Managers… Born or Made?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The time of the industrial era has definitely passed in which the business organization gave rise to plots almost completely sealed from those who thought, those who worked and those who controlled. In this setting, the manager was essentially the controller, taking on a role in which his/her competence was measured above all by the attainment of objectives through hierarchical organizations.

Today, the new management philosophy flags the information and service as necessary elements for the effective functioning of organizations that, in a progressive way, abandon the hierarchy and substitute it with the collective. This change is not trivial, it is the opposite: it very directly introduces the need for leadership in a manager 2.0, and this takes us to confront the question- Is leadership is an aptitude with which one is born with? Or an ability that is made? 

I am going to venture: the two of them. But not in the way– yes or no– as if to evaluate the kindness of a piece of code. It is not easy to address this question, but its difficulty does not excuse us from doing so.

If hierarchies weaken, on one hand, while reinforcing coordination requirements; on the other hand, there is no choice but to invigorate the interstitial loops holding the organization together and keep people closely connected with the organization. Here, a manager 2.0’s role is located- leader by demand. 

What is your leadership type? This is not as risky. It is generally accepted that there are three types of leadership: charismatic, hierarchical and competent. The first is very clear that it is a skill you are born with. The second is found or asserted upon oneself. The third is ours; it is an ability that forges and with training and practice can improve in a way far from negligible. Consequently, perfectly approachable on the selection criteria and training plans for managers 2.0, for professionals who are capable of leading 2.0 people (who are not just in human resources) with a new spirit that dominates activity, participation, availability of information and continuous innovation.

The new economy needs these professional figures who, still do not feel like born leaders, are willing to be trained in learning new technologies, their impact on the organizations and especially the impact in the management of people, and the ties that bind them to collectivism, converting them into leaders of virtual teams, utilizing flexible tools and flexibly moving towards the environment of social phenomenons.

I have always argued that a manager feels alone. What drives him/her then? Cold spreadsheets on a screen in a closed office? That is the past. The future of Management 2.0 will be for leaders trained in all of the intricacies of the community. This is the challenge for the new manager.

Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. He is a member of AEDIPE, creator of Método Odati for director and manager training, Ex-President of Olivetti information Systems España and Sligos, and Chairman of World Forum Congress Washington in 1990.