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spike bullet October, 1996 - Management vs. Leadership

Management Styles - Glossary of styles
Managers vs. Leaders - Comparison of traits
Changing Styles for the New Millennium - New styles for new times
Middle Managers - Facing the re-engineering challenges
Resources (links, articles, humor)

spike bullet Management Styles

Management by Coaching and Development (MBCD):
Managers see themselves primarily as employee trainers.

Management by Competitive Edge (MBCE):
Individuals and groups within the organization compete against one another to see who can achieve the best results.

Management by Consensus (MBC):
Managers construct systems to allow for the individual input of employees.

Management by Decision Models (MBDM):
Decisions are based on projections generated by artificially constructed situations.

Management by Exception (MBE):
Managers delegate as much responsibility and activity as possible to those below them, stepping in only when absolutely necessary.

Management by Information Systems (MBIS):
Managers depend on data generated within the company to help them increase efficiency and inter-relatedness.

Management by Interaction (MBI): <formerly called: Management by Intercourse>
Emphasizes communication and balance of male/female energy as well as integration of all human aspects (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual), creating an empowered, high-energy, high-productive workforce.  [Management style developed by Barbara Taylor and Michael Anthony]

More details about this Management Style

Management by Matrices (MBM):
Managers study charted variables to discern their inter�relatedness, probable cause and effect, and available options.

Management by Objectives (MBO):
The organization sets overall objectives, then managers set objectives for each employee.

Management by Organizational Development (MBOD):
Managers constantly seek to improve employee relations and communications.

Management by Performance (MBP):
Managers seek quality levels of performance through motivation and employee relations.

Management by Styles (MBS):
Managers adjust their approaches to meet situational needs.

Management by Walking Around (MBWA):
Managers walk around the company, getting a 'feel' for people and operations; stopping to talk and to listen.  Sometimes known as Management by Walking Around and Listening (MBWAL).  This management style is based on the HP Way developed by entrepreneur Dave Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard.

Management by Work Simplification (MBWS):
Managers constantly seek ways to simplify processes and reduce expenses.

spike bullet Traits of "Managers" and "Leaders"

These comparisons were developed from many sources.

Manager Traits . . .

Leader Traits . . .

Doesn't insure imagination, creativity, or ethical behavior Uses personal power to influence the thoughts and actions of others.
Rationally analyzes a situation, developing systematic selection of goals and purposes (what is to be done). Intuitive, mystical understanding of what needs to be done.
Directs energy toward: goals, resources, organization structure, determining the problems to be solved Directs energy toward guiding people toward practical solutions.
Perpetuates group conflicts. Works to develop harmonious interpersonal relationships.
Becomes anxious when there is relative disorder. Works best when things are somewhat disorderly or chaotic.
Uses their accumulation of collective experience to get where they are going. Often jumps to conclusions, without a logical progression of thoughts or facts.
Innovates by 'tinkering' with existing processes Innovates through flashes of insight or intuition.
Sees the world as relatively impersonal and static (black and white). Sees the world as full of color, and constantly blending into new colors and shapes.
Influences people through the use of logic, facts and reason. Influences people through altering moods, evoking images and expectation.
Views work as an enabling process, involving a combination of ideas, skills, timing and people. Views work as developing fresh approaches to old problems, or finding new options for old issues.
Views work as something that must be done or tolerated. Views work as something challenging and exciting.
Has an instinct for survival; seeks to minimize risks and tolerate the mundane. Sometimes reacts to the mundane and routine as an affliction.
Has a low level of emotional involvement in their work. Takes in emotional signals from others, making them mean something in the relationship with an individual; often passionate about their work.
Relates to people by the role they play in a sequence or in a decision�making process. Relates to people in intuitive and empathic ways.
Focuses on how things need to be done. Focuses on what needs to be done, leaving decisions to people involved.
Focuses attention on procedure. Focuses on the decision to be made.
Communicates with subordinates indirectly, using 'signals'. Communicates through 'messages' heightening the emotional response.
Once�born; their lives have been most straight�forward and predictable, takes things for granted. Twice�born; their lives have not always been easy, often marked by some struggle to attain a sense of order; does not take things for granted.
Sees themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs; belongs to the organization; believes in duty and responsibility to their organization. Sees themselves as separate from their environment; may work in organizations but never belong to them; searches for opportunities for change.
Sees themselves as an integral part of their social structure and social standard Sees themselves as a constantly evolving human being, focusing more inwardly than outwardly.
Develops themselves through socialization, seeking to maintain the balance of social relations. Develops themselves through personal mastery, struggling for psychological and social change.
Finds harmony in living up to society's, company's and family's expectations. Finds self-esteem through self-reliance and personal expression.
Forms moderate and widely distributed personal attachments with others. Forms intensive one�on�one relationships, which may be of short duration; often has mentors.
Feels threatened by open challenges to their ideas, are troubled by aggressiveness. Able to tolerate aggressive interchanges, encouraging emotional involvement with others.

spike bullet Changing Styles for the New Millennium

Quality: Empowerment

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Punishment Reward
Demands "respect" Invites speaking out
Drill sargeant Motivator
Limits and defines Empowers
Imposes discipline Values creativity
"Here's what we're going to do!" "How can I serve you?"
Bottom line Vision

Quality: Restructure

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Control Change
Rank Connection
Hierarchy Network
Rigid Flexible
Automatic annual raises Pay for performance
Performance review Mutual contract for results
Mechanistic Wholistic
Compartmental Systemic

Quality: Teaching

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Order-giving Facilitating
Military archetype Teaching archetype

Quality: Role Model

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Issues orders Acts as role model
Demands unquestioning obedience Coaches and mentors others

Quality: Openness

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Keeping people on their toes Nourishing environment for growth
Reach up/down Reach out
Information control Information availability

Quality: Questions and Answers

Moving from Management: Moving toward Leadership:
Knows all the answers Asks the right questions
Not interested in new answers Seeks to learn and draw out new ideas

Source: Adapted from Megatrends for Women. Patricia Aburdene & John Naisbitt. Villard Books. New York. 1992.

spike bullet Re-engineering - Middle Managers are the Key Asset

        By Steve Towers, used with permission (Thanks, Steve!)

Tips for Success as a Middle Manager

There are a number of individual and organizational actions that lead to proven success:

  1. Move away from day-to-day operations - these belong in the front-line.
  2. Think like senior managers
  3. Understand the business strategy
  4. Participate at all levels by exploiting their technical and organizational expertise
  5. Manage change and people together.
  6. Utilize their role as 'Ace mediator'.
  7. Become a practical visionary.
  8. Become the master of change

(Full text of the article follows)

Steve Towers, Chairman of the Business Process Management Group (BPMG) and UtiliSense, offers some sage advice for survival.

Preamble: Middle Managers are under immense pressure from above and below to do more with less.

Everyone is doing it - Southern Electric International acquiring SWEB, Hanson and Eastern Group getting together, North West Water and Norweb forming United Utilities. London city is rife with more rumors - who's next? One thing is certain and that is that everything is changing. Many utilities are anticipating, and indeed pre-empting change, by taking greater control over their own destiny through Business Process Re-engineering. Amidst all this radical change what is happening to the Middle Manager? Is the role still a viable one? What does the Middle Manager have to do to survive?

Pressure to change almost irresistible

The current Merger/Acquisition mania-sweeping the sector, coupled with nervous Regulators, Customer dissatisfaction, Director pay publicity, and the looming election are rocking the boat and causing utilities to rethink themselves. This self-appraisal is resulting in 'new-look' organizations which have been become Down-sized, Customer focused, Team managed with Flatter, de-layered organization structures.

Middle Manager has become an endangered species

In response to the need to cut costs some organizations have effectively scrapped the role of Middle Manager! They are viewed by many writers on change as excess 'organizational baggage'. Mike Hammer, co-author of 'Re-engineering the Corporation' says in his latest eulogy '. . . we refer to this managerial hierarchy . . . as the Death Zone of re-engineering. Middle managers have the most invested in the status quo and stand to lose the most in re-engineering' So that's it? The end of Middle Management as we know it? Yes and no, the organizations that have achieved re-engineering success (ant there's a lot who haven't) have done so with the middle manager playing the key role. However it does involve transforming the role.

Evidence is now emerging that organizations who view the middle manager as 'dead wood' are doomed; companies that 'hack out' the middle manager are destroying the greatest potential asset. Unfortunately many still believe that by scrapping this vital resource they will succeed. This is one of the reasons why so many re-engineering programs falter and subsequently fail.

Middle Manager survival

The key to success is changing the role. Middle managers are no longer up-and-down information conduits, or simple plan-control-evaluate-functionaries. They embody the core competence of the successful organization.

Re-engineering success is achieved by the middle managers identifying the business breakthroughs; becoming good role models and overcoming the organizational barriers that prevent success. Senior management are beginning to appreciate that in true Pareto style, if they are to achieve the customer improved, reduced cost, flexible and dynamic business they must use and enhance this organizational role. The really successful business managers know that the pivotal position of the middle managers can convert a cynical 'change-blitzed' organization.

So what does the Middle manager need to do to ensure success?

There are a number of individual and organizational actions that lead to proven success:

1. Move away from day-to-day operations - these belong in the front-line.

Avoid being distracted by the minutia of life. Becoming buried in the detail is a sure-fire way of missing the point. There's a need to focus on the important more strategic issues, let the front-line worker gain the necessary knowledge and competence to develop the skills to fulfill a more rounded role, and indeed deal with the detail.

2. Think like senior managers

Looking up and out provides scope for dealing with more substantive issues. Contributing to the internal 'way forward' debates will ensure that the Middle Managers extensive knowledge is utilized for organizational benefit.

3. Understand the business strategy

What are the things which cause the organization to want to change? How can the organization direct its own future, anticipating threats and exploiting opportunity?

4. Participate at all levels by exploiting their technical and organizational expertise

Many Middle Managers have internalized a great deal of technical and organizational knowledge - how their business works best, the mechanics of the way things get done, what will work and why some things fail. Spread the knowledge. It will ensure that decision making is informed and well thought out.

5. Manage change and people together.

Set an example and coach the less experienced through difficulties.

6. Utilize their role as 'Ace mediator'.

Someone who is able to understand internal and external pressures on the organization and satisfy competing interests.

7. Become a practical visionary.

Converting the strategic 'top-think' into meaningful actions, and counseling the front-liners through often difficult transformation.

8. Become the master of change

Set the agenda by recognizing what is possible and harnessing the organization to achieve it. Understand the practical ways of implementing change, initiate activities that lead to 'shifts in thinking' about the way work is done.

Comments from the field

Asking the question 'How can you become a more effective middle manager?' elicited the following thought-provoking responses.

Rory Chase, Managing Director of IFS International in Bedford, has first-hand experience of the challenges:

  • He says "the new role of the middle manager embraces three key areas - Team leadership, Change Maker and Facilitator."
  • Rory explains that Team leadership is about setting an example, establishing a good role model and actively leading from the front.
  • Being a Change Maker means being innovative, looking for continual improvement and interpreting the needs of senior management, staff and customers alike.
  • The Facilitator is about getting the right things to happen.
  • Rory finally adds "Getting total buy-in to change.
  • Gaining the commitment of the organization to successful improvement."
  • That's no small agenda to accomplish, especially since 'business as usual' doesn't stop as the new role develops.

In the more fragmented United States utility sector they have been experiencing this type of change for some time now. Leonard Sayles, author of 'The Working Leader' and a senior manager at the Center for Creative Leadership says:

  • "Everything has changed.
  • You have much more demanding customers, who are increasingly demanding customization.
  • These customers are not only demanding, their needs are in flux . . .
  • The market is itself more turbulent."
  • Leonard sees the new role as completely rethinking the past, "You need to keep redesigning and adapting the (business) processes, with the power and autonomy people can have.
  • This type of integration can only take place through a variety of middle manager negotiations and interventions.
  • Mainly you have to remember that all the things you've been told (about managing) are totally wrong."

Grasp the Change

Realizing this transformation will free not just yourself but the people around you. Seizing the initiative, and going for growth will truly empower you and the organization. Chocks away!


After an early career in the Utility and then the Financial Services sector Steve Towers co-founded Utilisense Consulting, now established as a leading BPR consultancy.   He is Chairman of the Business Process Management Group (BPMG) and has recently been appointed Chairman of IntraNet Solutions, a systems consultancy currently undertaking Internet/IntraNet assignments with leading blue chip companies.    

To contact Steve: Tel/fax: +44 121 711 7099 (in the UK), e-mail: stevetowers [at], Web site:

World Wide Web graphic Internet Resources

(Note: these links were updated  7/2/2000)

  • Leadership - Lots of links to other Internet resources
  • Journals and Electronic Journals - Index of journals
  • Journal of Managerial Psychology - Topic areas
  • Book Reviews - on "leadership" with comments
  • Links - Useful Management/Leadership Sites
  • Management Styles - resource links to many sites
  • world wide web - articles Articles

    Related articles: 
       "Managers and Leaders - Comparison of Traits" - November 1996
       "Silicon Valley Management Style" - April 2002
       Management / Leadership Styles Updated - March 2003
  • Article series on various management styles and theories (Accel-team) - an excellent resource!
  • Article RESEARCH: Humor Helps � When Used by Some but Not All
    scroll down to find the article (University of Wharton April 1999 digest)
  • Article America's most admired corporate leaders share their top traits for success 
  • Article - What is Adaptive Leadership?  
  • Black Leadership - List of Desired Qualities
  • Article - Bonding: Relationships and Communications
  • Article - Reflections on  Institutional and Individual Leadership (Charles M. Vest, President, MIT)
  • Managing for Dummies (Bob Nelson) - Sample Chapter
  • Article Mentoring for Change
  • Mottled Dragon - "The Mottled Dragon's 11 Laws"
  • List of published papers by Gene Levine on the subject of Management, Leadership, Communication and much more.
  • Success Factors - Qualities Needed for Partnerships (with related pages on: Getting Started, Stumbling Blocks)
  • Articles Tales from the Shop Floor (Barry Smith)
  • Ask the Workplace Doctor - a series of Questions and Answers (Dr. William Gorden)
  • Article Student Management Styles (Carl Wenning)
  • Articles Skills and Concepts of Conflict Management quite a few resources for teachers and others (Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management)
  • Article Study: Management styles should be gender-specific
  • Article Research on Female Leaders   (HCG Research)
  • Article series Management Styles and more (Houck & Associates)
  •    The Lighter Side

  • Twenty New Management Styles
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    Page updated: May 11, 2023      

    The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

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