Leadership is Sexy, Management is for Drones

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I don’t agree with this statement at all.  However, if you were to read published management articles and newspapers you could come to the same conclusion.

Also you need only look at the amount of money that organizations have spent on leadership development compared to management development over the past five years and you could conclude that managers do not require development – anyone can be a manager.

Gosling and Mintzberg expressed dismay at this trend:

Most of us have become so enamored of “leadership” that “management” has been pushed into the background. Nobody aspires to being a good manager anymore; everybody wants to be a great leader.   But the separation of management from leadership is dangerous.

They assert that managing is both complex and confusing and requires the delicate art of balancing five different mindsets:

  1. The reflective mindset
  2. The analytical mindset
  3. The worldly mindset
  4. The collaborative mindset, and
  5. The action mindset.

Managers need to be reflective practitioners – able to take time out to reflect on their actions and the outcomes, both intended and unintended.  This is the essence of professionalism.

They have to be able to analyze events and ideas and question assumptions, their own and those of others.

Managers cannot be divorced from their operations and must be in touch with their context – the rapidly changing economic, social, political and competitive landscape.  This worldliness is essential for creativity and survival.

Managers achieve results through others and need to develop strong relationships.  However, a collaborative mindset is not just about their own relationships but also about developing networking capability amongst their staff.

Finally, without managerial action there is no outcomes.  Action without reflection is aimless, while reflection without action is passive.

It takes special capability to  understand the complexity involved in managing and to effectively resolve the dilemmas of competing mindsets.

Challenge question: Which of the five managerial mindsets is your blindspot?  How are you going to develop yourself in this area?

Article source: The Five Minds of a Manager

Photo credit: I’ll