixes needed now.

    2. That was a prescient article.
      "Being accused of intolerance for warning others of danger."
      Reminds me of the Google flap with Dalmore.

  2. Per an old WSJ article: "The manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate." In other words, you can't manage a team up a hill. And leadership is in short supply, it seems. We need to continually pray for the ability to move in God's direction, AT His direction, and to inspire others that it should be their goal, too.

    1. "The manager’s job is to plan, organize..."
      That's a good summation.

  3. Excellent, Mr. Ed. Treat others as you would like your therapy pet elk herd to be treated. :)

    I hung up the management yolk a few years ago and now just graze with the herd and plow the field. Doesn't stop me from critiquing my boss though, since I know how the alfalfa is supposed to be tilled. Why am I using farming metaphornalogies?

    1. You seriously need to check your brand of coffee.
      "Grateful Dead Columbian" is not a good choice.

  4. Back when I had people working for me (management) I tried to be a good leader. My philosophy was simple:

    You did a great job. We made a mistake.

    If you did well, you should get the credit. If you screwed up then it was my fault. I did not give you the tools, the training, or set the expectations clearly enough and I caused you to fail.

    I developed this philosophy as a young Patrol Leader in the Boy Scouts and it has always been a good leadership method for me. Oh, and if you want to lead you have to work harder than your followers.

    1. I will take this under consideration, but I have had team members I had to let go, and the reason was totally on them.
      But the "work harder" is imperative.

    2. Some times you have to let people go. After you DI provide the tools some people choose the wrong path

    3. Terminating employees for bad work, breaking the rules, absenteeism, etc. -- that is management. You asked about leadership. I stick by my original philosophy for leadership. Recognize and support your team.

    4. I understand better now,and I agree.
      Part of the Team thing.
      Thanks for the input, Joe.