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Can we have leadership without management or management without leadership?

It is tempting to think we have to choose between the Management Perspective and the Leadership Perspective. An agency should have one or the other but not both. The easy conclusion is it should have the Leadership Perspective. Leadership certainly has more pizzazz than Management. Given the choice between being a leader and being a Manager, most people choose being a leader every time.

This is the problem with such a simplistic view. Although having the Leadership Perspective is important, so is having the Management Perspective. An agency cannot function adequately and certainly cannot excel without highly competent Management. As pointed out in Chapter One, some type of regulatory mechanism is required to transfer and account for the expenditure of the financial and other resources. This requires people who do the fiscal work of the agency. There is a governing mechanism maintaining the agency’s connection with the authorizing entity. This requires people who manage this connection. There is a management mechanism to develop and oversee local policies and implementing procedures for day-to-day operations. This requires people who develop, implement, and oversee those policies and procedures. There are qualified staff and appropriate facilities to do the work of the agency and to deliver the supports and services for which the agency exists. This requires people to manage these personnel and operations functions. There are mechanisms in place through which the agency reports to the authorizing entity, maintains accountability, and provides other required data and information. This requires people who assure the systems and processes are in place to accomplish these tasks.

There are numerous other management activities and functions required to assure the agency continues to operate and function smoothly. Suffice it to say failure to meet these requirements would quickly result in the failure of the agency to sustain its viability. “Management does not happen on the margin of human services. It is often at the center of service provision and has a profound effect on whether programs succeed in reaching their goals.” (Poindexter & Valentine, 2007, p. 181) We can conclude having a Management Perspective is not only important, it is essential. There are people associated with the agency who have this perspective; and for even fairly small agencies, several people – a Management group – are required to meet the agency’s management requirements. These people comprise the Management Team.

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