Why we need to move back to ‘Managing’ and away from ‘Leading’

As I was climbing through the ranks in an ad agency, all management training was geared around becoming a better ‘Leader’. Who wanted to do a course on management? That was for the losers – and in London’s top ad agency everyone expected to get to the top.

The management style a decade or two ago was a much more hierarchical affair – the boss dictated what had to be done and the workers did it.

Thank goodness it has changed. Now more than ever we work in cross functional teams, comprised of ‘experts’ from different fields – there is less emphahsis of an emperor, all ‘knowing’ style of management – it is now much more about a collective, with shared discussion and decision making.  It is about everyone being equals and treated with greater respect than of old.

Leadership is an anathema.  Its principles rely on an outdated paradigm of superiroirt and blind obeyance to order and authority.  The best leaders I have come across ‘lead’ through managing a team really well.  If you feel acknowledged, trusted, listened to and respected, THEN people will want to follow you.

So, to all trainers and talent directors, stop running ‘leadership’ courses and start running courses that truly respect people.


About slooowdown

Consultant in the fields of Relationships and Change
This entry was posted in Management, The power of great relationships, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Why we need to move back to ‘Managing’ and away from ‘Leading’

  1. Euge says:

    I think Billy Connolly once said (something along the lines of) ‘wanting to be a politician should automatically discount you from ever becoming one’. Simplistic maybe, but we kind of knew what he meant. Personally I think this ‘logic’ could be applied to many of those ‘in charge’ in agencies. And there’s a simple ‘test’. Just think of all the bosses you’ve had (those who’ve been directly or indirectly ‘in charge’ of you). Then with each one, ask yourself ‘Was he/she in charge because he/she was the best, or because he/she REEEEEAAALLLY wanted to be in charge?’. I had a count up and reckon in 30 years I’ve had 14 ‘bosses’. If I’m honest, 2 of them were brilliant and in their lofty positions by virtue of the fact that they were such obvious choices (in fact with the two I’m thinking of, to have suggested anyone else would have seemed daft). The other 12? Certainly not all incompetent or totally unqualified but the MOST competent? The MOST qualified? Absolutely not. However to be fair, these bosses don’t appoint themselves. A BIG boss does that and if he/she isn’t strong enough then there’s a good chance the job will simply go to the person that wants it most. What is it my mam used to say? The squeaky wheel gets most oil (she also used to say “stop scratching yourself there, it’s disgusting!” but..that’s another story)

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