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Can we manage without managers?

In response to an article in The Economist about the need for middle managers, Michele Zanini writes:

Just because the ladder has fewer rungs doesn’t mean leadership opportunities are scarce-quite the opposite. By giving people the ability to gain influence (and compensation) based on accomplishment as opposed to advancement, an organization ends up with more, not fewer leaders. And these leaders don’t have to devote their talents and energy to politicking or sabotaging each other in zero-sum promotion battles.

The accomplishment-advancement distinction is worth exploring, but I don’t share Michele’s conclusion: the organization will likely end up with more spirit of initiative, not necessarily more “leaders”.

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Highlighting content from my September 2021 newsletter.