Mike’s Dump

April 25, 2005

A couple points from Leadership for Dummies: The Axioms of Leadership

Filed under: Work — mikesdump @ 1:28 pm

I started reading Leadership for Dummies during my Christmas break a few months back. At the time I was determined to get through the book and work on improving myself and hopefully be better able to shape my role/future at work. After I got back into the daily grind I found myself in “reactive mode” just trying to survive day-to-day. Well I’m determined again, which hopefully means the walls
won’t start falling down!

Leadership is about vision and management is about execution.

The above point from the chapter that I am currently reading seems to be a reoccurring theme in a number of articles that I’ve read on
I believe that I see both of these roles where I work. Our general manager is great at motivating people and sharing a verbal vision ofwhere we are heading. The operations manager on the other hand I would say is very much focused on the execution of that vision with his own unique form of motivation. I belive both roles are crucial to any organization because without the execution you sit around talking “you know what would be really cool”. Without the vision you enventually will be overtaken by the competition and left wondering what was wrong with the processes that were put in place.

One of a leader’s most important jobs is to prevent management from overrunning an enterprise, and keep management’s responsibilities properly aligned with that of the leader’s vision. Left to their own devices, managers will always micromanage, worrying about small details and missing the big picture. Because much of management is rule-based, managers left to their own devices will bury an enterprise in endless red tape and rules. As a leader, you have to ask yourself constantly what the systems and structures that make up your enterprise are doing to help the enterprise achieve its vision and which things are unnecessary to the smooth operation of your group.

The above paragraph has always concerned me. Maybe it is me just focusing in the the word “micromanage”. I’m very detailed orientied and
I like everything to be first time right. I don’t want to become the “nag” but sometimes I see things not being completed and I feel I just have to say something. Sure sometimes people have forgotten a task, everyone does from time to time then there are the other times I follow up and find out there was a legetiment reason for not moving forward on something. I guess I’m still trying to figure out the right balance.

With my current role I believe I have the opportunity to explore both roles. Our product manager creates the vision for our products that will be developed and our software manager develops the people and processes make it possible to turn the vision into a reality. When considering the first statement from the book sometimes I’m a leader in that I create or assist in creating the product idea. I’m probably heavier on the management side because my main task I would say would be to see that the vision is turned into reality (aka execution)


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