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  • MANAGEMENT OR LEADERSHIP?

    In More power to everyone, Business Review Weekly (Australia) November 6 – 12, David James states:

    \"Management layers, pared to the limit, are not coming back. The focus now, paradoxically, is on teamwork and the value of the individual.\"

    James does not use the word ‘leadership’ and it is mentioned obliquely only twice in comments by the CEO of New Zealand Telecom Australia. It is not mentioned at all when Drake International reveal that \"Employees might say they are leaving for the money but, when you start talking to them, it really was how they were being managed.\"

    These statements themselves are paradoxical and indicate an apparent lack of understanding of the nature and practice of leadership. They also illustrate the antiquated notion held by many in positions of authority over others, and in the ‘HR Business’, that people need to be, and are, ‘managed’. There is much empirical evidence from organisations similar to Drake that the reason why by far the majority of people leave an organisation is not because of the way they are managed, but because of the way they are led!

    Organisations need people in positions of authority over others – from Board to Front Line Teams – who understand that managers and supervisors at all levels must lead as well as manage. With the right organisational culture, structure and commitment to development (which good leaders create), the two are not incompatible.

    Finally, good leaders have never seen building and maintaining teams and valuing and developing individuals as being paradoxical. They have always seen them as vital to the culture and success of their organisations.

    Peter McDougall

    December 2003