Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Most people have no clue about leadership/management

Hello guys,

I have seen it over and over again: most people have no clue about leadership/management.

What I think leadership is (among other things):

  • A catalyzer for the group. By organizing stuff, the group is more effective
  • Social/Emotional support
  • Direction/Vision for the group
  • Protection of the group

What many people think:

  • You do less work (as others do it)
  • You get larger rewards
  • You have power over others: you can control them
  • You have more status

I'm baffled to see how few people are actually good leaders. Some are ok to good managers. But as long as you don't have the interest of the people "below you" as a first priority, you won't be able to do a great job.

Jocko Willink says: "There are no bad teams, only bad leaders" I believe it is very true. However, first people have to realize what is the mindset, goals and attitude of a leader. But what they're most interested in is "being in charge". Because they're tired to do what other people tell them to do.

What do you think?

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I believe great leaders are effective collaborators and interest aligners.
Given our climate, there seems to be a few factors discouraging that.

Education and Growing Up

Our education system seems to promote competition a lot.
Be the best student, compete for the best prizes, get into the best schools.

Career

The corporate structure doesn't really encourage value-giving leadership as well.
It encourages competition, and people to compete for the little upper positions in the hierarchy.

Skillset

If you spend your life competing, you get a certain mindset and a set of skills.
This makes it difficult to develop the other more collaborative skillsets for leadership.

Furthermore, the skillsets required to gain power vs being a good leader have overlaps but can be quite different in nature.
Being ruthless and Machiavellian can help a lot in gaining power.
There are people with high emotional intelligence that lead and build great teams, but they lose out to the Machiavellian people who solely focus on gaining power.
As John mentions, building a cohesive team takes a lot of time and focus.

I learnt this concept from the workplace module of Power University.
It seems very true from my observations.

Short-Term Interest vs Long-Term Interest

Value-giving leadership only pays off in the long term.
It takes time to build a vision, get the team to buy-in and create a cohesive atmosphere.

People are increasingly jumping from job to job.
Why not prioritise your achievements and showcase to your next employer to boost your career?

Environment

I'm reading the New Psychology of Leadership.
You can have all the skills and experience needed to be a great leader.
If somehow your current environment doesn't allow you to build the right relationships with your people, you cannot lead effectively.

Great thread here.

Both the initial message from John and the reply from Matthew are both enlightening in their own ways.

The corporate structure doesn't really encourage value-giving leadership as well.
It encourages competition, and people to compete for the little upper positions in the hierarchy.

Furthermore, the skillsets required to gain power vs being a good leader have overlaps but can be quite different in nature.
Being ruthless and Machiavellian can help a lot in gaining power.

Yes, they're like 2 paths: move up, and/or be a great leader for your team.

The two aren't exactly opposite, and there is plenty of overlap that, I believe, one can do both.

But it's also possible to mostly focus on the moving up part, and to succeed at it while focusing more on leveraging your team for your advancement, without necessarily being a good/caring/value-giving manager.

As a matter of fact, those who focus only on moving up, and doing everything that helps in that upward direction, sometimes have an edge.

That might be different in leadership in the "state of nature", or in free-forming groups, where people don't have to follow anyone, and can more easily vote with their feet.
But in more artificially hierarchical organizations, the two paths tend to diverge more.

LEADERSHIP IN THE MILITARY: A SPECIAL CASE?

Jocko talks about how leaders make the teams, but the military is a rather unnaturally "hierarched" organization, and plenty of general improved their career following a path that meant more deaths and mayhem, but more personal returns for them (or, probably more often, more deaths and mayhem searching for personal return, but only leading to lose-lose).

All military leaders tend to have more power and salience during war, rather than during peace.

That's something to keep in mind with leadership books from military guys: the incentives don't always align with the general population (which why civil leadership is a must).

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from John Freeman on January 21, 2021, 7:02 am

Hello guys,

I have seen it over and over again: most people have no clue about leadership/management.

What I think leadership is (among other things):

  • A catalyzer for the group. By organizing stuff, the group is more effective
  • Social/Emotional support
  • Direction/Vision for the group
  • Protection of the group

What many people think:

  • You do less work (as others do it)
  • You get larger rewards
  • You have power over others: you can control them
  • You have more status

I'm baffled to see how few people are actually good leaders. Some are ok to good managers. But as long as you don't have the interest of the people "below you" as a first priority, you won't be able to do a great job.

Jocko Willink says: "There are no bad teams, only bad leaders" I believe it is very true. However, first people have to realize what is the mindset, goals and attitude of a leader. But what they're most interested in is "being in charge". Because they're tired to do what other people tell them to do.

What do you think?

You are definitely right. Most people think leaders do less work and have more rewards. In fact, good leaders almost always do much more works, much more motivated, take much much more responsibility, and take much more risks.

People probably have trouble differentiating leaders/managers from capitalists/full-time investors.

Processing...