Sunday, October 29, 2006

Good Management & Leadership

…Good management and leadership can not be separated. Does anyone want to work for a manager who lacks the qualities of leadership? Well, how about a leader that doesn’t practice management?
- Henry Mintzburg

Let’s take a closer look at this, “…management and leadership cannot be separated…”

We all know this is true, our experience verifies this fact every day. Who hasn’t encountered the boss who lacks managerial skill? More often than not, he plagues their people with an approach that combines micromanagement and cheerleading; a sure sign that he views the job of running an organization as being no different than performing the value-adding tasks: shipping the box, performing the analysis, building the application, treating the patient, etc… the organization exists to perform.

As far as the boss without the qualities of leadership, without the trappings of their position, you would never know that they were supposed to be in charge. Fortunately, or not, due to the viral impact of the Conventional Leadership Wisdom propagated by the Leadership-Industrial Complex (LIC), you don’t see many examples of the boss without leadership qualities. Of course, with leadership being a virtually immeasurable activity, if indeed it is an activity rather than a mythical explanation of an ill understood past success, the ability to fake the qualities of leadership is often confused with the qualities themselves. The tradition of Machiavelli’s Prince is alive and well…

So, if good management and leadership cannot be separated, why has the LIC exerted so much effort to separate the two?

The answer lies in the business of feeding an Otaku. A simple Otaku is easier to feed than a complex one. A management-focused-leadership Otaku with its emphasis on measurement and results presents too many difficulties. Someone might actually realize and be able to prove that the fare the LIC was serving wasn’t very satisfying.

It is much easier to feed an Otaku that has no means of measure, no means of indicating satisfaction. It’s the same reason buffets are so popular. The foods not very good, but it is all you can eat. But that’s a topic for another post.

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