Archives For Management

leader versus manager?

August 30, 2017

Managers are receiving a bad rap in my opinion. I enjoy learning and sharing about leadership, so I keep up fairly well with the current literature. Additionally, I have been an adjunct professor at the graduate level for about 14 years often teaching on leadership using various texts.

I have seen a bit of a disturbing trend in the literature in that it sends, or implies, the message of “Leaders = Good, Managers = Bad“.  People are encouraged “don’t be a manager, be a leader!” as if managers are not leaders. That is the wrong message!

The contrast is actually about being a good boss (leader) versus a bad boss (leader).

Managers are leaders, supervisors are leaders! Without managers and supervisors we would never get anything done! They are the team leaders of the people actually getting the work done.

What we really have are:

Strategic Leaders (Executives) – setting vision, direction, and strategy

Operational Leaders (Directors & Senior Managers)- coordinating the work of multiple tactical level teams in order to execute the strategy set by the strategic leaders.

Tactical Leaders (Managers & Supervisors) – tactical level leaders that are leading the teams of people actually doing the work of the organization.

So, please do not diminish the critical role of managers by contrasting them negatively to the term leader. Managers are leaders!

Do you know the difference between inspired, engaged, and satisfied employees? Are you aware of the impact of the difference on their productivity? it is significant!

Read the article by Eric Garton and Michael C. Mankins on HBR.org for some very interesting insights!

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No MAS is the answer to MAS

Poorly run meetings are a major waste of important time and many of our problems with meetings are self-inflicted. Click here to read a good article on Inc.com and watch the video below

 

Some good points for you from HBR in this article on how to run better meeting. Click here to read the entire article,

Seek input from team members.

Select topics that affect the entire team.

List agenda topics as questions the team needs to answer.

Note whether the purpose of the topic is to share information, seek input for a decision, or make a decision.

Estimate a realistic amount of time for each topic.

Propose a process for addressing each agenda item.

Identify who is responsible for leading each topic.

Make the first topic “review and modify agenda as needed.”

End the meeting with a plus/delta.

I especially like the fourth point! Then as a review of the meeting, ask these questions:

 

Was the agenda distributed in time for everyone to prepare?

How well did team members prepare for the meeting?

How well did we estimate the time needed for each agenda item?

How well did we allocate our time for decision making and discussion?

How well did everyone stay on-topic? How well did team members speak up when they thought someone was off-topic?

How effective was the process for each agenda item?

It;s a good article

Candor quote

Meetings are a challenge to say the least. We need them (at least the right meetings) to do our work, but we do them so poorly that we mostly detest them! So often if feels like a no-win scenario. However, it doesn’t have to be this way at all.

Patrick Lencioni has a great book out on how to do effective meetings entitled “Death By Meeting” and has some great resources on his website.

I also came across this article, “What Everyone Needs to Know About Running Productive Meetings“, today on the Harvard Business Review website that has some good pointers for how to actually have interesting and productive meetings.

Meeting Tree by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

 

Some interesting points from the article:

1. First the question – “Are you addicted to meetings?” Great question!

2. Shorten the meeting times. Don’t default to an hour “just because” or because it’d the default setting on your Outlook

3. Create a focused agenda

4. Limit attendees to who absolutely needs to be there

5. Stay on track!

6. Manage the attendees – don’t allow one or two people to dominate

7. Set the right tone

8. Define next steps and responsibilities

Some good points here and several echo what Patrick Lencioni has written. Meetings are an important part of work. Doing meetings well is an important leader and manager skill and well worth you learning how to do them well!!

BG

 

“Performance Review Process: Needs Improvement” – Tony Mayo

“Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It”