Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Leaders And Managers: Different Species

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Leaders and managers have many elements in common, but each is its own specialty. Rarely is a great leader a good manager. Rarely is a great manager a good leader.

In industry, a leader is predominantly a charismatic visionary who is able to communicate a vision and get others to follow -- he or she may be the chairman or CEO of a company or organization.

Great managers generally become masterful Chief Operating Officers, who are primarily responsible to see to the attainment of the leader's vision through the use of Human and other assets. A truly effective COO is an expert at the arts of talent scouting, delegating and automating of processes. Project Managers who are unusually good at social interaction (geeks need not apply -- this is a position that involves frequent Human contact with a variety of personality types) generally make the finest Chief Operating Officers.

The most powerful C-Suite pairing is that of a charismatic, no-nonsense CEO with a potent, organized, project-oriented COO.

The starkest part of the difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have a propensity to be egotistical and a bit sociopathic, while managers are, on the whole, less likely to be prima donnas and are reasonably content to let their egos take a back seat while they enjoy the rewards of good recruitment, smart delegation and the creation of the systems which lead to the accomplishment of specified objectives. Leaders are invariably more narcissistic and self-obsessed.

While you may not find this in a great number of MBA textbooks, very few leaders will ever become good managers, while it is more likely that a truly outstanding manager may rise to the position of being a leader.

As always, thank you for reading me and for re-tweeting me.

Douglas E. Castle


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