So I read a really interesting piece for class last night that discussed the difference between administrators, managers, and leaders. It was by Dale D McConkey (1989) and is called “Are you an Administrator, Manager, or a Leader?”
As a quick sum, Administrators adhere strictly to a concrete set of policies, Managers follow the policy except in certain situations to ensure that things are done right, and Leaders use policy as a guideline to make sure that the right things are done. I found this breakdown very interesting considering that my degree is called Higher Education Administration and one of the big topics we have discussed is the bureaucracy of institutions of higher education.
See, here is what I saw when I read his stance: Administrators hide behind policy to absolve themselves of any personal risk while leaders take the risks in order to create gains. The article goes on to say that a good leader is also a good manager, but you can be an administrator or manager without being a leader and being an administrator is painted in a very poor light.
It really got me thinking about what exactly I am supposed to be learning here. Is there a specific role I am required to fit in to? As we get caught up in laws and rules, do we lose the human element of ourselves? What all is involved in this field I have chosen?