Management Styles

Heroic versus Engaging
During my college of “Information Strategy” I was exposed to the difference in management styles. In short you have the “heroic” managers that are based on themselves, where you have “engaging” managers who are based upon collaboration. Let’s go through the both styles to see the differences.

Heroic Management
based on self
Engaging Management
based on collaboration
Managers are important people, seperate from those who develop products & deliver services. Managers are important to the extent that they enable other people do the important work of developing products & delivering services.
The higher “up” these managers go, the more important they become. At the “top”, the chief executive is the corportation. An organization is an interacting network, not a vertical hierarchy. Effective leaders work throughout; they do not sit on top.
Down the hierarchy comes the strategy (clear, deliberate & bold) emanating from the chief who makes the dramatic moves. Everyone else “implements”. Out of the network emerge strategies, as engaged people solve little problems that evolve into big initiatives.
Implementation is the problem because, while the chief embraces change, most others resist it. That is why outsiders must be favored over insiders. Implementation is the problem because it cannot be seperated from formulation. That is why committed insiders are necessary to come up with the key changes.
To manage is to make decisions and allocate resources (including HR). Managing thus means analyzing, often calculating, based on facts from reports. To manage is to bring out the positive energy that exists naturally within people. Managing thus means inspiring and engaging, based on judgment that is rooted in context.
Rewards for increasing performance go to the leaders. What matters is what’s measured (shareholder value?). Rewards for making the organization a better place go to everyone. Human values (many of which cannot be measured) matter.
Leadershhip is thrust upon those who thrust their will upon others. Leadership is a sacred trust earned through the respect of others.

(Note: Some see a relation to “Servant-Leadership“)

The Five Minds
We are going to make small pit stop at the 5 different mindsets for managers. The Five Minds of a Manager sketches the key ideas from the Harvard Business Review article by Jonathan Gosling, Henry Mintzberg. Successful managers think their way through their jobs, using five different mind-sets that allow them to deal adeptly with the world around them:

  • A reflective mind-set allows you to be thoughtful, to see familiar experiences in a new light, setting the stage for insights and innovative products and services.
  • An analytical mind-set ensures that you make decisions based on in-depth data–both quantitative and qualitative.
  • A worldly mind-set provides you with cultural and social insights essential to operating in diverse regions, serving varied customer segments.
  • A collaborative mind-set enables you to orchestrate relationships among individuals and teams producing your products and services.
  • An action mind-set energizes you to create and expedite the best plans for achieving your strategic goals.

In the mix
Now if we take those two concepts and put them in the mix, then we’ll come to the “Level 5 Leadership” from Jim Collins. A fully developed Level 5 leaders embodies all five layers of the following pyramid.

In addition; a level 5 leader will also make sure he has the right successor so that there won’t be an empty void when he leaves.


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