Getting Back to Basics: The Renaissance of Management

by Lynda Keating
EVP Culture and Leadership Practice

So… Management isn’t a bad word?

It’s funny, recently at many of my client meetings a new, or shall I say old, topic is rearing its head…..Management Skills. For quite some time now, it seemed to me that people thought being “just” a Manager was not something to aspire to. Everybody had to be a “LEADER”.
At ACHIEVEBLUE we have remained firm in our belief that there is inherent value in being a Manager and being a Leader, but the roles are different. Management and Leadership encompass distinct sets of responsibilities that address different – but equally important – types of organizational needs and that the behaviours that make them successful are driven by the defining elements and expectations of the role.
The key aspect or pivot point that separates a Manager from a Leader are the roles’ accountabilities and expectations around strategy. If your role requires you to completely understand the strategy, execute it flawlessly and to articulate exactly how your work and that of your team impacts the overall success of the organizational strategy…then you are in a Manager role. If, however, your role requires that you engage in the process of defining strategy and creating a future vision for your organization, then you are in a Leader role. And, of course, you may be wearing both hats.
When you think of it, neither a Leader nor a Manager can exist without each other. What would happen to strategy if there is no one to execute it? What would people work toward and accomplish if there was no goal or strategy. This is a symbiotic and essential relationship that organizations need to recognize value and nurture through well designed development programs that are targeted at either Managers or Leaders, not just Leaders.

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