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Actual work

The previous series looked at the many fallacies in the unfortunate concept of individual leadership in organizations. This current series is intended to take a closer look at the actual role of management in them.

We began by posing our broad definition of management as “the development of organizational objectives and the identification and deployment of resources to accomplish them.” Now, let’s break that down a bit.

To begin with, we should note that inherent in any activity or role undertaken by management is the responsibility for execution and, of course, decision-making. These should be seen as permeating everything we will discuss subsequently. Nothing managers do can be allowed to drift irretrievably to the abstract; choices must be made and implemented. We will have occasion to revisit this periodically throughout this discussion.

Consider, then, the following as principle functions of the modern manager:

  • Operations
  • Perspective
  • Information
  • Communication
  • Integration
  • Maintenance of responsibility

For our purposes here, we will use the first item to cover everything that is widely agreed to fall within the ambit of management responsibility. To be sure, this is not to join the ranks of those who are dismissive of these – far from it. However, since our focus in these pages happens to be on the role of management over organizational leadership, we’re going to direct our attention mostly to that.

The remainder of the items above will help us in this effort. Please observe, though, that this is not presented only as a list of functions specifically for the management of organizational leadership. It is intended quite plainly as a delineation of the primary, core functions of management generally. As we proceed along them we will discuss why.

Perhaps the most interesting of these functions is the first one we’ll cover – perspective.

So, we’ll see you next week, for some hopefully intriguing perspectives on management (and, yes, the management of leadership) . . .

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