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Derek Murphy

Leadership and management should be linked together, not separated

Leaders are celebrated, while managers are often criticized, but a combination of the two could be just what the economy needs.

There’s been an ongoing debate for the past five decades and I’m not talking about Medicare or why the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a title since 1908. This debate has to do with leaders and managers.

In fact, a quick Google search of the phrase, “Leaders vs. Managers” produces more than 15 million results. Clearly, this is an issue people care about and are searching for the answers.

After all, should a manager also be a leader? Must a leader utilize management skills?

Before I attempt to answer those two questions, let’s look closer at the differences between leaders and managers.

Organizational consultant Warren Bennis is widely known as the pioneer in what is considered the contemporary field of leadership. In his book, “On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic” he delved into the qualities that define leadership, which included describing the differences between managers and leaders.

Grow Your Own Talent Pool

So let’s say there is a skills gap in your company. If budgets allow, your first inclination might be to hire someone from outside the company to close that gap. After all, there are some people who know how to look great on “paper”, and a stunning resume can make any company leader salivate over the potential of hiring a “rock star” employee.

While that philosophy works in certain situations, new research suggests promoting an in-house employee may actually perform better than hiring an external candidate.

The research, conducted by University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Management Professor Matthew Bidwell, claims external hires actually get lower performance evaluations during their first years on the job than internal workers who are promoted into similar jobs, according to Knowledge@Wharton, the online journal of the Wharton School. In addition, external hires have higher exit rates, and can be paid up to 20% more than internal candidates.