Management And Leadership Essay

2818 words - 11 pages

The following presents my orientations toward the study and the
practice of leadership. I tend to equate leadership and management,
however, analytically, while all management is leadership, not all
leadership is management. To concretely state my orientations, the
following might well sum it up: 1) Management is primarily a moral
pursuit and, therefore, is Value-laden (this to the extent and degree
that every manager ought aspire to being a "philosopher-king"; 2)
Management is much more art than science; 3) A manager's understanding
of him/herself and of the human condition/situation is his/her primary
tool and vehicle; 4) Mankind's systems for developing, selecting and
elevating managers/leaders tend to favor the more neurotic and
power-oriented among the group, this at the expense of and detriment
to the group itself and the TRUE potential leaders in its midst. This
aspect is primarily due to mankind's basic insecurities and weak ego
functioning, which, as Drucker observes, favors manner over substance,
show over reality.

1) What ARE the personality/character traits of "true" leaders?; 2)
What sorts of social systems have been developed in the past, and what
sorts could be developed now, which would enable the group to utilize
"true" leaders?, and; 3) How can the group nurture and develop more
"true" leaders?

Same of the fascinating sub-sets of the above relate
to the argument as to whether leadership evolves from "greatness", as
in the "great man" or "hero" orientation, or whether the primary
reality is that certain people are able to rise to the occasion, as is
often held of Churchill and Truman, for example. Also, all of the
above leads to a powerful curiosity regarding just WHERE our current
bureaupathological careerist orientation is taking us as a society.
Such matters clearly relate to the macro orientations of functionalist
and conflict theories within sociology.

As regards the interactionist, or micro theoretical orientation, areas
of interest include the forms and sorts of "performances" (Goffman) a
manager/leader engages in. Here, my orientation is that a
manager/leader must do such--in many ways "inventing him/herself" in a
real-life drama, but that such creations must be truly a part/parcel
of the self/personality of the actor. In management
development/training, for instance, I counsel that a manager may adopt
many performances, all of which might achieve the desired result, but
that the manager cannot "sell" any performance which is not a true
part of him/herself, one which is totally imagined and "made out of
whole cloth."

Following is a favored collection of quotes, including and concluding
with some of y further thoughts, regarding management and leadership.

Man is not unique because he does science, and he is unique not
because he does art, but because science and art equally are
expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.

We are nature's unique experiment to...

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