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There is no such thing as Management

We seem to spend so much of our time pursuing the questions of Leadership that relatively little time is given to Management.

We assure ourselves that we know what management is. We assure ourselves that it is not the same as this artistry that we call Leadership. Yet all good leaders have a foundation of really good capabilities that we’d call “Management Skills”. Perhaps more importantly, what let’s really good leaders stand out is that they don’t stop developing these “Management Skills” as they develop their Leadership.

So is what we call Management really a part of Leadership? Are the separation of terms and the forced split into disciplines actually a misnomer? Are the dominant narratives a convenient collusion perpetuating them & us?

After all, when we call people Managers we are only confirming their organisational status, not their capability.  If we’re talking about skills then Management is just a convenient term (disguise) for a range of very important skills highly relevant to Leadership.

I have my thoughts, some of which I’ve expressed above.  What I’d really like are your informed perspectives.

So, I’d like to invite you to guest blog here. Not to argue for or against Management but to challenge the apparently dominant narratives & share your informed perspectives.

As always, if you’re interested then I’m happy to discuss what you need in terms of help, support & disclosure.

My intention is to follow up this post after the guest post(s) with how my thinking has been shaped by your input.

If you’d like to participate then please contact me via this blog, Twitter, email or LinkedIn.


24 thoughts on “There is no such thing as Management

  1. I will 🙂


    Posted by Meg Peppin | June 20, 2014, 6:43 AM
  2. I do believe that Management is often under valued and ignored that Leadership is something so much more important.
    I work with the Schroeder Competency framework and what I like about it is that it defines leadership but is actually built upon what is just good management fundamentals. Its how they are applied that we might call leadership if we feel the need to.
    So yes please I feel I would like to add something on the subject.


    Posted by Ian Perry | June 20, 2014, 6:56 AM
  3. Always interested in challenging dominant narratives! I’d be happy to join the discussion.


    Posted by Sarah Storm | June 20, 2014, 10:51 AM
  4. Hi David, I’d love to join your guest blog, I have considered something similar as well in a previous post of mine ( about how the importance of management skills is being lost in the debate about leadership. Now you’ve got me thinking again!


    Posted by hrpotential | June 26, 2014, 10:49 AM
  5. Really looking forward to yours (& others) guest posts – it’s going to be a fascinating series!


    Posted by David Goddin | June 27, 2014, 6:26 AM
  6. You manage processes, and lead people. I disagree with “when we call people Managers we are only confirming their organisational status, not their capability”. Managing is a capability that you can develop – the capability to manage your risks, time, quality, cost, etc. is indispensible and is totally different from leadership skills


    Posted by Aparna Nagaraj (@AparnaNagaraj14) | June 30, 2014, 10:22 AM
    • Hi Aparna – many thanks for adding your thinking here & for the challenge! What is being a “Manager” or “managing”? It’s a range of skills & attitudes to which the words “Manager” or “managing” seem to do very little justice. It’s also not where success lies when we’re talking about “managing” people… The worst examples of competent “Managers” that you’ll find are probably those who “manage” risks, quality, cost, etc but do not support, engage or develop their people. The best examples do not “manage” people, they support, engage and develop their people. In name, structure or perception they may be called “Managers” but in fact they are not just managing, are they? Their capability is worthy of a better description than just “managing” isn’t it?


      Posted by David Goddin | June 30, 2014, 10:53 AM
  7. Hi David, I’ve finally been persuaded to join Twitter and this is one of the first things I’ve seen – and I’d be interested in writing a post as it’s a subject dear to my heart!


    Posted by Ian Critchley | July 9, 2014, 7:58 PM


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