November 21, 2008

Under-led and over-managed organizations are breeding ground for a large majority of organizational problems. Leadership driven companies are often more resilient in blending themselves with their economic environment and emerging out stronger. On the other hand, management driven companies tend to operate in a reactionary mode. So, leadership development throughout the hierarchies becomes imperative.

Any work profile involves both leading and managing. It is the proportion of leading vs. managing that determines whether a person is leadership driven or management driven. To deliberately develop a leadership driven culture, an organisation must map the proportion of quality time that each of its executives spends on leading and managing. It could be developed on the lines of a personal score card and can be made part of the performance appraisal system. By rewarding people who lead more and manage less, one can create an incentive for people to become more leadership oriented.

At the same time, people who are managing more and leading less should be coached on systematic development of some key leadership traits. They should be exposed to the virtues of mentorship, desired behaviour invocation, delegation with accountability, independent thinking, role modelling, holding everyone to high standards, change, challenging the status quo, focusing on strengths, creating synergy, and getting the best out of people. With a systematic on the job coaching, the proportion of leading vs. managing can be positively influenced for such executives. This can go a long way in gradually moving a management driven organization to become leadership driven.