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Lead as a manager, Manage as a Leader

Kirjoittanut: Saniat Amin - tiimistä Crevio.

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Syed Saniat Amin
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 6 minuuttia.

This essay discusses about the managerial skills, with the emphasis on managing flexibly, accountably and leadership in the workplace or in an organization. Two different articles are selected for conceptual reading. The first article “Public Management Practice: From Dichotomies to Interdependence” by Feldman and Khademian (2001) is about how to manage flexibly and accountably. While the second article “Why Leadership matters” by Lester Levy (2011) is about the importance of leadership. The next section presents the summary of each articles, followed by discussion and conclusion.

To gain understanding on manager’s flexibility and accountability and its relationship, the discussion part of the essay provides review on from the recent theory on public management on the managing flexibility, managing accountability and practice.


Article’s Summary:

  1. Principles for Public Management Practice: From Dichotomies to Interdependence.

The way to manage flexibly according to the public’s demand, and at the same time accountable has become a challenging issue in management particularly in public management. The article by Feldman and Khademian (2001) proposes a conceptual answer to the problem. The authors suggest that both flexibility and accountability in public administration are interdependence. It is essential for manager especially the local administration to respond flexibly to the need of the workers or shareholder or the citizens, but the flexibility must be in an accountable way to the public and other stakeholders. In other word, public administrator has to work based on people’s opinion. Hence, administrator’s first thing to do is to find out public assertion and work on it.

In relation to the flexibly, Feldman and Khademian have two arguments. The first, a flexible decision making processes may ease managers’ job since it make less complexity to the operations. But they must not separate the need for accountability from flexible decision making. In doing so, managers have to consent to the public opinion and balance with their flexible decision making. The second, organizational system may also restrain the connection between flexibly in decision making and accountability. The doctrine may spread out thorough doctrine and policy. By altering the doctrine and policy of organization, the flexibility in decision making and accountability can be supportive of each other.

Firstly, managers require to generate public value. They can use methods such as the general election as a means to get public opinion. Then, managers create public value based on these opinions. Secondly, the managers have to have a clear target and objective to achieve and conduct the operations. Finally, managers must maintain the idea of continued professional and personal development. Taken as a whole, when the managers understand the need of the worker or partners or citizens, and they continuously work to respond the demand, their mentality would be receptive to the change for the better.


For managing accountability the authors of the article cites an idea from “The New Public Management: Canada in Comparative Perspective” by Peter Aucoin(1995). Aucoin proposes that a certain structural reform can be used to boost objectives of flexibility and accountability. However, the reform may require three main rules. Firstly, separation functions of policy making and operation. Both the duty and the person in-charge in policy making must be segregated from the operations who execute the policy. Secondly, the bottom line of financial statement such as the net earning is used as key in assessing organizations. The use of the bottom line produces clear information whether an activity or program is operative financially, either by improve the organization’s performance or reduce costs. Thirdly, a short term, narrowly defined and quantifiable task is given to a small single operation unit within organization. (Peter Aucoin,1995.) The assessment of performance and term of rewards depend on the creation of specified predefined outcomes. This assessment is called as the Performance Based Organizations (PBOs).


In practice, the authors- Feldman and Khademian (2001) emphasize in two principles. Firstly, the inclusion of public managers by allowing direct participation from the public. The inclusion not only in the stage of planning the program, but in all stages of the program. From defining the goals and how to achieve these goals, the process and the problems of executing the program, and final achievements of the program. By allowing the public participation gave the managers a better insight to the program, the problems arise and the alternative choices to solve the problems. Secondly, is the primacy of process. It suggests that while the final goal is the problem-solving, the process of getting the solution is more important than the solution itself. Meaning that the better process to accomplish the mission might be necessary, but retreat and looking for input from public on the government’s goals is more important. Public participation creates public appreciation to an administration, and in turn, public see the administration is more accountable.


  1. Why Leadership Matter.

While the essay by Feldman and Khademian discuss about the flexibly and accountably of public managers responds, article by Levy discuss about the need of leadership. According to Levy, Leadership can be learned. This is one of the points emphasized by Levy (2011) in his article “Why Leadership Matter”. Leadership can be mastered when someone chooses the orientation intentionally and repeatedly, yet one thing should be noted that this practice is very hard to do. Leadership matters because it can be followed when the situation is changing and unclear.

There is one ideal type of leaders who can create tremendous influence that results in higher levels of performance and achievement, that is authentic leader. The authentic leader is the substance of leadership. This type of leaders “have high levels of self-awareness, a transparent and consistent link between their expressed purpose, values and their actions, a profound sense of ethics and widely respected integrity and courage” (Levy 2011). They dare to fight for the truth even at risk to themselves. In an environment of authentic leadership, leaders and followers collaborating to mutually empower each other to achieve a common goal, to motivate each other and support each other’s creativity and performance. Since leaders today frequently fail to consider followers and context when it comes of competency, this is a very ideal type of leadership. Therefore, a lot of organisations would like to develop their leaders to be able to listen more to their subordinate, situations, and also knowledge and skill that is gained through time spent doing a job or activity. (Disc 2011.)

The need for stronger leadership abilities might begin with a shift in the manager’s perception of leadership, from charm to sincerity. The practice of leading is thus much more crucial. Experiential, reflective, and experimental learning are all used to practice leadership.



Are managers different from leaders?
This is an age-old debate. Some believe that the roles are different and should be. The idea is that leaders are visionaries, strategists, and big-picture thinkers. Managers, on the other hand, are the ones who “get things done,” execute leadership direction, and direct teams. (Ratanjee 2021) However, the world is changing. Today’s business environment is nimble and dynamic, thanks to the extraordinary pace of change in international industry and a new workforce will that prioritizes development and flexibility. As a result, a manager’s responsibility is significantly more than supervisory. Furthermore, the traditional role of a boss as a command-and-control function is no longer appropriate for today’s workforce. The manager is expected to be more of a coach than a boss.


According to Vibhas Ratanjee (2021) :
1. The ability to build relationships: Successful leaders establish connections with others to build trust, share ideas and accomplish work.
2. The ability to develop people: They help others become more effective through strengths development, clear expectations, encouragement and coaching.
3. The ability to drive change: They set goals for change and lead purposeful efforts to adapt work that aligns with the stated vision.
4. The ability to inspire others: They leverage positivity, vision, confidence and recognition to influence performance and motivate workers to meet their challenges.
5. The ability to think critically: They seek information, critically evaluate the information, apply the knowledge gained and solve problems.
6. The ability to communicate clearly: They listen, share information concisely and with purpose, and are open to hearing opinions.
7. The ability to create accountability: They identify the consequences of actions and hold themselves and others responsible for performance.

Managers need these qualities to lead their teams now and, in the future, when they manage any organization. Two bold acts can address this demand: looking for and recognizing managers’ leadership moments and providing them with the critical experiences they need to grow. (Ratanjee 2021).


How to define and recognized leadership moment!
“An act of client centrality that safeguards the brand from reputational risks, maybe, or a creative process and system redesign that generates a cost benefit, are examples of leadership moments.” (Ratanjee 2021).



This paper discusses manage flexibly but accountably and leadership. The articles and the discussion will give the readers insight about policy, management and leadership roles. Management and leadership are interdependent. While management skills deal with recur problems, while leadership competencies deal with adapted work. Hence, in a complex and dynamic work environment, both managerial skill and leadership competencies are necessary for managers.
Manage flexibly and accountably is challenging but worthy. Challenging because it may attract complexity to the operations since it requires public participation is in all stages of programs. But worthy because it gives a dynamic responds to the need of the public. In future we will discuss about how we can develop leadership skill and managerial skill together.
Many people have a wrong perception about leadership. They see and practice leadership as a form rather than substance. But the true is the leadership is authenticity not charisma. Leadership can be learn and mastered by practices.




Levy, L. (2011) Why Leadership Matter.
2011_14_i01-05-why-leadership-matters.pdf (auckland.ac.nz)

Feldman, M. S. & Khademian, A. M.  (2001) Principles for Public Management Practice: From Dichotomies to Interdependence.
gove14-3.vp (uci.edu)

Aucoin, Peter. (1995) The New Public Management: Canada in Comparative Perspective. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy.


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