What Makes an Effective Manager in Business
My current and previous jobs dealt heavily with “management” and “leading”. I was an aircraft commander in the United States Air Force flying a C-130 Hercules with a crew ranging from 5 to 17 people. Currently, I am a copilot of a 737 flying passengers for Southwest Airlines. I have witnessed my entire career the management and leadership style of many people. I have come to learn certain characteristics that stood out in my mind of what makes a person an effective leader and manager and what makes them flounder.
Let me begin by saying that leading and managing are two very different things. A person can be a very effective leader but a lousy manager and visa versa. Individuals should not be promoted just because they are perceived to have good leadership skills or potential (good with interpersonal relationships and able to get others to act in accordance with their wishes). Leadership traits are important, but they are not enough. A great leader without management skills will hurt an organization. Managers, in addition to leading, are also skilled at planning, organizing, and controlling. Without planning, an organization will be blind to events of the future that have the potential to help or hurt the organization. Without organizing, there will be a lack of effective coordination and communication. And without controlling, organizations will never know when they have missed the mark or be able to make adjustments needed to stay on course. I think we all can remember individuals who were promoted in our organizations because their personalities impressed “top management,” who, over time, demonstrated that they had little interest, or ability, in planning, organizing, or evaluating (controlling). When such is the case, other people in the organization are placed in a position of having to pick up the slack or floundering occurs. (Wiggens, 1996)
Another trait of an…