In recently published results of a survey, a respondent said something akin to, “nice guy, lousy manager.” I guess that this is better than one claiming that the manager is both a lousy human being and a lousy manager. It does make the point that one can be nice yet not manage well.
First let me point out that the respondent probably did not speak for the other team members. I would venture a guess that the others would be all-over-the-map on this dependent on their particular personalities and how they perceive the managers actions.
Management and leadership are two very different actions and the respondent may actually be talking about the manager’s leadership skills not his management skills. The manager may be performing the mechanical tasks of managing the processes, activities and people very well. He may lack in the leadership skills that are more about relationships, influencing and providing an engaging and motivating environment.
Management is concerned with doing things right while leadership is all about doing the right thing. Management follows processes and established procedures. Leadership allows for autonomy, self-motivation and engagement.
A recent study found that 29% of employees are actively engaged while 17% are actively disengaged. The rest are in neither mode. Think about that. Are you managing or leading your people? Are you nice but lousy? Leadership is not about finding a group going in one direction and jumping in front. John Maxwell says, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
Groucho Marx said, “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.” As deep as this is, I wonder what it means.
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