The Barriers to Collaboration

  • Home
  • /
  • The Barriers to Collaboration

barriers
The innovation in products, services and experiences in the New Economy are often created through collaboration. Collaboration in business is often an event(s) of bringing several minds into a common space and working to exchange ideas, thoughts, feelings and design thinking towards a problem or towards a common objective or cause.
We might think that collaboration is easy but it is actually a vulnerable group dynamic that is based on trust and safety. Human beings act subconsciously from moment to moment trying to establish and maintain safety as a foundational state for all other possible minds to then emerge.
It is no wonder then that great outcomes from collaboration are not always commonly achieved without some form of proper preparation and facilitation. The advent of digital collaboration via unifying technology for remote users also brings to bear its own set of potential issues.
There are several key aspects of human experience which can derail successful collaboration. In the face to face experience we react to environments that contain the collaboration dynamics. For example we all have unconscious reactions to physical environments that exist in terms of spatial dynamics such as the colour, textures and temperatures in that setting.

Likewise we are affected by sensory stimulus factors such as light or noise which can affect our creative right brain faculties from engaging when sensory stimulus is too intense. Any environmental distraction will serve to create a focus that renders concentration a harder state of mind to achieve and sustain.
Perception and inner states of emotional being also plays a part. In workplace settings this typically may relate to how safe or toxic is the workplace culture to take a risk with opinions, ideas and feelings.
It also can relate to the emotional state of the person arising from “outside” pressures and stresses on the employee that affect their ability to be consciously present to participate in the collaboration.
A person with a pre-existing issue may find their mind oriented towards solving or worrying about that problem instead of being able to give full attention to a new problem. This varies person to person due to a concept known as resiliency which is how our nervous system copes with increasing stresses, sensory stimulus and issues currently being processed by the mind.
These factors can broadly be defined as those which create a relaxed or a stressed person. Neuroscience research reveals that a stressed person is less able to engage one’s own creative processes due to the brain being in a “fight and flight” state.
Collaboration is in the nature of creativity and creativity is a “right brain” experience. Stress and overwhelm forces a person to retract to “left brain” dominated consciousness and a more reactive, rigid, analytical mode of thinking as a person more or less lives from a “fight or flight” neural state. This normally sabotages the ability to be creative or to collaborate effectively for any significant period of time.
Another issue is that each of us have adaptive compensations in our personality which act as defences and strategies to cope with environmental concerns and social interactions with others. These psychological strategies or compensations are in our thinking and personality for navigating life.
These are part of our “character”. When we were young we had to navigate the developmental challenges of growing up as our bodies and minds developed. This involved a brain or neural based unfolding of potentiality which experience then affected and moulded into our actual character.
The neuroplasticity of our brains opened and then closed windows of opportunity for us to develop strengths and aptitudes in key stages of that journey. Which each had different journeys. Some people had challenges, frustrations, traumas, abuse, and limitations in their life journey and so the brain helped us adapt and cope with these challenges.
The adaptations and character defences we developed involved deep core beliefs at the cognitive level. These are unconscious and pervasive emotional and embodied character defences which helped us to stay safe, to survive and possibly thrive.
As adults those adaptations and defences that we all learnt and created in childhood still run us from time to time from our subconscious. They may no longer serve us as they did in childhood as we have now evolved and typically have more resources and options available to us when faced with dilemmas.
However these old defences do not simply go away or switch off. They instead live deep in our subconscious and are now linked to activation of our “fight or flight” parts of the brain.
We may have now grown and evolved into a state where life works well for us in our business and personal life when things are going well. However what we notice is that we may start to degrade under stress and pressure and it is then that our early life learnt defences and compensations start to show up again and run us automatically without our having mindfulness of the fact that we have regressed back into these behaviours.
When an old subconscious behavioural style which developed at the emotional age of 5 then emerges in a stressed 40 year old it typically is not a good look. Yet this effect does manifest in corporate life and it can be a toxic outcome for all those who experience it when it occurs.
In Old Economy business thinking there is a tendency to extoll IQ(Intelligence Quotient). Yet the acting out of emotionally immature blindspots within us is a mark of a person with low EQ(Emotional Quotient).
In the New Economy we pay more attention to the EQ of our leaders and our staff as this set of skills is critical to many aspects of the business, including collaborative ventures. These young emotional places can emerge in group dynamics where our old unconscious brain get triggered by others and also by the constellation of the group.

A contributor may also arrive to such an event in an already triggered emotional place within themselves and then find their actions and behaviours disrupt the group dynamics. Sabotaging behaviours will often then arise in the group dynamic and affect the outcome of whatever group purpose exists whether it be a collaboration or a meeting.
These older and earlier responses to life situations are those which show up when we are under stress or face an event for which we start to feel powerless towards or deeply emotional about. Some people do not actually evolve emotionally beyond their childhood emotional states and will be seen to more or less still actively live from these defences most of the time.
Each of the previously mentioned influences may inhibit the effective ability of a person to collaborate because underlying every compensation or character defence is a feeling of stress, anxiety or fear. Both anxiety and fear are states of an absence of felt safety.
A person who is stressed in their workplace or in their life will struggle to effectively participate in a group dynamic of collaboration where vulnerability is called for, and where a “right brain” availability is a key resource. Collaboration as a group event can fail to meet its objectives where the participants are not able to relax and feel safe in the group setting.
Some adults struggle emotionally to stay present in a group setting. They may “split off” or dissociate momentarily for a number of reasons but primarily due to fatigue or from not feeling “safe”. The pre-occupation of the brain to feeling safe and creating safety moment to moment in us all is a critical driver that affects our mindful state.
One aspect of digital technologies that can assist people with safety is the concept of digital camouflage. Digital camouflage is the idea that a person who is remotely connected to others via technology is afforded protection and camouflage by virtue of the filtering effect of that technology, and the compartmentalisation that physically exists as each of us is typically in our own safe physical space or enclave from where we connect.
The workplace dynamic of workers being physically dislocated but digitally present is becoming commonplace. Collaboration which starts from such an environment is likely to involve a digital interface rather than a face to face setting, and possibly a combination of the two.
The rise of digitial interactions has produced its own set of problems in workplaces. There are the obvious issues such as access issues or online technology downtimes but these are just hygiene factors of such technologies. What is more relevant is that there has been a recent workplace trend of rising interpersonal conflict and claims of bullying arising from the personal reading and interpreting of digital communication such as emails, and mis-attribution of visual and auditory input in interactions.
The interplay between human consciousness and technology is a new key aspect of what creates perceptions in human beings. The conclusions of social neuroscience regarding the potential misunderstanding and conflict that arises in office environments where technology is dominating human interactions is insightful. Basically the conclusion is there is in all of us a tendency to interpret digital communication through perceptual filters which give distorted outcomes.
One of the recent findings of neuroscience is the finding of what is termed “mirror neurons”. This concept relates to how our “fight and flight” brain systems react and resonate positively or negatively with others based on bodily non-verbal communication.
What is going here relates to a key neuroscience principle that in face to face contact any two persons employ a sophisticated set of parallel processes in the brain to read the body language, eyes, facial muscles and postural changes of others to understand if that other person is a friend or a foe.
The amygdala part of our brain co-ordinates processing others movements, gestures, inflections and micro-movements of facial and other expressive muscles. We do so to determine quickly if the other person is friend or foe.
This happens in a way which allows us to firstly mirror others internally in order to understand and interpret them, and then activate a move toward or a move away from response, in relation to that person. We internally construct social knowledge, at least in part, by simulating the emotional state of an observed person and so in a sense we know how other people feel because we mirror internally their feelings.
We know that all the myriad of striated muscles in our face have a connection to our heart and the emotions we generate from the heart are then mirrored through our facial gestures. For example our unconscious perception of a customer’s apparent anger may make us become primed to feel angry as well as our mirror neurons fire in sympathy with the anger we perceive with the other person. This is an unconscious process beyond the control of our conscious mind.
We may in turn then get angry or if we have “an issue” with anger we may then trigger an adaptive response of fear for instance. We may then find that our collaboration attempts deteriorate on the basis of our triggered anger or fear in turn.
This key information is received and processed by others but yet is missing in many forms of digital communication. The absence of the previously mentioned critical information means that the same neural processes have limited information upon which to process.
Neural processes fire based on what they take in as information. As such they will tend to draw conclusions that are based on less sensory data, and so are less objective and reliable.
This highly complex but largely subconscious part of our social interaction processes with others are a critical safety mechanism and social guidance part of our reality. When we start to rely on electronic communication to “socialise” we are stripped of our primary safety and social guidance mechanisms. In terms of our emotional brain centres we are now travelling blind.
The attempt by our largely social brain to process digital communication from a place of restricted sensory input leaves a person reliant to largely processing social media, emails, and written and electronic media communication through our left brain centres. These are brain areas or cortexes which are analytical but defensive in orientation.
The net effect is that we as humans are more prone to misinterpret and misread electronic communication with a negative bias. The brain still uses safety seeking and meaning making processes when faced with digital information. The problem is that with limited information and context our brain is likely to assume foe more so than friend as a default stance more of the time.
Digital stress caused by information processing overloads and volumes of outstanding emails can increase this risk of reactive processing of digital traffic by staff. Digital stress is now linked to a rise in illness in the workplace due to staff ending up in “fight or flight” as the brain becomes defensive and hyper-aroused by digital stimulus.
There is an inverse relationship between stress and collaboration. The higher the personal or environmental stresses then the lower the collaborative outcomes in terms of the probability of innovative outcomes.
Environments that are dominated by electronic communication instead of face to face contact are likely to find a higher level of complaints and a higher level of misinterpretation than those where human face to face contact still prevails. Some emerging statistics bear this out.
The Notre Dame University has done research in this area. Its research within its own campus found this misattribution phenomena existed and had contributed to a 100 per cent increase in low-level grievance complaints among staff in a 5 year time frame.
The increase in complaints occurs in part due to the limited information leading to incorrect context assumptions and conclusions by recipients of electronic communication. Neuroscience has correlated that humans process social interactions via 7 per cent word recognition, 55 per cent prosody or tonality inflection, and 38 per cent body language and facial muscles.
In conjunction some 55 per cent of people have a visual social processing style, 33 per cent are kinaesthetic or body feeling oriented, and 22 per cent are auditory oriented in their social processing style. Digital communication compromises all these constructs.
Conscious Business Australia recommend in its consulting framework that businesses be mindful in their workplace with changing cultural norms which would reduce significantly staff face to face interactions. We encourage people to evolve beyond interacting from an anonymous digital persona towards a face to face relational reality as part of workplace culture and norms.
In the context of collaboration we find that face to face dynamics tend to generate more options or possible outcomes than through digital dynamics. The evidence of hybrid combinations is harder to find but it is likely to fall somewhere in between the other two forms.
Organisations which have higher face to face interaction appear to show resiliency to the increasing trend of misattribution of digital communication in workplaces. One way this can be measured is the degree of conflict and bullying claims being made by staff in workplaces where digital communication is dominant.
The Notre Dame study points to this conclusion. The use of digital technology is critical to workplace productivity and cohesion but it is important that businesses do not lose sight of what impact digital communication can have on human consciousness and its potential for misinterpretation or misattribution, and therefore conflict.

PERSONAL CHARACTER STYLES AND THE EXTENDED DISC PROFILING SYSTEM

Another key factor to consider in establishing collaborative dynamics within the workplace is the personal character styles of the participants and how these may thrive or be negatively triggered by face to face or digital collaboration environments. What about if we could predict how a person may be liable to react under these situations?
The answer lies within a tool that gives you insight into a person’s character style. One such tool is the powerful Extended DISC profiling system. Extended DISC is an internationally accredited and best practice system for conducting human resource assessment and development in the workplace.
The Extended DISC tool suite has evolved from the primary work of Doctor William Moulton Marston. It was his research that led him to document those findings in his 1928 book “Emotions of Normal People”.
He found that characteristics of behaviour can be grouped into four major “personality styles”. Individuals tended to exhibit specific characteristics common to theses styles.
Marston identified that each of us possess all four styles, known as the blend of behavioural traits(interplays between these styles), but what differs from one to another is the extent of each style’s dominance.
The four styles were then coined as DISC where each letter stood for one style, those being:
• D – Dominant
• I – Influencer
• S – Submission
• C – Compliance

Since the time of Marston the DISC system has been evolved and refined and developed to incorporate new learning about human behaviour and consciousness. An example is the inclusion of Jungian psychology principles.
In 1994, the Extended DISC system was released and over its evolution has now become the pre-eminent human resource assessment tool, as used in over 50 countries and available in over 50 languages. The tool now incorporates updated Jungian psychology principles.
Extended DISC assessments are based on concepts of human behaviour accepted widely around the world. They are also management tools designed to optimise and increase the efficiency of an organisation through conscious awareness and growth of individuals and teams.v
The combination of knowledge and understanding of the Extended DISC system, coupled with the understanding of social neuroscience principles that come into play across the 4 character styles, allows us to gain insight into the collaborative potential of each character style of the Extended DISC system.
In terms of Extended DISC, the “Dominant” style is typified by the traits of being driven, needing control and power, is assertive, ambitious, hard working, and focussed on the vision, the big ideas, or next opportunity. They tend to talk, move and act fast and are very goal oriented. Others may find them forceful, demanding, aggressive, determined, and strong willed.
The “Influencer” style is typified by the traits of social and people interaction, getting things done through others, networking and socialising, persuasive, engaging, enthusiastic, energetic, warm, outgoing and fun or inspiring. Others may find them as talkative, convincing, politically savvy, creative, compassionate, friendly and interested in you.
The “Submission/Stable/Security” style is typified by the traits of being loyal, stable, stabilisers, change agents, purposeful, respectful, good listeners, relaxed, patient, and team focussed. Others may find them resistant to change, avoiders of conflict, competent, agreeable, consistent, deliberate, efficient, participative, inclusive and diplomatic.
The “Compliance/Correct” style is typified by an interest in detail, and the ability to research, analyse and interpret information. They are serious in their outlook, talented, respect technical people and information, can be perfectionistic or strive to be more correct, have high standards for themself and others, may procrastinate and avoid making mistakes.
Others may find them critical, not entertaining fools easily, knowledgeable, perfectionists, sensitive, introverted, loners, careful, analytical, reserved, self-discipline, neat, right, systematic and informed.
Only an accredited Extended DISC consultant can access and run the Extended DISC tool suite on behalf of a client or the organisation. Conscious Business Australia offer accredited Extended DISC Consultants and certified coaches who are recognised as behavioural specialists.
Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 3.32.36 PM

When one views the square shaped diagram you firstly notice that the graphical model is depicted as having four quadrants. The 4 quadrants are arranged as the top right hand corner is D – Dominant, the bottom right hand corner is I- Influencer, the bottom left hand corner is S- Stable, and the top left hand corner is C- Compliance. These styles were explained previously.
The top half of the quadrant comprises the Compliance and Dominant personalities that Jungian theory terms to as the thinking realm of senses. These are task oriented persons. The bottom half of the quadrant comprises the Stable and the Influencer personalities that Jungian theory terms to as the feeling realm of senses, as well as being people oriented styles.
If one approaches the quadrants from left to right as columns then the left hand side column of the quadrants comprises what Jungian psychology terms both Sensing and Introverted personalities. These are the Compliance and Stable quadrants. These two are process and data oriented styles.
In the right hand side column we find that the Dominant and the Influencer styles are represented in Jungian psychology terms both Intuiting and Extroverted styles, as well as being product oriented in terms of their operative work identities.
The model is informative as the system is a continuum of each style that graphically shows the degree that a person is represented in any one style as well as across all the styles as the sum of the individual component styles. The graphically plotted outcomes derived from assessments provide great clarity about how any person’s traits align to the quadrants and their corresponding psychological types and themes.
The mix of component styles allows for a very granular breakdown and differentiation of one person’s style to another and means that the overall model does not just “cookie cut” someone into fitting the model. In fact, the model is flexible enough to accurately represent each one of us without compromising our unique talents and styles, and the final plot on the graph yields unique interpretive and explanatory information all throughout the final report.
The graphical output will reveal the degree that a person is living “in flow” to their core or natural behavioural style in their work setting. A person may have perceived the need to adjust their behaviours and adapt to what either is the true way of being at work, or their perception of what they need to be at work.
For instance they may be not in their true vocation, be undergoing transition, have high degrees of stress or depression, or the assessment may have incongruent data. All this is detected and reported when the participant’s data indicates this is potentially true.
Workplace performance optimisation becomes possible when all key team members are “in flow” or working from their natural profile talents and skills. Extended DISC uncovers to the degree that this is true whilst also showing a person what is their “flow” in terms of their natural core style, talents and skills.
It is found that the quadrants also reveal complementary, natural and oppositional blends of styles. This is both true of where one is within themself from their perceived need to adjust to adapt at work, but also between different persons, perhaps within a management or project team. For instance the Compliance and the Stable styles are natural blends, as are the Dominant and the Influencer styles.
Likewise the Compliance and the Dominant styles are considered complementary blends, as are the Safety and the Influencer styles. However the Compliance trait is opposite to the Influencer and so will naturally struggle to “get” each other or their work ethic and approach. Likewise the Dominant and the Stable styles each are opposite to each other and so suffer the same potential challenge.
Once an overall picture of a business is obtained by assessing each of the key team members then the overall picture and the roles that each member occupy then reveal where these oppositional and natural blends are working for or against the business.
The power of the Extended DISC assessment is that the insight that can be gained from being briefed by an accredited Extended DISC consultant. The consultant will assist both the individual as well as the wider organisation in analysing the hidden dynamics that are unconsciously at work within your organisation, and the degree your human capital is incongruent to their work assignments.
The interventions that are then possible are powerful and will make an immediate and lasting impact to both the individual’s performance and satisfaction levels. This will naturally flow through to the organisation bottom-line results. These may show up as higher rates of productivity, increased sales, better staff interpersonal work dynamics, reduced risk and effort in projects, and correct leadership for the organisation.
For more information regarding Extended DISC assessments, or to make an appointment to initiate such an assessment, contact Richard Boyd via mobile at 0407577793, or contact myself through our website www.cbau.com.au.
Conscious Business Australia also offer leadership and organisational consulting services as well as training, coaching, project management, and facilitation services. Please refer to www.cbau.com.au website for more information.

I get asked a lot about what is Conscious Business versus just plain old current ways of doing business as we know it? It’s a good question as Conscious Business has a broad and far reaching vision of reform and introducing a whole new way of viewing and doing business.
It can be said that everything we do, everything we manifest in our world is an extension of ourself. We define a healthy person as one who is in touch with their own inner life, their values, their spirituality, their feelings and emotions, and who integrate these parts of themselves into their rational, thinking minds.
That person does not exist or live alone but walks the world connected to everything and everyone and works towards the betterment and preservation of those environments and communities that support him or her in life. Take that personal ethos and shift the context from a personal to a business one and you have right there the essence of Conscious Business.
If a healthy person is that which I described above then a self aware or “Conscious” Business is all of that but is knowing of itself in this context and plans and executes its business strategy, branding, marketing, operations, employee and stakeholder accountability in this framework and mindset. Conscious Businesses understand that there is no duality between the leadership within themselves and their business.
The person and their business are mutually dependent expressions of each other and the brand of that business will be fuelled by the energy of the leadership and their values. Just as a healthy person has resolved the duality of masculine and feminine aspects of Self, reclaimed their Shadow and own what may not be acceptable or positive, so a Conscious Business operates from the same unitary consciousness in how the business accounts for itself, describes itself, and evolves itself.
The idea is that the business like its leaders is in truth with itself and with its numerous stakeholders that includes communities, environments, employees and their families etc. A Conscious Business is driven by wanting to be in truth rather than being right which is the image focussed consciousness of many traditional businesses. Being in truth is the only route to being a safe entity that will create trust in others over time.
A Conscious Business is a collaborative adventure that is less about rigid hierarchical structures and command and control cultures which are all left brain consciousness outcomes. It is an inclusive, expansive, holarchical structures that bring in all the DNA and consciousness of employees and stakeholders to a melting pot of innovative New Design thinking for New Economy adaptation and business.
A Conscious Business has several core purposes for being. They certainly have a profit motive and essentially need this to be able to then execute their other mission critical activities. The typical core values of the business find expression in one or more dimensions of common good:
• Employee inclusion and share of wealth above industry norm
• Community contribution initiatives to support others
• Social responsibility to integrate business into environments without harm
• Environmental repair and sustainability
• Participation as thought leaders or collaborators in intractable social problem problem solving and remediation
• Support of the fabric of the culture and arts of that community.
• Include employees in a collaborative culture that recognises and honours the uniqueness and potential contribution of all who work for the business. The combination of individual values, knowledge, experience, passions, interests and aspirations are understood and integrated into the overall workplace consciousness in a respectful way and activated where possible for common good.
Just as humans are a sum of energetic and matter reality so are businesses. Every action of a person and a business has an effect and a ripple into the web of reality. This quantum reality is a mindset that Conscious Business embraces and works actively with in its approach to business, its employees and its stakeholders.
As can be seen Conscious Business is not just a new strategy or process of business. It is a holistic philosophy and new vision of business as we know it. The evidence is that the healthy business model of Conscious Business is delivering brand success, greater profits, reduced costs and excited stakeholders who feel engaged at levels never experienced before.
In addition the energy of the business and the people who are touched by the business becomes positively infectious through the happiness, inner peace, meaning and purpose, and an alignment of individual spirituality to expression through business. Its just a great outcome for all that has to be experienced to understand it.
Conscious Business is a container for your business. It applies to all types of business regardless of product or service, or of the market sector you are in. It has universal scope and applicability to businesses as it speaks from the heart of business practice.
Take the time to visit different parts of this website to understand more about Conscious Business. It will be worth the time spent. We welcome you to engage with us and become a subscriber of our blogs and newsletters, and invite you to attend one of our events.

The difference between management and leadership has been a subject of debate within the business and academic community for more than fifty years. Leaders lead. Managers manage. This simplistic definition — often paraded around by laymen — ignores the significant overlap between the two roles. Managers, after all, are also leaders, and leaders also managers.

**Check out FREE business courses on Udemy**

So how do you really define the difference between management and leadership?

Turning to etymology is of little help. ‘Manage’ comes from Italian maneggiare, which means to handle or lead a horse. ‘Lead’ comes from the Old English lædan, which means to guide or carry through. Essentially, their etymological and lexical meanings are largely the same.

The only way to really differentiate between leadership and management then is to define the two roles in the context of their role within a business, their psyches, and what they bring to an organization, as we will see below.

RETHINK MANAGEMENT

 

In a landmark paper published in 1977 titled ‘Managers and Leaders: Are They Different’, Abraham Zaleznik, a former professor at Harvard Business School, argued that the traditional conception of management – creating and following processes meant to maximize efficiency and delegate authority – disregarded critical aspects of leadership, including vision, inspiration and passion. Leaders, Zaleznik argued, are more like artists than managers. While managers concern themselves with creating structures and order, leaders embrace chaos and throw themselves into the deep end.

As an example, consider the late Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple.

Steve Jobs was a polarizing figure, a visionary who lead Apple from the depths of bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world. Although he was crowned the ‘CEO of the Decade’, Jobs’ primary role within Apple was to be a leader, not a manager. He was the consummate artist-capitalist, leading his flock with visionary zeal – a role that has now been taken over by Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice-President of Design.

The day to day running of Apple was handled by a team of expert managers lead by Tim Cook. Tim’s role prior to becoming the CEO was Chief of Operations. It was Cook’s laser sharp focus on operations that enabled Apple to fine tune its supply chain and negotiate profitable margins from vendors. Apple owes its success as much to Jobs and his iconic product vision, as to Cook and his operations and strategic innovations.

Learn how to be an operations management superstar with this course!

Leaders vs. Managers: A BRIEF RUNDOWN

 

Warren Bennis, one of the pioneers of Leadership studies, argues in his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader”, that the key difference between managers and leaders is their attitude to risk and innovation.

Managers, he argues, administer. They focus on systems and processes, on maintaining order through formal structure. Leaders, on the other hand, innovate. They ask ‘why’, not ‘how’. While managers may succumb to the pressures of shareholders and Wall Street, leaders keep a firm eye on innovation, as Jack Welch teaches in Welch Way, his course on leadership skills.

Based on this premise, the key characteristics of leaders and managers can be categorized as follows:
• Leaders
• Focus on people
• Risk tolerant
• Innovative
• Visionary
• Emphasize product/service, not financial results
• Think long-term
• Rely on charm and influence
• Can be dictatorial and authoritative
• Work for winning, not for money
• Managers
• Focus on processes
• Risk averse
• Formulistic
• Objective
• Emphasize the bottom line
• Think short-term
• Rely on authority and formal position
• Are democratic and engaging
• Work for rewards – money, fame, or ego.
• Breaking the Leadership-Management Divide

Leadership and management are complementary, not clashing, as many like to believe. The above qualities are not watertight categories; some leaders have attributes of managers, some managers of leaders. Being effective requires leadership traits as well as management skills.

Rather than products or intellectual property, the strength of the modern organization is its human resources. This is particularly true for tech heavy industries where the limited talent tends to galvanize around natural leaders. Dealing with such workers requires managers to possess an intrinsic knowledge of people and embody leadership traits (hence the current emphasis on leadership skills in business schools).

At the same time, the idea of the autocratic but charismatic leader is woefully antiquated. The data-driven modern organization depends on quantified knowledge to increase efficiency and productivity. In this context, leaders need the cold, hard precision of formal processes as much as they need a zeal for innovation and dealing with people. Hybridity – where leaders embody managerial traits and vice-versa – thus, is critical to organizational success in the 21st century. You can learn more secrets of leadership success by mastering these 21 leadership principles.

Leadership and management are as similar as they are different. Whether you are a startup founder, an experienced serial entrepreneur, a senior vice-president of a Fortune 500 company or an assistant manager of a small business, you need to adopt the qualities of a leader while still following proven managerial processes to become truly effective.

Subscribe to our newsletter