What do leaders/managers give to organizations?

This is performance review time, and naturally I am thinking about what I have done over the past year as a leader/manager to warrant any reward. It is always hard to figure this out, because all the work is done by an Individual Contributor, and so it is hard to be objective when evaluating the performance of a lead/manager.

Here are some values I believe a lead/manager provides to the organization and should be used for performance measurements:

  1. Judgment – Take difficult decisions even with incomplete information
  2. Mentoring and Coaching – develop better Individual Contributors, new leaders and managers
  3. Vision –Provide roadmap (new or interpretation of existing one) to employees, both for personal growth as well as for organizational growth (employees need both), do long term thinking
  4. Change Agent – Change is very hard, leaders/managers need to be the change agent by figuring out when a change is needed, as well as ways of successfully implementing change while continuing to show results
  5. Role model – Leaders are what employees want to be, and hence their behavior is closely watched and often emulated by others. As such they need to reflect right organization culture and values at all times.

As you can see, I am using Leader and Manager words interchangeably. However, they are not the same.

Here is a good Harvard Business Review article on leadership (What Leaders Really Do):

Leadership is different from management, but not for the reasons most people think. Leadership isn’t mystical and mysterious. It has nothing to do with having charisma or other special personality traits. It’s not the province of a chosen few. Nor is leadership necessarily better than management or a replacement for it. Rather, leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action, argues John Kotter in this article, first published in 1990. Both are necessary for success in today’s business environment. Management is about coping with complexity. Its practices and procedures are, for the most part, responses to the emergence of large, complex organizations in the 20th century. Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change. Most U.S. corporations today are overmanaged and underled.

Here is another HBR article (Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?) with another perspective:

Managers and leaders are two very different types of people. Managers’ goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at defusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organization’s day-to-day business gets done. Leaders, on the other hand, adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. They look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy. Their relationships with employees and coworkers are intense, and their working environment is often chaotic


What are the ways you have seen leads/managers evaluated in your company?

2 thoughts on “What do leaders/managers give to organizations?

  1. Good article. I have been part of some 360 degree feedback being collected for my managers/leads and mostly the questions are “managerial” and not “leadership-oriented” which means that he/she is not being measured for vision/mentorship/coachin but for doing things right by the company policy and maintaining smooth flow of work.

  2. I liked your list of the performances measurements. I especially like Role Model, I believe that Role Model is the most important. People below the Leaders look for performances from those Leaders give to them.

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