After all, the manager is not as “evil” as you thought!

For the 5th or 6th time in the last few weeks, I saw a Linkedin ‘share’ like the one below, showing how leaders are all about people and on the other hand, managers are evil and mean.

For decades, we have been told to be leaders and NOT managers. The picture painted is that of a manager being a self centered pushy & mean task machine that people dislike and the leader being a collaboration angel sent directly from heaven.

But, is that really the case?

I dont think so.  According to me there is no such thing as manager Vs. leader. Only exists, manager and a leader. They are complimentary and not opposites.

Someone at some point must have used manager Vs. leader to provide differentiation of qualities between a great people manager and a poor people manager and we caught on to that terminology forever. In reality, managers are a critical part of a successful organization. For an individual or organizations to succeed in the world of business, one needs to be a balanced manager & a leader. I’ve tried defining the role of a manager and a leader in a super simplistic way below.

  • Manager: A Manager plans, directs, executes, monitors, stabilizes, solves problems, structures & improves processes.
  • Leader: A Leader innovates, inspires, influences, develops, challenges the status quo & positively disrupts.

With that said, if you were to take an inventory of all the organizations in the world, you can see 4 categories emerge.

For an organization to be successful long term and be the leader in the market, leadership alone will not suffice nor management. There needs to be a balanced leadership and management of the organization. We don’t just need leaders or managers.We need leader-managers!

It’s critical for executives to understand where their organization falls out of the 4 categories mentioned above. Good news is, it’s not rocket science to figure that out. There are very obvious symptoms to identify where your organization falls.

Well-led and under managed organizations

Under-led and well managed organizations

Based on the above, where would you put your organization / team? Are you well-led and well managed? Or are you under led and under managed? Recognizing, acknowledging and acting on the opportunity could be a game changer for you and strike the balance between leading and managing.

I loved the way an author summarized this, Management without leadership becomes efficient stagnation and Leadership without management becomes inefficient chaos. 

About the Author: For more information, contact Balakarthik Venkataramanan at LinkedIn Profile:

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