Once the idea of “leadership” entered the corporate lexicon, a major effort to elevate the role of the leader ensued. But as organizations elevated leaders, they undervalued the roles of managers. What businesses need is a balance between leadership and management. Unfortunately, too many focus all of their attention on leadership and fail to cultivate managers.
If we want to see how current management thinking has evolved, we should first review history. The formal study of management is a relatively new concept: it began in the late nineteenth century, when Henri Fayol introduced his 14 principles of management. Frederick Taylor further formalized the study of management when he introduced the principles of scientific management.
By 2015, Millennials will represent the largest generational cohort in the workforce. If you believe some of the leading news sources, this will be the apocalypse. According to them, Millennials are strange creatures that do not play by the old rules of the workplace.
If you ask me, this sensationalism hardly qualifies as journalism. Millennials are not much different than the generations that came before them. Worse, when people buy in to the myth that Millennials are an entirely new breed, they try to manage Millennials as a group. In reality, they should concentrate on managing Millennials as individuals. When you try to manage a group instead of a person, you start stereotyping — and this can lead to huge mistakes in the war for top talent.