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Successful vs Effective Real Managers What do successful managers -- those who have been promoted relatively quickly -- have in common with effective managers -- those who have satisfied committed subordinates and high performing units Surprisingly the answer seems to be that they have little in common Successful managers in what we define as real organizations-- large and small mainstream organizations mostly in the mushrooming service industry in middle America - are not engaged in the same day-to-day activities as effective managers in these organizations This is probably the most important and certainly the most intriguing finding of a comprehensive four-year observational study of managerial work that is reported in a recent book by myself and two colleagues titled Real Managers1 The startling finding that there is a difference between successful and effective managers may merely confirm for many cynics and passed over managers something they have suspected for years They believe that although managers who are successful that is rapidly promoted may be astute politicians they are not necessarily effective Indeed the so-called successful managers may be the ones who do not in fact take care of people and get high performance from their units Could this finding explain some of the performance problems facing American organizations today Could it be that the successful managers the politically savvy ones who are being rapidly promoted into responsible positions may not be the effective managers the ones with satisfied committed subordinates turning out quantity and quality performance in their units This article explores the heretofore-assumed equivalence of successful managers and effective managers Instead of looking for sophisticated technical or governmental approaches to the performance problems facing todays organizations the solution may be as simple as promoting effective managers and learning how they carry out their jobs Maybe it is time to turn to the real managers themselves for some answers And who are these managers They are found at all
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