Sunday, 15 February 2009

Are you a leader or a manager ?.


As Dwight Eisenhower once said: "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it".

The question I pose today is, are you a leader or a manager ?

Having had a mixed bag of leaders and managers over the years I try to jot down my observations. So many of us work for companies or organisations that are management driven, and neither promote leadership or recognise it. With B replacing B in the US of A, we are able to compare George Bush's style with Barack's.
Chalk and Cheese and Night and Day are a bit hackneyed: Barack Obama is resuscitating a nation and a world. God, if ever we needed the kiss of life in leadership, that in the last five years has been like Friday's hot meal served up cold and stale on Monday, the time is nigh.

Distinctions between Manager and Leader:

The manager administers; the leader innovates.

The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

The manager maintains; the leader develops.

The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.

The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader
has his or her eye on the horizon.

The manager imitates; the leader originates.

The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

Leadership is also about:

 Design
 Story
 Symphony
 Empathy
 Play
 Meaning

Not Just function but design

Not just argument but story

Not just focus but also empathy

Not just logic but empathy

Not just seriousness but also play

Not just accumulation but meaning


Thanks to Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith, Learning to Lead and my brother Mr. Pearl
who gave me a few ideas, but most of my examples above are from 40 years of leadership ranging from very bad to slightly above mediocre. I am sorry if I have offended anyone, but there were three outstanding leaders I had the pleasure of being inspired and led by, and I will write about them soon.

As Dwight Eisenhower once said: "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it".

Take care and learn to improve your leadership, but first distinguish between management and leadership.



55 comments:

Marja said...

Excellent I love this kind of stuff
Although it overlaps with yours these are a few of the ones I like and used in my article;
Good leaders pursue the interest of the group rather than their own interest. They inspire others to work together on a common goal. They are there to serve others, not to control others.

Marja said...

oh and don't forget your award

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Marja

Thanks for adding to the list. Serving is a very important quality and my organisation has as one of its goals, " a serving leader."

I don't understand what you said about an award.

Best regards

Bob

Eric said...

In my recently published novel for pre-teens, Ian, the main character, struggles to understand the difference between managing and leading. He understands that management is based upon processes, order, and controls and that leadership is more about developing the potential in others. It got kind of confusing at times.
I think that it would be a step in the right direction if we were to teach some of the management and leadership concepts to our youth at an early age. Later in life, they will enjoy the benefits, as will others.

All the best!

Eric Dana Hansen
Author of “IAN, CEO, North Pole”
http://www.ianceonorthpole.com

Bob McKerrow said...

Hi Eric. Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you that "it would be a step in the right direction if we were to teach some of the management and leadership concepts to our youth at an early age. Later in life, they will enjoy the benefits, as will others."

I ran the New zealand Outward Bound School for five years, plus another outdoor pursuits centre where we put emphasis on developing self awareness, confidence and motivation. We got students to ecognise their potential and to understand and assume personal responsibility.

Through this process students often as young as 17, would clearly see through the experiential learning model, the difference between leadership and management. Some of the team would be good organisers and managers, while others, had vision and leadership. Yes Eric, it is a big challenge.

I have seven children and each is a leader in their own right, professions and community. Where did they get it from ? I believe it came from putting them in situations that required leadership and common sense to resolve the predicament. Some leaders are born but we can also
train leaders.

Eric, went to Google and got info on your book. I must get a copy.

Bob

D'Arcy said...

I like seeing this in print. So many classrooms that I enter tend to have teachers as managers...just trying to get through, trying to keep order AND still surf the internet. If every classroom actually was governed by a LEADER...think how many MORE amazing leaders int he world we would have!

Marja said...

Thought so In blogging world people give out awards for appreciating somebodies blog You can pick it up on my blog save it and opload it on your blog or just do anything or nothing with it.

Bob McKerrow said...

D'Arcy you are so right. If teachers were trained to be leaders and not managers, our children would have role models to aspire to.

As a child at primary school I had some exceptional teachers such as Dave Morgan the principal at Mornington School in Dunedin who was around 60, who took off his jacket at lunctimes, and taught us how to do the Shot Put. He cared about us all, and led that school to greatness. Dave had played rugby for NZ Univerities, Otago, been to WW II. and had a lot of life experience. He seemed a natural leader and taught his teachers to lead.

Thanks for your comments D'Arcy. Bob

Bob McKerrow said...

Thanks Marja for the award. Little gifts mean so much.

Bob

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Kia ora Bob

This is an interesting blog as usual. I maintain that good leaders are born and they take their management training like a duck takes the water. This does not deny the fact that leadership skills cannot be taught...but painfully so. All the great leaders I have read about or have seen had great style, were good-natured, polite, knew how to coach and developed their thoughts a never-ending process. Barack Obama is already showing the most desirable leadership traits at an early stage in his presidency, but time will tell us for sure whether he was a born leader.

Great leaders are able to get subordinates intrinsically motivated and that's evidence of star-leadership qualities.

There are leaders who are able to get their subordinates extrinsically motivated. I'm sorry to say but too many of these type of leaders are around. Perhaps we need to look at the type of incentives being offered that turn out more extrinsically motivated people. Thus doing more harm than good.

Yes, I agree with you that President Dwight Eisenhower was a great leader, and his quote "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it". This quote equates with the notion of intrinsic motivation (because he wants to do it). Intrinsic motivation is the highest order on the motivation scale. Intrinsic motivation is the yardstick for identifying great leaders.

Leaders who are only able to get their subordinates motivated extrinsically I could not think of them as great leaders; sadly though, many of these abound.

Cheers
Paterika

Bob McKerrow said...

Wow Paterika !

That was a very insightful commentary on leadership and I liked your comment "Great leaders are able to get subordinates intrinsically motivated and that's evidence of star-leadership qualities." That is very powerful.

Generally I agree that most leaders are 'born' but I have seen some good leaders trained. I hope we can keep this topic alive as never before in the history of the modern world have we needed strong, decisive leadership.

I loved the poem I read on your blog this morning.

Bob

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Kia ora Bob

I'm resubmitting my comment because of an error I didn't catch until it was too late. You know what to do with the first posted comment. The corrected version is below.



This is an interesting blog as usual. I maintain that good leaders are made and not born. They take their management training like a duck takes the water. All the great leaders I have read about or have seen had great style, were good-natured, polite, knew how to coach and developed their thoughts a never-ending process. Barack Obama is already showing the most desirable leadership traits at an early stage in his presidency.

Great leaders are able to get subordinates intrinsically motivated and that's evidence of star-leadership qualities.

There are leaders who are able to get their subordinates extrinsically motivated. I'm sorry to say but too many of these type of leaders are around. Perhaps we need to look at the type of incentives being offered that turn out more extrinsically motivated people. Thus doing more harm than good.

Yes, I agree with you that President Dwight Eisenhower was a great leader, and his quote "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it". This quote equates with the notion of intrinsic motivation (because he wants to do it). Intrinsic motivation is the highest order on the motivation scale. Intrinsic motivation is the yardstick for identifying great leaders.

Leaders who are only able to get their subordinates motivated extrinsically I could not think of them as great leaders; sadly though, many of these abound.

Cheers
Paterika

Jamie said...

Kia ora Bob,

Looking forward to those three stories. Have to admit I much prefer role models or case studies to words on this topic. The people who meet your definition of leaders are going to be really interesting people!

Take care

Jamie

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia ora Jamie

Yes I am looking forward to finding time to write about 3 outstanding leaders I have worked with.

I agree with you about preferring role models to written case studies.

At least we can watch Barack on TV and saviour fine leadership.

Cheers

Bob

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
I have always considered Abraham Lincoln to be an example of a great leader - certainly someone for a fellow American in Obama to learn from. In particular I thought his way of dealing with anger at subordinates - and he had plenty of arrogant, foolish,and imcompetent military "leaders" to deal with. Yet when he had to fire an incompetent general or aide he would wrtie a nasty letter, venting all his anger and rage. Then seal it up and put it in a drawer. Then he summoned the person and quietly and quickly dismissed them or corrected them, his anger locked away in that drawer. I think we could all learn from that approach,particularly perhaps as parents.
I read your comment over at Jamie's place wondering about Kea ever being eaten, and I had just reread a biography of Harry Ayres and came across this passage."Marie Byles, a solicitor, was a strict vegetarian, who disapproved of spending money on meat, since she was paying the bills, apart from pemmican, there wasn't any(meat). There was the odd problem with Marie when that they started eating Keasthat they shot with the .22 that Jack Condon had insisted they take. It was all against Marie's principles to see these birds killed,let alone eaten. But it was either the birds or the tent, as the keas would stand on the ridgepole - as they still do-and neatly run along the seam with their sharp beaks, reducing a tent in seconds to a bundle of bunting. At that time there was still a bounty on keas, and on that trip they shot 42." It goes on to describe the best way to cook them being much the same as Charlie's recipe for weka! Sorry to get off the subject, just thought it interesting. Have a great day Bob.
Cheers,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Robb

I loved your story about Abraham Lincoln and putting his anger in the drawer, and when he dealt with people, he dealt with them fairly. Certainly a great leader.

Than ks for digging out the Byles story about the eating and killing of Kea's. I'd forgotten that they once had a bounty on them. Such an amusing bird. I remember completing a rescue of an injured climber at Mt. Cook and when the engines stopped, the helicopter blade hung at an angle of 60 degrees and a bunch of Keas would fly to the top of the blade, slide down its length, and repeat it many times, chortling with glee. They know how to make mischief.

Catch you later. Bob

Jason Smith said...

Bob,

What a great read and I am so glad to have found your site. I will visit again.

For me, working as I do internationally, it is fascinating to consider and recognize that these distinctions seem to transcend individual cultures. What you have distilled here is as relevant in Sri Lanka as it is in Viet Nam or in the USA.

I am re-inspired and am busy reflecting on my own need to lead more in a management driven culture.

J

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Jason

Thanks for your feedback. Yes it is important to understand the difference between leadership and management "and to lead more in a management driven culture."

Enjoy your stay in Bogor.

Bob

bashford said...

Great post, you deserve your high ranking on Google's search for "are you a leader or a manager"!

The Dwight Eisenhower quote is a great find for me!

Thanks!

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