- Author unknown
For many managers and senior executives, the two most challenging ideas contained in my paper came from the sections "Moving from manageability to management" and "There are no leaders, only good managers". These two sections above all challenged widely accepted beliefs about management in general, but especially in the public service. Consequently, more than a few made a point of telling me that they disagreed with many of my ideas.
On one hand, this form of denial from managers and senior executive is to be expected, because some of the ideas question their existence as managers as well as their success in the "system". For that reason, it is probably easier for them to state they disagree with many of my ideas than look into a mirror and rethink their most fundamental beliefs about management.
On the other hand, I am not (currently) a manager and I definitely do not have the perspective of senior executives in the public service. Therefore, I don't hold the truth and I have to acknowledge that if I had their perspective, my own ideas could very well be somewhat different than what they are now.
Regardless, my perspective is probably shared by a good portion of the 80% of public servants who are not managers and the 95% who are not senior executives. In that sense, even if my thinking is wrong, I know a few hundred thousands other public servants are likely to be wrong with me!
The question then is not whether we are right or wrong, but rather:
- Is it a valid perspective?
- Where are managers and executives failing to explain their perspective to employees? How could employees communicate their perspective differently so they can be heard by management?
- How can we educate people to see things differently?
- "The Future of Management" by Gary Hamel;
- "Managers Not MBAs" by Henry Mintzberg;
- "Becoming a Manager" by Linda Hill.
As a side note, I recently came across this blog posting by Dave Crisp who shared his thoughts on "followership" and offered a solution to something that had been bugging me for quite a while:
"Personally I prefer to use the term “supporters” rather than “followers.” The days of blind following are grinding slowly, but surely to an end. People think for themselves and are finding ways to act on those thoughts more than in the past. “Supporters” implies a leaders needs to nurture support, that it can be withdrawn at any sign of inconsistency or personal agenda and that the entire process is very much a two-way street. Leaders need supporters and supporters need leaders."
Enjoy your reading!