Saturday, April 25, 2020
Why Manage Better?
Over the past few weeks I have distilled my messaging to one phrase – Manage Better. I have a website, a podcast, a LinkedIn group by the same name and two recent webinars I have conducted use the same theme.
Why this focus on an innocuous and non glamorous theme?
Firstly, managing better is not anti-leadership. Leadership is needed more than ever in the world. My strong belief however is that we need effective managers to get things done. The things that make a leader’s vision come true. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people need to do what the leader wants to be done. We already know, from examples in scores of companies and countries, what happens when there are too many leaders showing direction. Now, this is not a post in favour of dictatorship but one in support of getting things done – effective management.
Leadership is of course more glamorous to sell books and courses on. It’s very useful to sell a pipe-dream to millions of people that they can be a leader. They can’t. leadership by definition is for a few. The only place where leadership has delivered or survived – look around – are some countries where there was a singular or high density of power and influence, companies where some leaders (or maybe even just one) inspired thousands to get a big job done. Countries and companies that have multiple diametric leadership do not actually achieve much. Yes, of course the big advantage of multiple centers of powers is that its an insurance against absolute power. This could surely be an issue with countries as absolute power could corrupt absolutely.
For a leader’s vision to be implemented one needs people who can get things done. This is management. Good effective management. And improving how we get things done is to Manage Better. Daily. Weekly. Monthly.
Over the last 50 years some leading authors have tried to bring good management to the fore. Most notable are Peter Drucker and Henry Mintzberg. Their efforts have however been blunted by the deluge of ‘Leadership’ vs ‘Management’ infographic style LinkedIn posts that are backed by no data and are designed to show management as either useless or not required. Leadership cannot deliver without effective management.
It’s the same story as with Strategy and Execution in my view. If having a Strategy was enough then life would be simple. Everyone has a Strategy. But Execution makes the difference. Some of the most best-selling books of last 25 years indicate the same as well. Check Jim Collins’s two bestsellers – Good to Great and Built to Last; Nitnin Nohria’s – What Really Works; and my favorite, Ram Charan’s – Execution. All four books point to the important of Execution and Effective Management. And of course the classics – The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker and Managing by Henry Minzberg show the light we all need to see.
I convinced we need more voices to support Managing Better. Hence this website. I will continue to post on this topic and look forward to you reading and supporting. If you want to post or want to connect please drop me a line and we can collaborate.