Who Builds the Future - Manager or Leader?

Many companies have concluded that tremendous complex problems will no longer be solved without effective direction and in today’s corporate world, where the consequence of slow change is often quick dismissal, the power of strong leadership is demanded.

~ Written By Anahita Mahmoudi

David Bulter (2016) stated that “The stakes in IT have never been higher and the higher the stakes, the more critical solid leadership becomes”. 

While the market is on constant lookout for top Managers to come in and lead their organisation, here at Sogeti we are looking to train and foster the talents of internal staff with leadership potential - those who have a vision, who are passionate and ambitious and able to see how to overcome current limitations to create a different result.

Sogeti Academic Leadership, which was launched by the worldwide Group in 2010, has the purpose of identifying and training the leaders of the company. But why the focus on Leaders rather than Managers?

Well, while the line between management and leadership is a very fine one, there are some significant differences between these two roles. Leadership considers the unknown – it considers the future and decides what changes may be required. It is often about emotions and intuition rather than facts; it is about people and relationships rather than tasks. Conversely, Management operates based on command, control, data and the here and now. Leadership seeks trust and is more like an art, while Management (and particularly Project Management) will always remain more of a science.

In the IT industry, where Sogeti operates, every project is unique and has its own challenges.

Leadership should use creativity to deal with today’s complex situations and a leader needs to be able to use a novel approach to define a road map that will help the organisation to reach it’s desired future. Leaders are those who can understand, analyse and ‘feel’ 3 key success factor s- technologies, processes and people. While technology and process can be standardised and managed, people must be led.

The Sogeti Academic Leadership program highlights several key leadership traits - what it’s like to work as a team, how more power can be gained by merging together and using that unity as a tool, how to inspire, empower and be a ladder to each other. The participants explore the meaning of trust, collective intelligence and encouragement. They learn how to remove role of ‘I’ from the team and replace it with ‘We’. They practice collective leadership and taste the power of a strong union.

Finally, our leaders-in-training step into the freedom of decision making - free of being right or wrong. If it turns out to be a less than good decision, they celebrate it because it’s important to make mistakes in order to learn: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein. And that is what Sogeti is doing – we are trying something new and hoping to shape some excellent leaders to guide our company, and shape and ensure it.

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