Saturday, 8 August 2009

Managers are not Leaders

The difference between the two:
  • Managers administer; leaders innovate.
  • Managers ask how and when; leaders ask what and why.
  • Managers focus on systems; leaders focus on people.
  • Managers do things right; leaders do the right things.
  • Managers maintain; leaders develop.
  • Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
  • Managers have short-term perspective; leaders have long-term perspective.
  • Managers accept the status-quo; leaders challenge the status-quo.
  • Managers have an eye on the bottom line; leaders have an eye on the horizon.
  • Managers imitate; leaders originate.
  • Managers emulate the classic good soldier; leaders are their own person.
  • Managers copy; leaders show originality.

This dichotomy was modified from the one created by Warren Bennis (Bennis, Warren and Dan Goldsmith. Learning to Lead. Massachusetts: Persus Book, 1997) between managers and leaders.

The NHS is in a rut.

Its vision and direction (or Leadership) comes from discredited, incompetent politicians who have no clue about health. The orders are then sent down for the NHS managers to execute.

NHS managers are by no means the cream of the management crop to put it simply.

Strangely enough I get the feeling that some NHS managers and NHS employers realise two truths:
1) They are out of their depths
2) That leadership should come from the medical profession.

HOWEVER to fix this situation The NHS, in its current Management heavy version, is going to try and 'manage' medical leadership (in a similar way to how it 'Modernised Medical Leadership').

So it has created: NHS Leadership Qualities Framework PDF .

The framework makes for some interesting reading. Like most 'frameworks' you can tell it was created by a manager/admindroid. So something not 100% tangible (like what makes a good leader/doctor etc) gets converted into a Tick Box Exercise.

Future leaders please be aware that the NHS will require you to
Complete the NHS Leadership Module,
Sign up to the NHS Leadership Style
Emerge from the NHS Leadership Mould
Swear Allegiance to the NHS Leadership.

These guys will surely save the NHS.

To help save the NHS from ruin it would better to get rid of the managers than to create 'managed' leaders.

1 comment:

GK said...

I worked in the NHS for 10 years (as an IT engineer) and saw the decline from common sense management to tick box idiocy. And as competence and thinking capacity were steadily replaced by targets and budget alignment, those that rose through the management ranks displayed all the typical machiavellian traits effortlessly. And they wielded power instead of facilitating those that knew better than they did.

I'm well out and will never return. Even planning to take out BUPA before I get too much older.