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How managers as leaders can make your team more successful

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Last month Johanna Rothman, consultant and author at Rothman Consulting Group Inc., posted on her blog a short entry about management and leadership. Arguing against one of the many articles about the differences between manager and leader roles she claimed - “Managers must be leaders. We cannot choose between management and leadership. We must have both.” The idea of combining these two skill sets is not that new, but the uncompromising tone of the post and the claim that one can not be effective without the other proved to be quite controversial. A discussion with readers led to a second post in which the author explains her position in greater detail.
According to Rothman there are three types of managers: project managers, program managers and line managers. Each of those roles requires the ability to set and carry forward a vision or a strategy for a given level of the operation. But Rothman argues that managers need to be able to lead as well as manage - they need to make decisions or put ideas and plans forward to their teams. She also explains that leadership is expected not only from managers, and that there can be successful leaders that are not managers. “Leadership can arise from anywhere in the organization. (...) But management without leadership is missing a key piece of management.”, she clarifies. Rothman points out that when managers are not taking up their responsibilities as leaders the other members of the organisation will step up and do so in order to make the teams productive. A team led by a manager that owns the vision has a much higher chance of success.
In the discussion with her readers, Rothman admits that her point of view is opposite to a very common opinion that those two roles are very different. Talking about an article published on the Wall Street Journal web pages she simply states - “I think that article is wrong”.

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    by Ejaz Mohammed /

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    Somewhere I read this quote ...

    "Managers do things right, leaders do right things"

  • Re: quote

    by Marta Jasinska /

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    Thanks for the comment Ejaz, does it mean that leading managers do right things right :)?

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