Leadership and Management – Do We Need One More Than the Other?

Is there a difference between management and leadership? Differing opinions abound, though most experts do indeed distinguish between the two. This brief article examines the key characteristics associated with effective management and leadership behavior in the workplace and makes a case for the necessity of both skill sets, though in varying degrees at times, for organizational excellence.

Synonymous?

As mentioned above, some experts think of leadership and management as synonymous terms, using them interchangeably when discussing the subject. Others view these terms as very different indeed – almost as extreme opposites, with very little overlap. A third position is one that seems most sensible to us – that while differences between leadership and management exist, perhaps there are times when the two can and do overlap and that we often need both to achieve excellence.

Doing the right thing vs. doing things right

An old and well-known proverb states that leadership is, “doing the right thing,” while management is “doing things right.” While an obvious overgeneralization, this distinction presents a useful starting place for thoughtful consideration of the similarities and differences between effective management and leadership behavior. Review of the literature lead to development of the comparisons below which outline some of the major attempts to describe the two fields in the simplest of terms:

– The Leader focuses on Alignment; the Manager on Organization.
– The Leader focuses on Vision/Direction; the Manager on Process Control.
– The Leader focuses on the Big Picture; the Manager on the Details The Leader has a Strategic focus; the Manager a Tactical one.
– The Leader has his/her eye on the Horizon; the Manager has an eye on the Bottom Line The Leader is all about Change; the Manager is all about Stability
– The Leader Challenges the Status Quo; the Manager accepts the Status Quo
– The Leader is comfortable with Informality; the Manager operates with Formality
– The Leader is focused on Effectiveness; the Manager on Efficiency
– The Leader focuses on Styles and Approach; the Manager focuses on Skills
– The Leader Releases Potential; the Manager Uses Existing Abilities
– The Leader mainly uses the Power of Influence; the Manager mainly uses the Power of Authority
– The Leader Facilitate Decisions; the Manager Makes Decisions
– The Leader Investigates Reality; the Manager Accepts Reality
– The Leader asks “why” and “what”; the Manager asks “how” and “when”

Which is best?

By laying out the two functions side-by-side like this some clarity about the terms starts to emerge. Exclusion of any skill or ability can negatively impact success, and so the game becomes more about drawing on both skill sets over time, in differing proportion. Hence, we can see that both leadership and management are important. But can we now determine in what proportion, in most circumstances?

Moving up the organizational ladder

Another factor to consider is that of positional responsibility within the organization. Classic theory tells us that management (tactical skills) is more critical to success at lower and mid-levels of management while leadership (strategic abilities) is used more often at senior or upper management levels. While this simple differentiation presents another gross generalization, it can start us thinking about how individual roles might take on a given emphasis in one direction or another.

Mixing and matching

Another way to look at split and degree of emphasis is to put leadership and management into a classic, four-quadrant relationship grid, and looking at the resulting combinations of high and low skills. In this way one can examine the resulting interaction, or even “style” that occurs as a result of the expression of high and low levels of each variable as we shown below.

* Strong Leadership but Weak Management Visions detached from reality Alignment without organisation Multiple projects culture slowly emerges Strategies lack support and formal planning

* Strong Leadership and Strong Management Inspirational visions and strategies Widespread organisational alignment Integrated planning and control of resources Full employee empowerment and commitment

* Weak Leadership and Weak Management No vision or strategies Poor planning and resource allocation Out of control processes Employee disaffection and frustration

* Weak Leadership and Strong Management Processes grow more unwieldy and/or bureaucratic Over-specialisation/standardization More policies and procedures evolve Controls stifle creativity/innovation

Strong/ Strong is Optimal

It is now quite clear that, in most cases, both strong leadership and strong management are desirable, and that one is not necessarily more important than the other. Given this conclusion, the focus shifts to evaluation of the question of whether we have enough good management behavior, and enough good leadership behavior in order to thrive and move ahead.

How much is good enough?

Assuming that the organization is not occupying the bottom left corner of the previous relationship grid, if we need to add more leadership then the emphasis will be on greater use of the communication process (in both directions), pulling people together and creating more widespread team commitment (among other things). If, on the other hand, we need to add more management, then the emphasis will be on greater standardization or specialization, the establishment of more formal structures and greater control of systems (among other things.

Summing up Ultimately, organizational success rests on a healthy balance of leadership and management and we need to learn how to make sure we have enough of each and in the right proportion for the circumstances. To learn more about this topic, visit our Leadership and Management Forum [out] at the ReadytoManage Webstore. Individuals interested in learning more about their own Management and Leadership Skills may be interested in checking out the Leadership Effectiveness profile and the Management Effectiveness Profile, both of which can be found in the Leadership and Management Forum or in the webstore.

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Stress Management Made Simple And Easy…Just Follow Cliff Kuhn M.D.’s Foolproof Formula

Stress management is a hot topic; stress-related illness and suffering is at an all-time high in America and increasing every year. Cliff Kuhn, M.D.’s work with the powerful natural medicine of humor has uncovered the primary culprit behind your unhealthy stress symptoms, as well as the solution to simple, healthy stress management.

Astronomer-mathematician Ptolemy (85-165) devised a theory of planetary motions that placed the earth at the center of the universe. The sun, moon, and planets revolved around the earth in the Ptolemaic universe. This notion was accepted for approximately 1,500 years. More on this in a moment…

Shelly was in such need of stress management that she was unhappy much of the time. Shortly after she became my patient, I was able to help Shelly see that, just like Ptolemy’s theory, she was casting herself as the center of the universe, thereby causing unmanageable stress levels in her life. We began a regimen from my Fun Factor prescription that afforded Shelly proper stress management, reintroduced joy and happiness, and brought her life back into balance.

Shelly’s problem was common; I see more and more people each day who suffer from unhealthy levels of stress. Whether it is sleeplessness, weight gain, mood changes, hair loss, worry, agitation, or any other of the myriad symptoms commonly associated with stress, stress-related illness and suffering is at an all-time high in America and increasing every year. Luckily for you, my work with the powerful natural medicine of humor has uncovered the primary culprit behind your unhealthy stress symptoms, as well as the solution to simple, healthy stress management.

My medical practice, involving decades of work with chronically and fatally ill patients, has clearly identified the cause of our painful stress symptoms – seriousness. Seriousness means taking yourself too seriously; seriousness means over-reaching – taking responsibility for things beyond your power, such as the outcomes and results of all your hard work. Consequently, you’re positioning yourself incorrectly as the “center of the universe.” Seriousness causes so much pressure that effective stress management, which I will teach you in this article, becomes impossible.

The antidote for your seriousness, and your foundation for healthy stress management, is the natural medicine of humor. Humor’s incredible power is harnessed to maximum impact through my unique Fun Factor prescription. Based upon my Fun Commandments, which were forged in unison with some incredible patients of mine, my Fun Factor prescription is capable of producing such profound positive change to your health and personal success that you will soon have people whispering, “Is she always this happy?”

In this article, I will explain how my Fun Factor prescription can be directly applied to your stress. You will be amazed at how much lighter and happier you feel, with each passing day, as you put the following Fun Commandments to work in your life. You are about to discover that the natural medicine of humor produces flawless stress management, putting an end to your painful stress symptoms.

The Fun Factor Stress Management Formula

Step One: Laugh with Yourself

My first stress management Fun Commandment is: Laugh with Yourself. This Commandment is not about humiliation or self-denigration, it is the ultimate in self-respect because it teaches you to appreciate your “perfect imperfection” and to find gentle amusement in your foibles. And, when it comes to stress, there is plenty of amusement to be found which will greatly aid your stress management.

Here’s the first amusing thing about your stress: you can’t live without it, yet too much is bad for your health. Like many of the essential things in life: we need a certain amount of stress to survive, yet too much can kill us. For example, we die if we are without water for more than a few days; but submerge us in water and we die a lot sooner.

It is said that we can die from boredom. I don’t think there is any scientific evidence for that theory, but one thing is certain – stress relieves boredom. Ending boredom, indeed, could be considered a form of stress relief. An amusing paradox, no doubt!

Without stress, also, we might not eat. Hunger is a form of stress our body needs occasionally to remind us we need food. Stress causes the adrenal glands to work. Athletes would not perform at their best without stress-induced adrenaline. Every activity causes a certain amount of stress. So does inactivity. In fact, to be completely stress-free we would have to be dead – not a highly recommended stress management technique!

The idea that stress is a killer is exaggerated, which is also humorous. Too much stress can be a killer, and it is against too much stress in our lives that we need to guard. Fortunately we are equipped with the finest possible stress management mechanism: the natural medicine of humor and the ability to laugh with ourselves. Far better and safer than Valium, it is our built-in stress management system.

As you learn to laugh with yourself you will become like an athlete – who can have fun running the mile or the marathon and still turn in peak performance. In fact, since too much seriousness can tighten muscles through negative tension, laughing with yourself may even enhance performance. This Fun Commandment works wonderfully on many levels.

Step Two: Choose To Motivate Yourself With Fun, Not Fear

Step two in my Fun Factor stress management formula is one of my newest Fun Commandments. Motivating yourself with fun rather than fear is a crucial step that allows your commitment to laugh with yourself to fully impact your healthy stress management.

This brings us to the only true choice you have in life. Will you be inspired by fear or by fun? One choice is all we have for our health, wellness, and fitness – fear or fun. It all boils down to that. It is your responsibility to choose one or the other.

The question is, which is the responsible choice? Which of the two is a powerful medicine, which will give you health and motivate you greater success, sustaining you over time? The natural medicine of humor gives us the answer.

There is no doubt that both fear and fun are potent stimulants to behavior over the short run. So the question becomes one of sustainability. Will fear or fun best help us sustain our excellence over time? Which of the two is a powerful alternative medicine that you can learn to use for your greatest health, wellness, and fitness? (That’s a trick question, by the way)

Let’s Encounter A Man-Eating Bear!

The fear of being eaten alive motivates us to run as fast and as far as we can when chased by a bear. There is little to no fun in that experience. It is purely fearful, but the energy it provides maximizes the possibilities of sustaining life for that moment. For the moment, in such a life-threatening situation, fear seems to be an efficient and productive choice. Though full of stress, it relieves us of the immediate threat!

But let’s take it a step further. Having survived my wilderness encounter with the bear, I return to my home in an urban environment. The next morning, as I start out for work, I run desperately for the car, quickly jumping inside and locking the doors.

When I arrive at my workplace, I race into the building. Before I get down to work I suspend my bagged lunch high above my desk, roping it to the light standards. I insist upon all doors being locked and secured. When asked why, I answer, “I’m merely doing what got me through my wilderness experience over the weekend. I don’t want to be eaten by a bear.”

You’d think I was over-reacting just a wee bit, and you’d be right. You could say that my stress relieves my anxiety, but my anxiety is based on a lie conjured and sustained by my fear! Not exactly the greatest of stress management techniques.

The Three Biggest Dangers Of Our “Run-From-a-Bear” Stress Management Techniques

1. We live our lives as though every day was an emergency; as though a bear is chasing us all the time. This is unfortunate for three reasons:

2. We now know that such a constant state of “wariness” or agitation breaks down our coping mechanisms over time. It is impossible to sustain the fear-based behavior without breaking down or burning out.

3. Of all the stress management techniques, this is the absolute worst to choose because it only increases our stress! It reduces the effectiveness of humor’s natural medicine to zilch.

A more pernicious error occurs. We begin to think that the avoidance of whatever we fear is the same as having fun. Joy becomes synonymous with the avoidance of fear.
The Absence Of One Thing Does Not Indicate The Presence Of Its Opposite

If this sounds ridiculous to you let me put it in more familiar terms that have become acceptable where your health is concerned. With rare exception we have agreed in our society that health is synonymous with absence of symptoms. Do you really believe your health is merely the absence of your symptoms? My Fun Factor prescription teaches you that, not only is the absence of symptoms not synonymous with health, but also that you never have to fall for that lie again.

You never have to settle for second-rate health! You can use your powerful natural medicine of humor to stave off seriousness’ debilitating effects.

Therefore the issue becomes balance. Fun balances fear. The ultimate question is not, “Are you without fear?”, but “Is your fun in balance with your fear?” If you’re not 100% certain of a “yes” response to the later question, then you need to STOP – RIGHT NOW – and take the last step in my Fun Factor stress management formula to ensure that your life is as healthful as it could be.

Step Three: Tell the Truth

The final step in your Fun Factor stress management formula is the Fun Commandment, Tell the Truth. This Commandment refers more to self-integrity than it does “cash register” honesty. Getting in the habit of telling yourself the truth will cement humor’s powerfully positive effect over your stress. Your stress management becomes second nature when you are honest with yourself each day, because you can then immediately, easily, and simply apply steps one and two to your life.

Telling yourself the truth, for our purposes, focuses on knowing when your stress levels are rising. As we noted in step two, everyday activities normally produce a baseline level of stress and this stress is usually alleviated by your daily routines (for example, when you experience the stress of hunger, you eat). Step three in my Fun Factor stress management formula teaches you to recognize the signs of unhealthy stress and take corrective action immediately.

Here are some simple stress management techniques to apply when your self-honesty reveals rising stress levels:

1. Start your day off by singing in the shower at the top of your voice. Make up your own song that incorporates the idea that you are embarking upon a glorious day in which great things are going top happen to you. Can’t sing? Good! Can’t rhyme? Who cares? The words are for you alone. This is not a contest. Be as off-key as you need to be…unless you are Placido Domingo.

The important thing is to be loud (your inner ear has to hear it), upbeat and convincing. The subconscious believes what it is told. Start your day by telling it that it will be a great day and you will be more than halfway to producing exactly that result. Think of your singing not as singing but as a stress relief game played before stress has a chance to rear its ugly head.

2. Travel to work alone, along the same boring route every day? Make up a game to play as you look out the window of your car, bus or train. For example, how many dogs will you see on the way to work?

Try to guess before you set out and see how close you are when you arrive. Reward yourself every time you guess correctly to within a certain number. Drivers: limit yourself to dogs (or green elephants) you see through the windshield only. This game does not work well in subways; there are no green elephants in subways.

3. Have a routine job? One that you find boring? Does it produce stress symptoms, such as drumming your fingers or tapping your toes? Perhaps you need to introduce fun into your workday.

For example, if your job is to make identical widgets each day, how could you do something different to give variety to what otherwise could become a monotonous task? Could you, for example, place each new widget relative to the others so that together they make a pattern, or spell the name of your sweetheart? How many do you make an hour? Could you make one more than that the next hour, safely and with the same excellent quality? Make a stress-relieving game out of your work and it will feel less like work and more like fun.

4. Smile. You feel stressed? Smile. It is a simple activity, so simple that even infants can do it. Just for kicks, count how many times you smile in an hour. None, you say? Then this stress relief game is even easier for you, and more important than it is for those who smile all the time. (No wonder they don’t feel the same degree of stress that you do!)

Your smile doesn’t need to be a broad grin that suggests to those around you that they need to call the men in white coats. But it should be more than a mental smirk; your facial muscles should be aware that they are smiling.

It is possible simply to paste a smile on your face without any reason other than you want to smile. After a while, your subconscious will take over, lighten your mood, and the smiles will come easily and naturally.

It’s best, if possible, to think of something that can give you a genuine smile, a reason you can talk about if called upon to do so. Each of us, no matter how depressed, has something in life to celebrate.

5. Recognize that stress is a choice. We can accept it and put up with it, and the damage it can cause our bodies. We can avoid it, but that could be a difficult choice; especially if it means quitting the only job we know in a tough job market. That choice might easily create worse stresses. Or we can deal with it and defeat it.

That is not as difficult as it might sound if you make up your mind to use my Fun Factor prescription in everything you do. That doesn’t necessarily mean, laughing, joking and playing the village idiot – though all those activities can relieve stress too. You can have fun without ever cracking a single joke.

A game of tickle with the children or grandchildren can be fun and bring energetic screams of delight from them and you. Touch football or, for the less energetic, lawn darts or horseshoes can be fun. For others, it’s a walk, socializing with friends, admiring the beauty around us or following a hobby – especially if it is an engrossing one.

Attitude Is Everything

The key is to recognize stress symptoms when they occur, recognize what’s causing them, and use my Fun Factor formula for healthy stress management. Since fun is the best natural stress reliever known, it makes good sense to incorporate my Fun Factor stress management formula into your daily life.

But don’t get obsessive about it. Don’t be stressed by removing stress. Be content with removing some of your stress, and with taking the edge off it so that you function as a healthier, happier and more productive humor being. After all, perfectionism produces stress.

Shelly, by the way, has learned to take herself much more lightly now and she does not suffer nearly as many stress symptoms. The paradox she loves is that taking herself less seriously actually permits her to take her responsibilities more seriously than ever before! The natural medicine of humorr, supercharged by my Fun Factor prescription, has allowed Shelly to easily and simply manage her stress and enjoy a life others have started to envy.

Just as Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus disproved Ptolemy’s earth-centered universe in the 16th century, so the natural medicine of humor disproves that you must suffer from being the center of your universe. Remove yourself from the pressure and stress of a life where everything revolves around you…start using my Fun Factor stress management formula, and the rest of my Fun Commandments, today!

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Is Initiative Synonymous With Leadership?

Questions about leadership often present themselves at the most unsuspecting times and places.

For example, I was watching Toy Story 3 the other night with my daughter Leila, for about the 50th time, when Lotso the bear says (referring to Buzz) “He has initiative; he has leadership.”

Suddenly, I found myself drifting away from the story and wondering why and how we usually refer to these two ideas interchangeably.

Initiative. Leadership.

We experience this interchangeability all the time. We see it when the person who speaks up in a meeting is now expected to lead the charge. Or the person who offers to take on a task or to tackle a problem is suddenly asked to be the committee chair. No matter what organization I have worked with: for-profit, not-for-profit, volunteer-based, or employee-based, when someone shows some initiative… bam, they are assigned a leadership task.

But the two are not synonymous. In fact, most of the time strong initiators aren’t the best leaders because they are usually most comfortable doing, not guiding. Or they may only be motivated to do the doing, not the leading.

Invariably, the next problem these organizations confront is that now that they have the “leaders” established, they can’t find any doers to populate the “groups”. That’s because they have taken all the initiators and made them leaders instead of placing those who want to do the doing where they can be most successful.

So by having doers in leadership roles, they struggle to recruit or motivate other doers and they end up working solo.

While leaders need to have the ability to initiate and to do, having initiative does not automatically mean you are able to lead others.

First time managers of people realize this right away. After being promoted over time for their ability to initiate and get things done, when they start to manage others, these behaviors need to shift. They need to start guiding more and be less in control of the doing.

Recently, I was confronted with the interchangeability of these terms. I reached out to the newly appointed PTA president at my daughter’s school. I simply said in an email, “Let me know if I can assist you with anything.”

As would be expected, she quickly responded with a request for me to take on a leadership role for an event. I quickly responded saying that I didn’t have the time for the leadership role, but that I could help out at any event given the time to plan. I was telling her that I would be willing to be a doer for a set time period.

Ironically, I had said the same thing and had a very similar exchange with past presidents.

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Ace Your Verbal Reasoning Test In Management Consulting Interviews

Many of the leading management consulting firms require a verbal reasoning test as part of their application process. Not all use the test, but some of the big-named firms like McKinsey and A.T. Kearney have started, therefore it is beneficial to brush up on the skills required to ace the consulting verbal reasoning test.

A verbal reasoning test is often referred to as a psychometric exam. The test is designed to reveal to employers the examinee’s verbal reasoning and language skills, which include language logic and even grammar. In your everyday career as a management consultant, you will have to prove your communication abilities; therefore, more companies like Bain or Booz are leaning toward the results of the verbal reasoning test in making a decision on their potential hires.

The format of a verbal reasoning test is very straightforward and involves passages that the examinee is required to read in order to answer the questions. There are three possible answer choices for each question. These answers are: True, False or Cannot Say/Cannot Be Determined. When the question is marked “true” the answer can be logically determined from the passage of reading. If you mark the answer as “false”, you are stating that there is not a logical way to conclude an answer from the passage you read. A “cannot say” answer is neither false nor true and cannot be derived clearly from the passage. The key to answering the questions is to focus on only the passage at hand, not your own knowledge of the subject. Previous knowledge or understanding may complicate your answer.

In order to ace the verbal reasoning test for your potential management consulting job, you must prepare. Without preparation you will almost certainly perform poorly on the exam. Preparation does not involve cramming the night before the exam, but requires time and concentration. You can easily find study guides and sample exam practice books, which will be invaluable to you as preparatory tools for this exam. Most consulting firms like BCG recommend practicing analysis when reading magazines, newspapers and online articles. The purpose of practicing while reading these materials is to get you in the habit of synthesizing information, breaking down sentence structures and gaining useful information rather than simple amusement.

A key to acing the management consulting verbal reasoning test is to leave assumption at home. Never assume a right or wrong answer, but take the time to synthesize the questions and sentence relevancy. Guessing is one of the most common mistakes you can make on this kind of test. The test is designed to a candidate’s level of concentration; therefore, the exam is designed to make you question and be precise in order to come up with an answer.

Another strategy in acing the exam is to focus your attention on synonyms. The test’s creators develop these exams intending to muddle meanings and incorporate synonyms to confuse the test taker. In the event that confusion sets in, focus on the meaning of the words and synonyms that can be utilized as a replacement. Remember that irrelevant synonyms are one of the most common pitfalls when taking a verbal reasoning exam.

Concentration is required in being successful on this exam. Jumping around, skipping questions and allowing yourself to be distracted will only harm your results. You will benefit from focusing clearly and answering the questions in the order they are listed, rather than jumping around on the test. The exam’s construction has been done deliberately, which is why it is important to answer the questions in order rather than skipping around.

While not every top-tier consulting firm uses the verbal reasoning test for hiring decision making for their management consulting candidates, more and more are leaning toward using the scores from these exams. After targeting your consulting firm, find out if the test is a requirement and begin your preparation early. Your preparation will pay dividends when you are invited to return during the hiring process.

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How Do Synonyms in Google Results Affect Your Rankings?

Google has explained a big change about how they manage search results by including synonyms in keywords which might be used in search keywords. How will this affect your website position in Google search results?

Why is it important that Google can deal with synonyms?
Google targets to show the finest results for your search. To achieve this it’s very important that Google’s algorithms can understand the search keywords which you may use in the search query. One important factor of recognizing the words is to understand synonyms.

These are words which can have the same meaning, Example: “home” and “house”. People who are searching for “home improvement” might also be interested in websites which contains the keyword “house improvement”
But the issue is that some words can have many meanings. For example, “case” could mean “box”, “container” or it can mean “instance”, “occurrence” or example.

Google’s measurements show that synonyms affect 70 percent of user searches across the more than 100 languages Google supports.

What has changed?

According to the posting in Google’s official blog, Google has improved the way that they detect synonyms. For example, the algorithm can now find 20 possible meanings of the search term “GM”. GM can mean General Motors, George Mason in [gm university], gamemaster in [gm screen star wars], Gangadhar Meher in [gm college], general manager in [NBA gm] and even gunners mate in [navy gm], etc.

Google also made a change to how the synonyms are displayed. The searched words and the synonyms are now displayed in bold in the search results. Web pages that contain only synonyms of the searched word can also be displayed in the search results.

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