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Leadership Is a Spectrum of Strengths and Weaknesses

The trend these days is to bemoan “managers” as old-fashioned and to hail “leaders” as forward-thinkers. That being said, job listings for managers are still more than double that for leaders. In a post for HotPMO!, John McIntyre explains that the semantics are ultimately trivial. But if you are going to think of managers as doers and leaders as visionaries, then it is important that you embody the qualities of both.

McIntyre says leaders answer “what” and “why” questions, and managers answer “how” questions. Leaders inspire and motivate, and managers develop the processes by which the vision is delivered. These are all good attributes to have. Likewise, no one sort of leadership role is without its weaknesses. McIntyre describes shortcomings of a variety of leadership roles:

Coaches are prone to overanalysing perfomance gaps and can overcomplicate even the simplest tasks. Mentors and Managers both have a tendency to micromanage, leading to frustrated employees. Trainers need to be careful not to assume everyone learns the same way and understand that training cannot fix every problem. Modern business require modern managers who are able to adopt all five roles and know when to use them to maximum effect.

In this way, you might think of leadership as a spectrum of proficiencies to develop. For additional thoughts, you can view the original post here: https://www.hotpmo.com/blog/manager-vs-leader-trick-question

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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