Friday, December 14, 2012

Why managers fail as leaders (2012 study)

Recently, a couple of business strategy consultants and researchers in South Africa (Pretorius & Ingrid) were wondering why so few middle managers are held in high esteem by their direct reports.  They asked front-line supervision and their middle management bosses the following questions:

1.  Why do managers fail?

2.  What are the consequences of these failures?

3.  What can we learn from this failure?

The results are not very surprising from my experience inside mostly American companies.

I find it interesting that these results from South African bankers do not look that much different than US manufacturers, hi-tech companies, hospitals, or government (could go on and on) I've worked with.

Strategist Kaplan, of balanced scorecard fame, provides another way to view these same management failures:

Managers and leadership are an important part of implementing strategic organizational change.  And yet, we're still describing the same problems about managers from 20 years ago (HBR, Fortune) and even 70 years ago (Bass).

How do managers in your organization compare?

Kaplan, R. E., & Kaiser, R. B. (2009). Stop Overdoing Your Strengths. Harvard Business Review87(2), 100-103.

Pretorius, M., & Ingrid, l. R. (2012). A reality check for corporate leaders: When managers don't respect their bosses. Strategy & Leadership, 40(1), 40-44


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