вторник, 29 ноября 2011 г.

An article by Pierre Casse: "Manager or leader - feel the difference"

Here is the translation of the article by Pierre Casse, the SKOLKOVO professor, published last week in his personal blog on the Vedomosti Newspaper. The original text in Russian is available here.

The difference between a leader and a manager can be explained in two words: the first inspires, the second directs. The only problem is that leaders are born, and managers are trained. And these two lines can be really seldom found in one person. However if a company lacks both there will be soon no company as well.

Hardly there is an employee who can’t tell you what is being wrongly run at his work and what is to be done for everything to work better. It’s generally assumed that how to cure and to teach people acquire from the very childhood and without any graduation. Thus it’s even more surprising that work of many companies is inefficiently built. And it is good if a manager timely notices a problem.

Having achieved the needed financial results, Jim Adamson, Ex-CEO of NCR (Dundee Scontland), announced, “From now on I’m going to spend 80% of my working time on removal of barriers on my employees’ way so they could run faster”. Jeffrey immelt, CEO of General Electric, has expressed a similar opinion more than once as well, just may be not so vividly. According to Mr Immelt from the moment he occupied his position he had to spend at least one third of his time on communication with employees in order to understand what they would like to have and what is lacking for better work conditions. Such work, sometimes bureaucratic and dull, doesn’t have much in common with the high concept of leadership.

The essence of management is to create an atmosphere, depending on the company’s character, where it would be comfortable for people to work and as easy as possible reach their best results. There are lots of factors that a manager has to consider. How to build the system of the employee-manager interaction, how to launch processes of internal communication and even how to organize the vacation schedule is to be taken care of.

There are many companies where it is possible to miss one working day a month without any explanations. The employees of Yandex and Google can even comfortably take a nap on a working place. There is always food for employees, and it is always free. And on the other hand at Severstal and Evraz it’s assumed that strictness is above all. I’ve heard that there are such companies where it’s forbidden to drink a cup of tea at the working table.

All these moments may seem such trifles that shouldn’t concern a CEO. However in reality exactly because of the fact that managers prefer to delegate such tasks to their numerous juniors companies collapse. First of all employees don’t get what their boss needs. And then the following opinion may be heard, “I spend more time to adhere all the formalities and to please bosses than to work and bring the company some success”. As I recollect DEC (Digital Equipment), a company having dealt with computer hardware and having been the US leader in sales volumes, faced a similar situation. Its CEO, Ken Olsen, answered all the claims of his deputies concerning lack of clear requirements and communication with a simple, “Don’t bother, everything is going to be all right”. The company collapsed rather quickly.

Lots can be said concerning the issue how it is important and difficult to find a CEO who would manage to follow everything up and to dream and inspire at the same time. In reality it is much easier to create a tandem that would share these two functions. Lots of companies stick to this very scheme. The successful cooperation of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook at Apple has already become a buzz word. I personally think that at the group of companies ACCORD which possesses the Novotel hotels Mr Doboule, CEO, and Mr Pelisson, Deputy CEO, have made a perfect team. However here it is also important not to miscalculate. For instance, the cooperation of Jobs and John Scali has almost lead Apple to a catastrophe.

1 комментарий:

  1. This is an inspirational article by genuine author. No doubt that we can gain some important information from this place. The blog often published some genius notes.
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