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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Feb 21, 2012

A Startup Needs Leaders More Than Managers. But Where To Find Them?

I'm talking about 'startups' : aka your small < 10 person company which dreams big and everyone working in it is responsible for everything. I've been reading a lot about managing & running startup companies and have found that a startup needs 'leaders' more than 'managers' to be successful. What's the difference between managers and leaders anyway? Let me put down my own thoughts about it.

Managers Vs. Leaders

It's very easy to differentiate between managers and leaders; and it's more about 'attitude' than your formal designation. Managers are typically the ones who need instructions about 'what to do'. Once the right & clear set of instructions is passed on to them, they'll perform to the best of their abilities to execute the task. But at the same time; they won't find out the 'resources' required for them to do the job. A manager needs all the resources & information to be given to them by someone else before they can begin their work.

Leaders on the other hand are self-motivated by a vision or a cause. They'd be proactive in coming up with their own task lists to achieve the goal they've set for themselves and become a 'problem-solver' at every step. They'll go an extra mile to to solve the problems. They'll do whatever it takes to achieve the end result.

To summarize: Leaders will identify problems & challenges in the path to their ultimate goal and then manage/find/create all the resources & information to overcome them. Managers on the other hand will solve the problems identified by Leaders & use the available resources to achieve the result.

Startups & Leaders

It's very difficult to find the 'self-motivation' factor among people these days and that I think is the reason why hiring for startups is a very challenging job. The question I want to ask is - how to turn managers into leaders? Because there are several managers who are easy to spot; but very few leaders.

Is it possible to motivate people to turn them into leaders and ignite the spark of 'self-motivation'?
ISHAN TOPRE
ISHAN TOPRE • Feb 21, 2012
May be you should also read about Taiichi Ohno.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Feb 21, 2012
Issue
May be you should also read about Taiichi Ohno.
Toyota? I wanted to read him; but haven't had a chance until now. Hope to find some time in coming days.

Tell me more about how's he relevant here?
ISHAN TOPRE
ISHAN TOPRE • Feb 21, 2012
The_Big_K
Toyota? I wanted to read him; but haven't had a chance until now. Hope to find some time in coming days.

Tell me more about how's he relevant here?
Perhaps, you should try something more than a quick Google search.
Anyways, coming to the point, Taiichi Ohno was a plant manager in the early days of Toyota Motor Company. At that time Ford was the only major auto company. Eiji Toyoda -The then president of Toyota group was inspired by the thinking of Henry Ford.
When he returned to Japan after a visit to Ford factories in US, he summoned Mr. Ohno and explained him that they needed to compete with Ford.
A small company (Toyota) had limited resources and could not even get closer to the scale at which the american auto giant was operating.
Even though a simple plant manager, Ohno is the person who invented lean production aka the TPS. I won't go into details of what he exactly did for increasing production. However if one is willing to look closely in his work, you would discover that, it is more than making the process fast.

Unlike the industrial engineering ways, Ohno has developed a culture of what we now know as TPS. The management priciples he established are far greater than Kanban, JIT and others. One should look into the way Toyota cultivates its own leaders. This will give an insight in what can a manager do. They promote home grown leaders.

The attitude of even the non-Toyoda family boss is important here. Every executive according to TPS, irrespective of Toyota company should treat its partners like his extended business. To me Toyota appears like a living organism constantly shaping, grooming itself and expanding. This is possible because of managers cum partners cum leaders constantly involved with a sense of purpose.

Simply stating, just read about him.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Feb 21, 2012
Toyota; then being a small car maker can't be classified as a 'startup'; while this thread particularly addresses the issue faced by startups. The subject of this thread is more about finding leaders or turning managers into leaders. It looks like quite a tough job especially when a startup deals with people who have no motivation do excel on their own.
ISHAN TOPRE
ISHAN TOPRE • Feb 21, 2012
The_Big_K
Toyota; then being a small car maker can't be classified as a 'startup'; while this thread particularly addresses the issue faced by startups. The subject of this thread is more about finding leaders or turning managers into leaders. It looks like quite a tough job especially when a startup deals with people who have no motivation do excel on their own.
Toyota was a start-up at that time. It had just started its as an automaker. Anyways if you say so, I won't speak about it.
well, i do run a startup and yes, even my people do let me down sometimes. these guys are well versed with what work they wish to do, but never thought of getting a step ahead and leading themselves. i.e. self motivation never came up. i guess, trusting them with the work given, pushing them inspite of the initial failures, inconsistencies, and giving them work again. this creates a little sense of, ' i gotta do this! whatever may come' and being a role model for them, working with them, pushing them, encouraging surely helps.

my designer guy, finally has started with a brand name. v7designs. our college posters for the last 4 yrs have been designed by him which never bear his identity. this time, i literally hit him each time he forgot to mention a 'designed by' block in the poster.

my developer, recently started teaching a small group for a very low cost. this is his first time going to the other side of the table. and he seems to be doing well.

it is fear which holds people from doing greater things. showing them that what they fear is very small to what they are capable of does play magic.

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