Give Love to Managers, the Unsung Heroes of Every Workplace

Let's talk about leadership, folks. It's the hot topic, the TED Talk topic, the topic that gets plastered on motivational posters nobody actually reads...  Here's the thing: leadership is like that celebrity chef with the amazing recipes. They look fantastic on camera, but you try following their instructions in your shoebox kitchen with dull butter knives. Enter the silent heroes of the business world: managers.

Companies are obsessed with finding the next Steve Jobs, the next Oprah. They spend millions turning mild-mannered middle managers into charisma chameleons. But charisma doesn't pay the bills (although a good expense report negotiator can…). Managers are the ones who translate those fancy leadership visions into actual tasks, the ones who wrangle a team of human beings with all their quirks and deadlines.

And here's the kicker: we have a serious bias for the loud and flashy. Introverted managers who excel at getting things done quietly? Welp, they’re often overlooked for that extroverted "go-getter" who can't tell the difference between a strategy meeting and a defensive driving course. This creates a whole mess of "title envy" – managers feeling like the uncool backup singers to the rockstar leader. It's a recipe for resentment and a dysfunctional team dynamic that would make the cast from The View blush.

So, what's the solution? Let's ditch the leadership obsession and celebrate the management magic! Strong management skills are key at every level. Leaders need to get off their visionary soapboxes and collaborate with their teams. Companies, invest in training that goes beyond inspirational quotes and teaches managers how to actually communicate, delegate, and motivate their troops.

Here's the bottom line: leadership and management are a double act, not a competition. You need both to win. Strong leadership sets the direction, but skilled management gets you there.

This is where we draw the line in the sand. Companies need to stop acting like leadership is the only game in town. Management is just as crucial, and it deserves the respect and resources to thrive. Let's give a round of applause to the managers – the folks who keep the ship afloat while the captain yells about the beautiful horizon from the top deck. Just don't expect them to give a speech about it. They're probably too busy making sure the lifeboats are stocked and the crew knows how to row.