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Some basic considerations on Management and Leader
Human Resources » Motivation & Leadership

Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date: 06/06/2006
Rank: Coach Post Date: 11/08/2006 22:51:53 Points: 1440 Location: Sri Lanka
The words 'management' and 'leadership' have different origins and, by looking at those origins, we can get an insight into their true meanings.

'management' comes from the Latin 'manus' or 'hand'. 'management', therefore, is basically about 'controlling' things (being 'hands-on') such as budgets, timescales, progress etc.

'leadership' has Norse and Anglo Saxon roots and comes from words meaning 'path', 'route' and 'journey'. 'leadership', therefore, is basically about 'direction', 'movement', 'progress' and 'change'.

Managers tend to get things done by controlling people whereas leaders tend to get things done by inspiring people. Motivation from a manager is often rational 'Do this and you'll be rewarded or avoid punishment'. Motivation from a leader is often emotional 'Do this and you'll feel good'. Managers get the job done but, because leaders inspire people to take willing action, leaders usually get it done faster, better, cheaper etc.

How managers and leaders use people's rational thinking and emotional thinking

Managers appeal to people's rational thinking whereas leaders appeal to people's emotions.

Rational thoughts and emotional thoughts are processed in different parts of our brains and at different speeds. Research in neuroscience shows that the brain's limbic system, which governs our feelings, is much more powerful than the neocortex, which governs intellect. Emotional thoughts are processed 60,000 times faster than rational thoughts. Consequently, our brains give emotions priority over logic.

As a general rule, therefore, if you want to really motivate or inspire people, go for their hearts first and their minds second. One way in which this translates into practice is to recognise that analytical data will have less motivational potential than the example of your own enthusiasm.

Is leadership better than management? Should we stop being managers and just be leaders?

Management activities cannot be ignored. Successful leadership is underpinned by sound management. The performance of most people in managerial positions (team leaders, supervisors, managers, directors, CEOs etc) is monitored and judged on managerial criteria. The 'trick' is to realise that combining management activities with leadership activities leads to better results.

Who would you rather work for, a manager or a leader? Why?

It is more satisfying working for a leader than for a manager.

The performance of most managers/team leaders/supervisors is monitored on criteria that encourage them to be managers rather than leaders; it takes special effort, therefore, to be a leader but the results (in terms of performance, job satisfaction and reputation) are worthwhile.

Are leaders born or made? Why doesn't leadership come naturally to the vast majority of people?

There are three main reasons.

First, managers, supervisors etc have three parts to their jobs:
a 'doing things' part in which they get on with their trade or professional activities
a 'managing processes' part in which they control the numbers, work schedules etc
a 'leading people' part in which they provide direction, inspiration and encourage high performance.

Most of us are naturally drawn towards the 'doing things' activities because that is what originally attracted us to that trade or profession. As our performance is usually judged by numbers, deadlines etc, we are also drawn towards the 'managing processes' part of our jobs. This leaves very little time for the 'leading people' part of our jobs.

Second, our performance is assessed almost exclusively on managerial processes (budgets, timescales and other easily quantifiable results) and, quite simply, what gets measured gets done.

Third, 'leading people' requires the ability to be assertive, persuasive, considerate, resilient, self confident etc. These abilities do not come naturally to everyone. As we develop them, however, the 'leading people' part of our job becomes easier, more effective and more satisfying.

What role models do we see around us at work - managers or leaders? What are the subtleties that distinguish the two? Who achieves better performance from their staff?

Unfortunately, because of the way more senior managers themselves are managed, we tend to see more examples of management than leadership. So much so that when asked to think of the best 'boss' we have ever had, most people have to search their memories; few name their current 'boss'.

But this needn't stop us becoming better leaders! All we have to do is:
ensure we are an effective manager capitalise on the leadership potential .Consider what our vision is.

Why is the word 'vision' so frequently associated with leaders?

Because of its origins meaning path, route or journey, leadership is a 'moving' word - but moving with a sense of direction towards a goal. That goal is the vision.

The word 'vision' simply means your 'mind's eye' view of what you want to achieve. If you are a senior manager, your vision might be of a grand achievement such as a company restructuring, a merger or the introduction of a new product. If you are a junior manager you might simply want your team to feel more positive about their work, feel good supporting each other and feel enthusiastic about high performance - a more modest but no less valuable vision.

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