Why Is Management a Dirty Word?

Why Is Management a Dirty Word?

By: Jim Gitney   |     April 17, 2015

canstockphoto15793683What is all this hype about Management vs. Leadership? Everyday we are bombarded with information on the differences between them, the benefit of one over the other and the necessity to be great at both. Everyone wants to be known as the “great leader,” but does anyone want to be known as a great manager and what happens if you drop the management ball?

Management isn’t always seen positively, sometimes connoting images of bossiness, micro management, oppression, or worse. Per Wikipedia, management “coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using…resources efficiently and effectively.” Seems reasonable. So why does management have such a bad rap?

Take two quick tests: First – For your company, define Leadership and Management… Second – Would you rather be “doing”, “managing” or “leading?” Its a safe bet that you ranked managing last among these. If you are an entrepreneur and or company owner, management is always last!

To ensure we are on the same page

  • Doing is making things happen, sometimes as a technician or specialist.
  • Leading is setting a course along with attracting and energizing followers.
  • Managing is ensuring that the doing is done right on a continuous basis with the appropriate accountabilities.

For many in business, managing isn’t as fun or satisfying as leading or doing. Accordingly, it can be under-emphasized among senior leaders and is considered “uninteresting work” that is relegated to others.

Here’s the rub. Effective management is often what makes or breaks sustainable performance. Since 90% of companies are poor at Strategic Execution, (i.e. delivering the promises from their strategies), it is clear that many companies’ management practices are lacking. Management is all about setting the standards (KPI’s/Metrics), holding people accountable (performance/accountability), communicating and being effective on a sustainable basis (year after year)

Ask yourself these questions to gauge the state of your management activities:

  • Do you routinely miss strategic objectives? Are your key initiatives usually late or over budget?
  • Do you have to jump into emergencies too often?
  • Are there “too many” meetings, many starting late or going too long while lacking clear outcomes and actions?
  • Does it feel like your company has functional “silos” and a general lack of cross-functional collaboration?
  • Do employees have clear objectives and accountabilities?

If your often think about the state of management in your company or wonder if your methods are sub-standard, you’re not alone. A great place to gauge the health of your management methods is to review Group50 Business Management Consulting Firm, Company Physical®, a series of assessments that provides insight into your Organizational and Operational health. The output of these assessments provide recommendations to vastly improve the management in your company which will improve your business results.

To find out more, call us at (909) 949-9083, send a note to info@group50.com or request more information here. Subscribe below to Group50’s blog to stay on top of the latest trending topics:


About the authors:
Steve Sharp is a senior consultant with Group50® Consulting and heads Group50’s Market Effectiveness practice and Bruce Dougan is the OD Practice Lead for Group50®. The Group50 team are all former executives with market-leading manufacturing and distribution companies, professional managers who know how to install and sustain best management practices. Group50 has designed a series of strategic assessments, workshops and Strategic Execution tools that enhance business performance.

This entry was posted in Organizational Development, Weekend Thought, on April 17, 2015

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