IS LEADERSHIP REALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN MANAGEMENT?
Here is a thought, for the purpose of debate.
I was once asked about my school days. “If you had a problem, did you ask the person next to you, or did you ask the teacher?”
This is an interesting question because whilst the teacher is undoubtedly the “functional leader” people are more often influenced by the peer group and other followers. In truth if I had a problem at school I’d probably ask a friend, and if I have a challenge at work I’d seek the support of a colleague.
Leaders cannot be the central resource for vision, mission, tasks, guidance etc., any more than a head teacher or CEO can be available to everyone all the time.
I don’t doubt the value of great leaders, but we should not under-value good managers. Indeed I would go so far as to suggest that the sole role of a leader is to provide an environment where the managers and staff can get on with the job.
This rather suggests that leadership is a supporting role, much as I might suggest that teaching is.
Our fixation with leadership leads us to seek heroes and egotists, rather than the steady hand of a less assuming but trustworthy colleague. Be honest, if you were really stuck or needed help would you call Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Donald Trump, or Nigel Farage? They all qualify as leaders, but my inclination would be to follow someone else.
I have been in businesses where a good leader CAN make a difference, but whether or not they DO make a difference depends upon the people around them and below them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Rogers is an AMPG Qualified Change Practitioner, a PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute and a past curator for TEDx (TEDTalks)
Web: http://www. AdaptConsultingCompany.com