Leadership v. Management

Here’s another example of how important it is for us to realize the difference between leadership and management. As evidenced below, a person can choose two ways to manage, correctly or incorrectly, management or mismanagement. True leadership is black and white, it either is or it isn’t. You’re either a leader or not. There’s no such thing as a misleader. This story exemplifies management with the absence of leadership.

While working out at the gym yesterday I couldn’t help but overhear an employee’s phone conversation. Apparently, he had heard through another employee that management would come later in the day for a termination meeting. As expected the soon to be fired employee was fuming and the fire could be heard throughout the gym. Paying closer attention to the one sided conversation I couldn’t help but be amazed at what I was hearing. Management had thought it would be a great idea to let another employee tip the soon-to-be-terminated employee of his impending doom. Management believed by doing this the terminated employee would resign his position before being terminated.

I’m amazed! Never in my life, especially in these days of increased work violence, have I heard of a more illogical approach to termination. By their mismanagement and illogical approach to termination they have thrown gas onto what was already a volatile situation. Hopefully, they have not put the safety of employees, customers and themselves in jeopardy.

Later in the day I’m gonna share with you some hip ways we can lead. Check it out.

7 Responses to “Leadership v. Management”


  1. 1 technobility August 23, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    There’s another possible explanation for Management’s behaviour in this this scenario. It’s not any better, perhaps even worse, but it’s another perspective.

    People aren’t very good at confrontation, and many will take any action to try and side step it. The motivation here is not so much ‘I want them to quit’ it’s ‘I don’t want to be the one to have to fire someone’

    It’s a subtle nuance, but one I’ve seen explain a wide range of weird behaviour. Without knowing any of the background on why this employee was being let go, I’m willing to bet that the Manager in question NEVER, not once, sat down with the employee to provide ‘negative feedback’ in an attempt to modify the offending behaviour. That would have come under the category of ‘confrontation’ and sadly, most managers do their best to steer of that.

    I’ll bet that being fired was a surprise to the employee.

    Enjoy the day

  2. 2 jimmorris August 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    I absolutely agree with Techno on the mismanagement issues. To expound further, it’s my belief that when it comes to terminating an employee, the season for managing the situation has passed and it is time for true leadership to confront the situation head on.

  3. 3 technobility August 23, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Every time a manager has to fire someone, it’s a measure of their level of incompetence.

    Yes. There are employees who deserve firing by any definition – one might ask how they got hired in the first place.

    To have to fire someone, is to admit that we were unable to ‘manage’ that person. Even worse? We might have to admit that it was our management practices which turn a ‘good’ employee ‘sour’.

    I get a lot of flack on this perspective, but I’ll stand by it. Management’s role is to show average people how to do extraordinary things (Apologies to Drucker)… Firing is a symptom of bad management.

    And don’t get me started on lay-offs.

    Enjoy the day.

  4. 4 marlajayne August 23, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Brief and perhaps overly simplistic, there is still a lot of truth in Blanchard and Johnson’s The One Minute Manager. They feel that the primary job of managers is to catch people doing something right AND then to let them know about it by offering a one minute praising. They also encourage one minute goal setting and one minute reprimands. Perhaps if the “leader” in question had confronted the employee about certain issues by delivering a one minute reprimand (or several of them), the firing would not be taking place. Some managers wait until the dreaded annual appraisal to let employees know of their shortcomings when if they’d let them know along and along, then behavior could be corrected or changed.

  5. 5 virk August 24, 2007 at 2:20 am

    I agree that approach to terminate (the way described) is totally wrong. Technobility has good point that such situation should not arise if management of the particular gym is doing good job.
    I think that situation like it may have happened in individually run business where proper procedures and training can be major issue as few people play roles of accountant/HR/supervisor etc.
    Communicating the decision of firing or terminating someone becomes very uneasy if manager is not propertly trained. I am under the impression that HR people are expert in dealing with such scenerios.

  6. 6 Velva July 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the image of a user
    in his/her mind that how a user can understand
    it. Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is amazing. Thanks!

  7. 7 Emanuel February 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

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