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Read article then answer (Management and Leadership)

 After reading the article below….Apply the three most important concepts you have learned and how these concepts can be applied to Measurable Learning Outcomes A and B

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Article below:

“Leadership, Leadership, Leadership”

Are We All Chanting the Wrong Mantra?

By Colm McCormack. February, 2009.

Is it Really “Leadership”?

What exactly does a leader do? We

are told he or she sets the vision for us.

They get us to move toward it. They

inspire us. They generate buy-in,

commitment and trust. But the actual

truth is that he or she manages the vision

of an organization, manages your

perception of them, manages their own

behavior and the way he or she

expresses attitudes and opinions. For

me, everyday leadership is simply

management of higher level things:

everything in life comes back to

And the truth is this: management

and leadership activities, roles, and

characteristics – in the overwhelming

majority of on-the-ground everyday

work places – are embodied in the one

person, not two different people.

I’ve devoted a full chapter to this

topic in: If You Cannot Manage Yourself

You Cannot Manage Others, the first

book in my “Just Manage It!” series.1

Our Stolen Focus

The focus of the business world

has been totally hijacked in recent years

by academics focusing on Leadership.

The overwhelming majority of research

on the topic is concentrated in and

emanates from the United States.

Leadership’s place on many business

college curricula is muscling out time

 Go to: for FREE

chapter downloads and to order your copy.


usually devoted to other topics.

Everyone wants to be a Bill Clinton, a

Jack Welch, an Obama.

Hero worship has been so

absorbed into the western – particularly

the American – psyche. Everyone wants

to be a leader, a hero. Workers use the

term leader almost as a shortcut to

success: ‘That’s it – I’ll become a leader!’

I occasionally hear football

commentators referring to wide

receivers who catch a football or soccer

players who receive a pass as

“demonstrating real leadership”. Simply


The words ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’

have become far too fashionable. They

are bandied about with little care or



Effectively Flexible

A manager who can manage

himself should be able to switch

between the various styles demanded

by the times. Most of us do not have the

luxury of switching managers whenever

the times dictate. There are employment

laws of varying strength in different

countries around the world. It takes

time to notice a shift in the external

environment. It takes time and expense

and upsets many apple carts ditching a

manager and replacing and training a

new one.

Just think about what a lot of

books out there are advocating: things

change so get a different person with a

© 2009 Colm McCormack 1

different style of leadership. Oh yeah?

Think time lag, cost, the effects on

everyone around the old and new

leader, the potential threat to the culture

of your company, etc. You might switch

leader but what else might you

inadvertently alter?

Setting the Bar Too High

Leadership is of course an

important subject in an overall basket of

subjects. But there is the danger that

over emphasizing the subject sees us

setting the bar too high for ourselves in

normal everyday working life.

In recent times, the solution seems

to be this: “I’ll become a Jack Welch, a

Reagan, a Clinton, or an Obama. That’s

all I need. Become a leader”.

The truth of course is that not

everyone can become such people. But if

they said to themselves, “I’ll manage like

Jack Welch, or Reagan, or Clinton, or

Obama”, a more realistic objective

Diving In With Both Feet

There are three things to keep in

mind when looking at people diving

into all the leadership books:

  Many believe leadership is all they

need to study to become successful

  They think this will give them a

short-cut to the top

  Current successful leaders in the

public eye offer up a mirage: you

don’t see the years of hard work,

dedication, commitment, and failure

that went into getting them to where

they are. A 300-page book won’t get

you past all that stuff.

Don’t Forget About the Barriers

There are times when leadership

simply cannot take place. Rules,

agreements, stipulations – and more –

can act as leadership substitutes.

Sometimes people are so well trained,

and/or the workplace so well

systemized and optimized that

leadership is down right unnecessary.

But you’ll always have to manage

yourself. You’ll always have to manage

communications, attitudes, perspectives,

the way other people interact with you

and amongst themselves. Management

is a more common requirement than



The Irony of Management

The weird part in all of this is that

very often when you come to be seen as

a truly effective manager, people stick

the “leader” label on you.

This is why I tell people not to

worry about setting themselves up as a

leader. Manage yourself effectively,

adopt context suitable approaches to

situations, and – over time – the

leadership label will be handed to you.

Again, I am firmly of the view that

leadership is simply the management of

higher order things: it’s all management.

Read any leadership book out there and

it seems the words “manager” and

“management” pop up more than the

word “leader”. A leader and a manager

are the same person.


Old Wine in New Bottles

It is far too easy to arrive at the

mistaken assumption that becoming

successful and effective is simply a

matter of studying leadership. The

bookshelves are stacked with titles that

© 2009 Colm McCormack 2

give off this impression and they’re

being read by time-pressed individuals

seeking the ultimate quick fix. But these

books are simply teaching management.

Has the word management become so

unpalatable that we must now teach it

through the back door – under a

different heading?








Colm McCormack has lectured in Management, Strategic Management, and Leadership on MBA and

continuing education programs. He has consulted for numerous companies and Mentored business owners.

He is the author of the “Just Manage It!” series of Business & Management books. Visit to download FREE chapters, to view key concepts and models, and to

purchase Books from the series.

© 2009 Colm McCormack 3

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