Leadership and Management are two very different concepts that are often used interchangeably but they are distinct in nature. Leaders know the difference. Some Bosses never can figure it out.
Management involves planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals within an organization. It focuses on task completion, ensuring that work is done, and that resources are utilized. Managers are responsible for directing and supervising the work of their subordinates, setting goals, and ensuring that they are met. Hopefully, a good Boss will do all these things. A bad boss cuts corners, and misses many of these details.
On the other hand, leadership is about inspiring and guiding people towards a common goal. It involves creating a vision, setting direction, and motivating people to achieve that vision. A leader is someone who has a clear understanding of where the organization is heading and how to get there. Leaders are responsible for creating an environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and growth.
Ascribing to the motivating aspects of leadership is a more positive approach in motivating employees compared to the micro management of tasks through behavioral control with negative reinforcement- a trap some managers fall into and never find their way out. Here are some reasons to be a leader, not a trapped manager:
The “Good Boss” is a Leader
- Empowerment: Leadership encourages empowerment, which means giving employees the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This leads to increased motivation and engagement because employees feel valued and trusted.
- Creativity: Leadership fosters creativity and innovation because it encourages employees to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. This leads to better problem-solving and increased productivity.
- Trust: Leadership builds trust between employees and their managers because it focuses on building relationships and working collaboratively towards a common goal. When employees trust their leaders, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.
- Flexibility: Leadership allows for flexibility in the workplace, which means adapting to changes in the industry, economy, or technology. This leads to increased agility and responsiveness, which is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment.
- Positive reinforcement: Leadership uses positive reinforcement to motivate employees, which means rewarding them for good work and encouraging them to continue to perform at their best. This leads to increased job satisfaction and a positive work environment.
The “Bad Boss” is well, not a Good Boss
In contrast, the micro-management of tasks through behavioral control with negative reinforcement can be detrimental to employee motivation and engagement. These people believe that the stick is more important than the carrot – if carrots even exist! This approach creates a culture of fear and resentment, where employees feel like they are constantly being monitored and punished for mistakes. It can also stifle creativity and innovation, as employees are afraid to take risks or try new things.
How do “Bad Bosses” get into the positions that they are in? One idea is called the “Peter Principle.” According to the Peter Principle, every position in a given hierarchy will eventually be filled by employees who are incompetent to fulfill the job duties beyond the position they are in.
In other words, those horrible micro-manager “Bosses” don’t know any better.
And when a bad boss “manager” has a leader on their team, they try and get rid of that person as quickly as they can for fear of being found out. What these kinds of managers like most is the unthinking and submissive, non-questioning rope puller, as outlined in the featured image above.
Overall, ascribing to the motivating aspects of leadership is a more positive approach in motivating employees compared to the micro-management of tasks through behavioral control with negative reinforcement, too often practiced by bad “Managers.” Leadership fosters a positive work environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and engaged, leading to better outcomes for the organization as a whole. In a nutshell? Give employees carrots rather than sticks.
Advice for corporations? Take those bad boss managers and put them to use with task management, rather than the management of people. Use your Leaders to bring about innovation and vision which improves your human capital.