It would be nice if all managers were good leaders, but unfortunatly that is not the case. Many managers are not good leaders for a variety of reasons. This is true in both the provate and public sectors of out ecnomomy.
One of the major reasons is the Peter Principle, which simply states people are promoted to a level of incompetence. In the public sector individuals are often elected to positions for which they are incompetent. They may give a good speech and have financial support to get elected, but are not qualified to manage or lead.
It is possible to be a very popular manager and yet be an incompetent leader. The best leaders are not always popular initially, but are respected in the long run. Most managers and leaders must deal with many factors in their jobs. Many decisions of a good leader may not be popular. Let’s take a look at an example.
A school superintendent’s primary goal is providing a good education for the students, but it is not always that simple. He has to deal with the school board, which may involve politics beyond educating the kids. The teachers and public sector union promote their personal interests, which may not be in the best interests of the students. The students may have demands that are in conflict with their education. The athletic programs need to be winners or parents and sports fans are unhappy. Parents may feel their child does not receive the grades or considerations deserved. The community may want to maintain or reduce taxes to a level that will not fund all the school’s programs. There is no way a school superintendent can keep all these factions totally happy, but he must be a leader and make the best decisions for the education of the students in the long run.
A manager in the private sector will face the same problems. His or her primary goal is the long-term financial well being of the business. At the same time a manager must keep the owners, employees, government, and society happy. Not an easy job, and sometimes not a popular one. If the company goes out of business, everyone loses.
An elected official also has many different factions to keep happy. His or her primary job is to represent the people that elected him, but these people may not have access to, or knowledge of adequate data to know what is in their best interests for the future. An elected official also has campaign contributors, special interest groups, and partisan politics to deal with. These interests may come ahead of doing what is best for the people who elected him, if the politician wants to stay in office.
A good speech or a title does not make a leader. Calling a manager a team leader does not make a leader. A good leader leads by example and implementing plans and strategies for the future. These decisions and actions are not always popular in the short run.
A good manager accepts blame personally and gives credit to his associates for good results. Poor leaders and some politicians take credit for every good result and blame someone else for everything that goes wrong.
Some of the ads for the approaching election amaze me. Liberal Progressives make promises that sound like a fiscally responsible conservative. Based on past history, we know the ads and speeches are inaccurate at best. If elected, the politician has no intention of keeping the campaign promises. They say this is justified, because, “It’s just politics.” They think it is okay to do and say anything to get elected.
Please look at a candidate’s qualifications and history and vote accordingly.