Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Organizations Need Effective Leadership And Management

In order for an organization to perform optimally, it needs to have both effective leadership, as well as effective management. This can be combined into one function, or under the guise of one individual, or split up into two or more positions. While a leader is the creator, agenda setter, visionary and motivator, a manager assures that these lofty goals and ideals become reality and come into fruition. Steven Covey puts it this way, "Effective leadership is putting things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out." How often I have witnessed, in my over three decades of working closely on all aspects of leadership, that either an organization has a leader but no manager, or a manager but no leader. Neither model will provide the desired results, because unless there is an effective combination, progress is rare.

1. The optimum condition is when a leader comes first, and creates the vision, excitement, motivate and direction that an organization must go in, if it wishes to remain relevant and be sustainable. Without true leadership, organizations will flounder, because they will not offer others a reason to follow, get more involved and commit. It is the leader that carries the flag that others will stand under, yet unless there is true progress towards achieving the worthwhile goals, the rhetoric and foresight will only inspire others for so long.

2. Think of an effective manager as a combination workhorse, time manager, and efficiency expert. Managers don't set the tone, but they assure that the music played correctly, and with precision. Managers are the ones that make sure that what needs to get done, gets done. They understand how to handle other people effectively (HR or human relations), and they map out an action plan and a follow up that makes the leader look like a genius. In some rare cases, one individual is both the leader and the manager, but in the most effective organizations, the leader sets the tone, while the manager implements and oversees the work. The optimum situation is when an organization has both a motivating and inspirational leader, and either an Executive Director or Administrator who is talented, with exceptional managerial skills.

The key to getting things that need to be done implemented is indeed the combination of leadership and management. While a manager generally needs to rely on the leader for the overall direction and goals, an effective manager invariably makes the leader much better. Management without leadership is often aimless, but leadership without true management is generally ineffective.

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