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Debunking Management Myths

The Value Of Management

Often seen as less important than leadership, management involves managing subordinates and linking between them and other agents, inside and outside the company.

The managerial role is often mischaracterized as primarily involving detached planning and strategizing, but many effective strategies emerge as managers deal with small actions day to day. Moreover, the nature of managerial work is action oriented and full of interruptions. 

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Debunking Management Myths

Debunking Management Myths

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/debunking-management-myths/

sloanreview.mit.edu

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Key Ideas

The Value Of Management

Often seen as less important than leadership, management involves managing subordinates and linking between them and other agents, inside and outside the company.

The managerial role is often mischaracterized as primarily involving detached planning and strategizing, but many effective strategies emerge as managers deal with small actions day to day. Moreover, the nature of managerial work is action oriented and full of interruptions. 

The Interdependency Between Leadership And Management

Leadership is often more valued than management, but leadership mostly decides and plans and it does so based on information brought by management. The system is dysfunctional if one of them is isolated.

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Servant leadership

Is a leadership philosophy that is built on the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others, rather than accrue power or take control. 

Servant leadership vs. other leadership styles

The authoritarian leadership style:

  • The authoritarian style of leadership requires leaders to have total decision-making power and absolute control over their subordinates. Servant leadership upends the top-down power structure.

Similar leadership styles:

  • Ethical leadership urges leaders to show respect for the values and dignity of their subordinates. Servant leadership's emphasis on taking responsibility for the needs and desires of others.
  • Participative leadership style requires leaders to involve subordinates in setting goals, building teams and solving problems but keep the final decision-making in their own hands. Servant leadership includes some of these elements.
Attributes of a servant leader
  • Listening. A servant leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps to clarify that will.
  • Empathy. A servant leader assumes the good intentions of co-workers and does not reject them as people.
  • Healing. Understand part of their leadership responsibility is to help make whole employees whose sense of self is precarious.
  • Awareness.
  • Persuasion. Servant leaders rely on persuasion not positional authority or coercion, to convince others.
  • Conceptualization. Balancing between thinking big and managing everyday reality.
  • Foresight. The ability to understand the past and see the present clearly to predict how the future will unfold.
  • Stewardship. CEOs, staffs and trustees all have a responsibility to hold the institution "in trust" for the greater good of society.
  • Commitment to the growth of people. Feel a responsibility to nurture the growth of employees.
  • Building community. Find ways to build community in their institutions.
Steve Jobs did not fit the norm

Steve Jobs has always been considered an anomaly in management: his leadership style was something to admire or to criticize, but definitely not to replicate. 

He was navigat...

Apple’s approach to innovation

It puts people at the center. But it is definitely not user-driven: it does not listen to users, but makes proposals to them. Customers do not buy Apple's products because of utility or functionality.

Apple products are more meaningful to users. The products have great design - and identity. 

Managing by meaning

Is recognizing that people are human: they have rational, cultural, and emotional dimensions, and they appreciate the person who creates a meaning for them to embrace. For Jobs, design was not only beauty, but creating new meanings for users.

He also offered meaning to his employees - they worked hard on visionary projects, striving to meet targets and to satisfy their leader's maniacal attention to detail, because he infused them with a sense of mission: Apple had to leave a mark in the world of computing, improve people's lives, be bold and, of course, "think different."

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The Peter Principle and Occupational Incompetence
The Peter Principle and Occupational Incompetence

Peter J. Lawrence, whose 1969 bestseller “The Peter Principle” satirically provided many insights on the hows and the whys of incompetents working among us, is now being taken more serious...

Different Competencies

The skills that made a great performer excel, the aggression and the drive, did not translate well when the same performer was in charge of a team, where other skills like people management come into play.

The best teacher of the school cannot be simply promoted as a school principal.

Hiring The Right Person

A manager wouldn’t be able to handle a team of specialists (like Doctors or Scientists) efficiently, without any direct experience. This makes excelling at the current role a huge requirement for anyone being hired as a manager.

A fine balance between the two aspects is required while hiring, with one option being to change the hierarchy of the company itself. The person can be promoted without a typical career ladder, and continue to do his current role, which he is doing well.

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