Get things done.
Get folks organized — effectively.
This is the essence of leadership. A good worker gets things done. A good leader gets things done through others. And that kind of leadership requires some pretty good managerial skills.
There are people who are idea generators. There are people who are almost natural entrepreneurs. They come up with great new ideas. Some of them create amazing companies.
But, ultimately, a company needs “worker bees” — you know, people who actually get the work done.
These are the thoughts behind the simple, yet profound observation in the Slate.com article: The Real Job Creators: America should glorify entrepreneurs less and managers more, by Esher Dyson.
Here’s the conclusion to this article:
The real spur to job and value creation is not turning hundreds of college grads (or dropouts) into entrepreneurs, but hiring thousands—or hundreds of thousands—of people into growing companies that can organize and motivate them and make the best use of their talents. We can argue about the value of education, but large companies are good at offering practical business skills—turning college graduates into project managers, marketers, human-resources specialists, and the like. These jobs may not generate revenues directly, but they are part of the structure that enables people to run companies effectively and benefit from economies of scale.
In sum, we need to start glorifying something other than the idea — or the entrepreneur. We need to celebrate people who actually build companies, and all the people they organize to do it with them.
Good managers are critical to the success of any enterprise. Because, the truth is, people need help, direction, encouragement, to do their best. They are skills to be taught, targets to be set, teams to create and join. We need an army of good managers — people who can get things done through other people.