Management 302 — (Situation 10)

Hello All:

There is so much written about Leadership, Management and Supervision.  We are inundated with the definitions, theories and philosophies.  Therefore, why not provide you with more of them.   Lol

In Management 302, (not 101), we believe that,…

Management is about
“Working with the right People!

and that
Leaderships is about
“Keeping the Right People

Of course this is a more pragmatic approach than a philosophical one.  We have often found that what we read and have learned is so much more philosophical and often even useless: albeit some of the definitions and theories sound really good and are well written, (and some not.)

For example:

Wiki defines Leadership as, “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. The leader may or may not have any formal authority.” (All True!)

On, “Peter Drucker famously states that, “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Great leaders possess dazzling social intelligence, a zest for change, and above all, vision that allows them to set their sights on the “things” that truly merit attention….” (Somewhat true, well written, but what is it really, and how do you prove it?  What is a zest for change?)

Some of the other definitions we found seemed to be purely factual: meaning how to use the word in a sentence.  (Great for 6th Graders.)

We really enjoyed Team Technology’s Leadership and Management theories in which they entertain the differences between the two.

“In a nutshell, the difference is:

  • Leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow, ie: a leader is the spearhead for that new direction.  (Again, what the hell does all that mean?)
  • Management controls or directs people/resources in a group according to principles or values that have already been established.”  (Great stuff: but again, how to you put that into practice in your place or work, school, or organization.)

With that said, how do we at Management 302 get to our “philosophies,” and what we call “The G-Way!”  (Oh No!!  Another term to learn!!)  All of this will be defined, examined, and discussed among us and throughout this blog.

A Situation:… (S10)

We would like to tell you about a boss we once had that we shall call, BIGG.  We learned so much from BIGG.  A horrible leader BIGG was, and probably still is, but a pretty good supervisor as defined by the old versions of get “them” to do what you want “them” to do, when you want “them” to do it: and get “them” to do it quickly, completely, and cheaply. (Does any of that ring a bell?)

BIGG had a few theories on “leadership,” of which one was to get your staff to work as hard and as long as possible. “Work them hard, and make sure they go home tired.”  Another one, which was our favorite, was that, “as their supervisor, you are not doing a good job unless they complain about you.”  What BIGG meant was that if you are “effectively” managing your staff, you are working them hard, and giving them very little, so much so, that they will complain about you to your higher-up.  Meaning, if BIGG didn’t receive any complaints about us, we must not be effectively supervising our subordinates. (Baffles the mind, doesn’t it? Lol)

As seasoned managers, we found this so funny, yet interesting at the same time.  Over the years, we were able to test these theories and philosophies and decided that ours was so much better than ones similar to those of a BIGG.  Needless to say, most people there hated BIGG anyway.  BIGG was hated not because this individual was mean, but because of the environment that was created within the organization by his techniques.  This individual was actually a decent person, at one point, we even like BIGG, but the leadership techniques and management style used created a poor environment.  One we did not like! An environment where no-one smiled, it wasn’t fun, and there was no sense of achievement among the group, even though the organization was deemed successful by the parent company.  The company even rewarded BIGG’s accomplishment.  (Fortunately, it was temporary.)

How is that possible you ask?  How is it possible for any company to exist and even thrive given such a miserable environment?  How can such an internally destructive culture still find success?  Well, many reading this will have already experienced miserable cultures that were indeed successful.  (Also Read Here)

Here is the Key.  Success can be defined in many ways, and in that, a company can always quantify or qualify a team, a department, or its leadership as a success.  (But is it really?)  That’s a really difficult question, isn’t it?  Who deems anything or anyone a success?  Is it the completion of a project on time, achieving some set goals, or is success directly related to the overall bottom line.  In examining that question, one will understand that there may be no real answer, and that each situation must entertain its own definition and thus its own answer.  Meaning success is defined by the “one” that says it’s a success and it’s probably the same person that will deem it a failure as well.  In addition to this, in most cases the success is short lived.

We will provide examples in our next posting…

Management 302