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ANOTHER FACE OF JANUS, Armen E. Petrosyan

Armen E. Petrosyan

 

ANOTHER FACE OF JANUS

(The nature of leadership and its relation to management)

Second article

The outlines of a new theory

 

 

  1. Rule in human groups

 

Managers use specified, quantitatively defined, and temporally anchored goals, commonly named objectives, to discipline the activity of workers and bring it in some limits. It allows them to impart some distinctiveness to the actions and create an opportunity of checking up and correcting the outcomes.

Workers perform the task because it corresponds ultimately to their interests. They strive to attain the objectives for only in such a way their own wants can be satisfied. Manager has to stimulate subordinates to get them acting. They should be persuaded that there is an undoubted connection between their efforts and personal goals realization. Otherwise the organizational objectives scarcely will be attained.

To set going the mechanism of feedback manager must use the factors of rewards and punishment. That allows to consolidate right actions and cut off wrong ones. But it requires testing results obtained, monitoring trends of the activity, correcting them when necessary, and sometimes even revising the objectives. Taken together that constitutes the system of control introduced into organizations body.

In leadership, on the contrary, the emphasis is placed on vague visions - not so much presetting the orientation and character of followers activity as inducing to it. They are dreams by nature rather than aims to be achieved.

The movement along visions conforms to wants and hopes of followers. Thats why they dont need any additional incentives. Their motives immediately appear in the visions and methods of securing them.

Hence leader doesnt have to resort to measures of coercion. Followers themselves apprehend the necessary action as just what is desired. Since they aspire to visions, seeing them as their own ones, external tool of spurring them up is not required.

People will manifest an extreme self-devotion anyway at least the sincere ones. Thats why just demonstration of fidelity to vision and of vivid examples of right behavior turns out the leaders chief priority. Being learnt by followers they become a framework of activity and inner quasi-control mechanism baring deviations and keeping efforts within admissible bounds.

But, at the same time, management and leadership are not fully independent and mutually indifferent forces. They have many intimately connecting threads that make them very close and even kindred to each other. The point is that a more general human potency is expressed in them. It is called rule and embraces all the manifestations of guiding and influencing people for the purpose of reaching the results intended, through their hands.

The rule means any exercise of authority, control, or domination. It implies heading individuals and collectives in the broadest sense of the word, including all the instances concerned with the relations of power and subjection. The mechanism of ruling consists of three basic components goals, driving forces, and feedback. But it, naturally, cannot be uniform and undifferentiated. It is aimed at various or even opposite targets. Hence the forms taken by the rule must not be identical. The same refers also to the methods applied. They comply with the objects to be ruled as well as with the forms of ruling.

The human groups subjected to rule are divided into two extremely broad categories: formal, officially established and strongly arranged, organizations and informal ones that not necessarily develop spontaneously but in any case dont acquire some distinctive branchy structure and in the same time retain a sufficient freedom of interactions between their members.

Formal organization can be defined as a union of people whose participation is conditioned by their personal interests. There are officially established functional roles (positions) and vertically integrated (hierarchical) structure, strictly formulated regulatives, and authorities and responsibilities of separate members there. The inducement to work is based on individual motivation and stimulation and the activity itself is subjected to regular and systematical evaluation and modification according to explicitly expressed common (organizational) goals.

Something directly opposite is informal association. It represents a union of people who are encouraged by their aspirations and beliefs. The positions of members are here uniform and the interactions between them predominantly horizontal (equal in rights). The inducement to activity arises from common attitudes and unity of expectations what ensures collective inspiration, and the appraisal of activity proceeds from its correspondence to adopted standards (models) of behavior.

Clear, these two kinds of human associations by no means exhaust all their variety. They constitute only the two poles between which lies a whole chain of diverse intermediate (transitional) forms. However all they are not something quite different from these poles but combine - in some proportions - features of each of them.

 

2. The forms of rule

 

Naturally it would be very strange to suppose that so diverse, if not to say - opposite, peoples unions must be ruled in the same manner. To the contrary, the forms and methods of rule, applied to them, have to differ essentially when striving to achieve the manifold goals intended. No wonder that the mankind over its long history worked out and successfully employed them even without going deeply into their nature and peculiarities.

Even a cursory examination allows to notice that the chief thing in informal unions is to determinate the directions of movement, develop the policy complied with them, and preset some reasonable examples of behavior ensuring advancement towards the desired future. As regards formal ones they just because of goals to be more specified and well defined - provide for a sophisticated mechanism of attachment to them of personal interests of separate members and their stimulation and of permanent control of their activity and non-admission of current and especially final results to go out of established limits. That is quite another form of rule that prefers feeling the pulse of organizations everyday life instead of having a birds-eye view of it.

The first mode of rule is called governance. Its meaning comes from to give direction or to set an example. Not in vain one of the archaic but having reached us meanings of the word consists in moral conduct or behavior. In contemporary context to govern means to exercise of authority over or to perform functions for a political unit. That is to say, it is a question not of power within a specified organizational structure but of authorities regarding some sufficient uniform mass beyond that structure (for instance, of a state body with respect to people or of a municipality with respect to population of the territory).

Governors set directions of further development, work out political tack, and establish the order circumscribing the citizens freedom of actions but dont interfere in their private life, set them objectives, and evaluate every step. In short, they dont grasp people by the hand unless the latter break the law. If one meets here something similar to formal rule (like Ourselves of Y. Zamyatin or G. Orwells 1984) that occurs only in totalitarian societies but such a state of affairs becomes possible only because the society itself turns, in fact, into a formal organization.[1] However that is an intolerable extremity, on one hand to be avoided and on other hand in corpore (in full measure) unrealizable.

The second form of rule is peculiar to formal organizations. It is known as administration and more concerned with the conduct of everyday affairs and solution of specified problems. The policy making - if pertains to it at all is here a secondary task going beyond its focus. And that is quite natural. After all, there exist in formal organizations officially established persistent goals, strict rules of behavior, and highly developed division of labour. They rigorously constrain the arbitrariness and spontaneous actions of administrator, and the question of policy or strategic re-orientation arises only at deep-lunged torques when previous formalization of activity (goals, structures, and rules) not merely doesnt favour to achieve much success but rather play a role of strait-jacket binding administrators initiative as well as workers themselves.

It doesnt mean that formal organizations content themselves with administration whilst informal ones know nothing else but governance. So, president governs the state. But for it he resorts to services of his staff that, being a part of the state machinery, represents a formal organization requiring some inner rule. And the latter is carried out in the form of administration.

On the other hand, even in corporations typical examples of formal organizations there are elements that dont concern immediately their inner structure and as if tower over it. For instance, Boards of Directors or Review boards pertain to them. They dont take part in current activity of organizations and have no right to impact on decisions of their managers and even ordinary workers. Nevertheless such organs are very influential. They establish long-term goals, adopt strategies of development, and sometimes make appointments to top positions. Like organs govern corporations but not administer them. Their function is as if taken out of organizational boundaries - not to break the unity of administration.

Therefore, governance, as well as administration, is peculiar to both formal and informal organizations. The only difference is what places they take there and what are their roles. The function of administration in informal associations as well as of governance in formal organizations is secondary. It recedes into the background. But its significance is not merely subservient. As administration becomes the chief form of rule in the inside of authority bodies (institutions) so governance turns out the main way of exercise of influence in the external (taken out) bodies of formal organizations.

But if administration and governance are pertain to diverse associations of people and are of principally different nature they must evidently employ different methods conforming to their tasks as much as possible. Just such instruments of execution of rule are management and leadership. The first relates to administration and the second to governance. Manager expresses goals in the form of specified objectives complying with interests of organization, incline workers through securing their personal interests and offering them attractive incentives to join efforts and together fulfill actions intended, and sets going the machinery of control to ensure their appropriateness and opportuneness. As to leader he transforms his own goal into a dream of followers, excites in them some inner desire to strive after it (inspiration as driving force), and exemplifies the due behavior (embodiment of right conduct as a special mechanism of feedback) and thereby as if automates the control over adherents activity. That allows him to secure both their self-devotion and yearning for unity of actions (table 1).

 

Table 1. The grading of rule

 

Elements

of rule

Kinds and descriptions

Objects

Formal organization

Informal association

Peoples union, participation in which is determined by their personal interests, with officially established functional roles (positions) and vertically integrated (hierarchical) structure as well authorities and responsibilities of separate members. The inducement to activity is based on individual motivation and stimulation. Workers performance is subjected to systematical evaluation, correction and modification according to explicitly formulated common (organizational) goals

People union, participation in which is determined by aspirations and beliefs, with uniform positions of separate members and predominantly horizontal (equal in rights) interactions between them. The inducement to activity is based on collective inspiration (common attitudes and a unity of expectations). The evaluation of adherents performance is usually of non-systematic and unofficial nature and made according to adopted standards (patterns) of behavior

Forms

Administration

Governance

The rule concerned with conduct of everyday affairs and specified problems solution. It implies designation of the substance of activity, the structure and functions of organization, its staff and specified regulatives of behavior

The execution of power, carrying-out of functions of authorities. It includes designation of the directions of development, working-out of political tack, establishment of general laws (regulations) constraining the freedom of actions of separate members

Methods

Management

Leadership

Setting objectives conforming to organizational interests, inclining workers through engaging their personal interests and offering attractive stimuli to join efforts and carry out together the actions intended as well as starting up the mechanism of control and feedback

Transformation of goal (vision) into followers dream, exciting in them an inner desire to fulfill it, and automation of control over their activity through exemplifying the due behavior (proffering patterns to stick to) and ensuring thereby adherentsself-devotion and unity of actions

 

Does it mean that leadership and management are incompatible, or where one of them is applied the other has no place? Differently, can they be combined and used in the same associations of people and even by the same person?

 

  1. Scopes and limits of the rule methods

 

It must be admitted that formal and informal organizations are only some idealized models. And although most peoples unions in any event contain the both kinds of features they not necessarily pertain to one of them in pure form but imply also various sometimes quite significant admixtures of opposed one. But even more important is that substantial part of associations has transitional nature. The rule in them represents some mix of governance and administration and naturally requires a combination of management and leadership.

An obvious example of such associations is the case of military units. On one hand, they represent, surely, formal organizations with explicit hierarchical structure and crystallized functional roles. Under normal conditions the rule is based here on personal interests of members (especially in professional army in the contrast with call-up one), and feedback is provided for owing to strict mechanisms of control, reward and punishment. And this circumstance turns every unit head into a manager. But, on another hand, as soon as military unit gets into a situation for the sake of which it is created, that is begins to conduct combat operations, little thing remains from the normal procedures of rule. The more intense become operations the higher is strain and the less definite are their consequences and the harder is to maintain the standard (administrative) order of activity. The ability to govern people is brought to foreground and leader qualities turn out more and more valuable.

If under usual peace conditions unit heads influence their people firstly through securing their personal interests (salary, career development, etc.) then in extreme situations such a method of rule is practically useless. The point is not only that they have too little time for realizing it and responding conformably. The aspiration for implementation of interests meets other powerful motives of personality (for instance, striving to save life and health or avoid overloads). Under such circumstances the inspiration of people is much more effective. It needs to suggest them attitudes inducing unconditional willingness to accomplish hard and dangerous tasks.

Such a state of affairs is well realized by the militaries themselves which, rendering tribute to methods of administration, nevertheless stress the special importance of leadership elements. What is your first consideration if you wish to succeed in the military service, asked C. Andrews, an American brigadier-general, in the end of World War I. His answer was unambiguous: such person must be a good team captain. That requires, if not to count being a disciplinarian, that you acquire and use these qualities that characterize natural leaders of men. In all dealing with your men you must have their respect, unhesitating obedience, and, if you are man enough to win it their enthusiastic loyalty.[2] In other words, although commander has the right to demand of them to execute his order and, if necessary, to impose some penalty upon subordinates it is much more preferable when they understand its sense and implications and strive to fulfill operations required as well as possible. And in battlefield the inspiration and exemplification (embodiment of right behavior) practically displace all other means of influencing people.

Certainly, qualities managers and leaders need are far from being always combined in a person. Many outstanding leaders turn out worthless managers as well as sometimes excellent managers dont possess leader traits. But other cases when they join these qualities are also known. Such a person was, for instance, H. Ford. If to tell of our contemporaries one could name W. Gates. They both not merely succeeded in creating new large and promising organizations but also systematically advanced towards top achievements.

Moreover, the both groups of qualities are peculiar to many people. The question is only about their amount and proportions. Thats why it is not worth to put insurmountable bounds between them. Not rare are situations when manager has to turn into a leader or vice versa leader is obliged to function as a manager.

In principle, if all the peoples associations operated under standard and invariable conditions their heads predominantly wouldnt have need to combine such opposite qualities; both managers and leaders would get by with their toolkits and not resort to alien armoury. But, unfortunately, the situation doesnt remain regular. For instance, the structure of a formal organization is eroded and old rules constrain the freedom of manoeuvre and keep back the initiative of people. When such attendant circumstances begin to dominate ordinary tools inevitably fail. To take the situation over the control manager has nothing else than to resort to leaders methods of influencing people.

Leadership and management not merely differ from each other; they represent quite diverse and, in certain sense, even opposite ways of rule. True, both have almost the same destination influencing people and attaining the results designed, through their own efforts. But instruments used at that are very dissimilar. Thats why indefatigable yearning for leadership in formal organizations (enterprises, institutions, public bodies, and so on) that gets now a great vim looks rather funny. Thus, the Conference Board of Canada reported early in this century that more than 70 percents of Canadian chief executives saw building leader capability their most important business priority.[3] They neglect the simple truth that the leadership in such organizations can be applied only in a limited scope and under certain conditions which should be regarded as anomaly rather than rule.

The hypertrophied picture of scope and possibilities of leadership is so wide-spread that many consider it incontestable. Nevertheless it is no more than all the rage of unsteady fashion that, no wonder, meets some resistance sometimes in form of an opposite extremity. In such cases not merely merits of leadership are put in doubt. The leadership itself is depicted as an ersatz mechanism of impacting on workers that threatens organizations with degradation and degeneration.

So G. Gemmill and J. Oakley affirm that leadership is nothing but an alienating social myth that rather than empowering organizations deskills employees and creates an excessive dependency of workers. The leadership myth, they states, functions as a social defense whose central aim is to repress uncomfortable needs, emotions, and witnesses that emerge when people attempt to work together.[4] It is assumed that dependency on leader figure offers them a sense of meaning, direction, and purpose.

However such critics of leadership cannot be admitted correct. They would have some reasons if leadership didnt play an autonomous role. But it is not the case.

Besides leadership is the chief means of impacting on people in associations, from time to time it comes to foreground in formal organizations. Clear, the latter event occurs not so often and lasts not too long. Nevertheless these rare and short periods get paramount importance for they are connected with critical situations determining the probability of organizations survival or passage into a qualitatively other state. Of course, no one can disregard so important factor and, having named it alienating myth, repudiate the penetration into its nature.

More temperate is the approach of J. Gosling and H. Mintzberg which also express natural discontent with idolization of leadership. They mordantly notice that leadership today nearly devoured management. Most of us, they say, have become so enarmoured of leadership that management has been pushed into the background. Nobody aspires to be a good manager anymore; everybody wants to be great leader. Certainly one must agree with them that it is dangerous trend eroding the very foundation of formal organizations. But unfortunately Gosling and Mintzberg see threats only in that the separation of management from leadership occurs. In their opinion, just as management without leadership encourages an uninspired style which deadens activities, leadership without management encourages a disconnected style, which promotes hubris.[5] Hence the problem merely consists in that instead managers not possessing leader qualities can emerge leaders not able to administrate, what is a transition from one extreme to another.

Meanwhile leaders without manager arsenal are not thus much awful as it might seem at first glance. They also can be demanded by practice for instance, in informal associations dealing with ordinary conditions (especially at higher levels). Their role doesnt yield in importance to that played under like circumstances by managers in formal organizations.

The chief peril lies in other thing. On turning one and all managers into leaders we not only eliminate them actually as class but also abolish management as an independent trade. Manager transmutes into double-headed creature whose heads not merely look at opposite ends but, having sent him conflicting impulses, tears to pieces his everyday activity. As a result, instead of a high professional we get professional schizophrenic that doesnt know what to prefer. As Bouridans ass he rushes about between two haystacks, doomed to starvation.

Formal organizations acting in the main under normal circumstances require just management, not leadership. The situation changes as conditions of activity go beyond the habitual scope. Then the role of leadership becomes more salient. And it reaches apogee when the environment grows chaotized and extremely uncertain. But if leader features penetrate managers activity in an ordinary situation, and leaderization of him occurs it brings to destruction of stationary mechanisms of administration.

 

Instead of conclusion:

Twin-born antipodes

 

The divergence of the forms and methods of rule had begun very early in the human history. The memory of it had been retained in old legends adverting to the origins of the society.

In the Roman mythology a special place was taken by Janus, the God of all entrances and exits, baring and unbarring (from the Latin word ianua door, gate). He had two faces looking at the opposite ends, and so Romans considered him to know the past as well as the future. His name was mentioned the first when addressing to the gods; they called Janus the God of gods and the good creator.

In the Fasti, an Ovids poem, Janus states that the ancients named him Chaos since he was from the old matter (me Chaos antique nam sum res prisca vocabant). From the shapeless mass resembling a lump (globus et sine imagine moles) he turned into a god and the keeper of the order who revolve the axis of the world. Janus proclaims:

Quicquid ubique vides, caelum, mare, nubila, terras,

            Omnia sunt nostra clausa patentque manu.

Me penes est unum vasti custodia mundi;

Et ius vertendi cardinis omne meum est.[6]

In English these lines could sound about so:

Whatever you see anywhere - sky, sea, clouds, earth, -

All things are closed and opened by my hands alone.

Its just my hands that hold the guard of the huge world,

And its wheeling pole entirely pertains to me.

And as a small sign of the previous chaotic state the Janus heads front and back still looked just the same. No wonder that he was regarded as the first ruler of the Latium (rex latinorum).

It is quite natural to surmise that Janus two faces correspond to the modes of rule whereof one is administration and the other governance. Not in vain Romans appealed to him in such a way:

Dexter ades ducibus, quorum secura labore

            otia terra ferax, otia pontus agit:

Dexter ades patribusque tuis populoque Quirini

            Et resera nutu candida templa tuo.[7]

In English translation:

Justly treat the chiefs whose toil ensures

Peace to the fruitful earth, peace to the sea.

Justly treat the Roman peoples elite

And by thy nod unbar the white temples.

One of the Janus faces looks inwards (larem) and is addressed to chiefs (ducibus). It symbolizes management. The other face is turned outwards - to the nobility, class of patricians whose mission consists in leading people. Originally the both faces were only the different sides of rule as a single whole. But later as the forms of activity were differentiated, and the division of ruling labour deepened every face got an independent sense.

Admittedly, one can meet those who convert this dyad into a triad embracing, along with chiefs and the nobility, also the Roman people as a separate object of the Gods attention. For instance, R. King believes that Ovid prays for Janus favour upon three levels of government arranged in descendent tricolon the emperor and imperial princes, senators, and finally the people of Quirinus.[8] The conclusion is drawn from the line already cited: Dexter ades patribusque tuis populoque Quirini.

Let us put aside the mysterious act of transforming dux (Latin chief, head, commander and, of course, master, sovereign) into the emperor or imperial princes. Much more interesting is the emergence of senators and people instead of single elite.

Apparently, King bases his interpretation on the J. Frazers translation sounding as And come propitious to thy senators and the people of Quirinus.[9] But it is a harvest of a misunderstanding. Indeed, the expression populus Quirini stands for the Roman people. The point is that the word quirinus (spear-bearing in Sabine), being for native inhabitants of the central Apennines an epithet of Mars, was extended next to Romulus. Therefore populus Quirini got a meaning of Romulus people as well as Rome was named urbs Quirini. However it results from this in no way that in the Ovids line the Roman people is mentioned along with the nobility.

The formulation used in the Fasti has very ancient roots and the words figure there not necessarily in the senses habitual for us. Namely the usual meaning of populus as the people on the whole appeared rather late. Originally up to Servius Tullius, i. e. the middle of VI century B. C.  this word signified, strange though it may seem, the nobility, or patricians (Ciceros populus plebesque Romana) and only lot after it had been extended to all the people (senatus populusque Romanus). In turn, the term plebs underwent an opposite evolution. Denoting at first all the people, afterwards it had been reduced to commoners. So that in the end the both terms began to coincide with each other in this respect, relating to common people, mass, or crowd (Martialis populus patresque).

There is small wonder in such confusions at treating poetical texts. Incorrect translations occur fairly often and they, naturally, mislead those getting them on faith. Thus, in the matter of the lines taken as epigraph for this article Frazer literally convey the Ovids words. As a result, some nonsense arises: Every door has two fronts, this way and that, whereof one faces the people and the other the house-god.[10] It remains a puzzle what the people doors look at and where is the house-god being an object of doors glazing. But it needs only to clarify the sense of these Roman colloquialisms and all take straight away their proper places.

In given case populus signifies the street and populum spectare means no more than to be turned to outside. So spoke Romans about the external face of front door. The same concerns also the house-god. The Latin word lar denoted the master spirit and was frequently used in respect of brownies (lares domestici or familiares). But it was also the symbol of hearth, dwelling (as in the Ciceros famous phrase Ad suum larem familiarem reverti) or even a poetic sign for nest (let us recall Ovids avis tecta laremque parat).

Reverting to the differentiation of leadership and management we can state that it had been occurred from the very beginnings of rule. As soon as administration and governance were crystallized they began to act, in certain extent, not glancing back at the counterpart. However, when one of them doesnt cope with the task, it remains nothing but to remember the second and to resort to its help. Thats why although management and leadership are real antipodes they are such ones which cannot be fully disjoined. It is a question of not separate heads but two faces of the single one. And subject to the function executed (administration or governance) Janus turns to it the one or the other of his faces.



[1] Petrosyan A. E. The coming of totalitarianism: A jump by the kingdom of freedom (in Russian) // The scientific herald of Omsk police academy. 2009. 1. P. 10 19.

[2] Andrews L. C. Leadership and military tradition. Philadelphia, L.: J. B. Lippincott company, 1918. P. 26.

[3] Leadership for tomorrow: A challenge for business today. Ottawa: Author, 2001.

[4] Gemmill G., Oakley J. Leadership: an alienating social myth // Human relations. 1992. Vol. 45. 2. P. 123.

[5] Gosling J., Mintzberg H. The five minds of manager // Harvard business review. 2003. Vol. 81. 11. P. 54 - 55.

[6] Ovid. The Fasti of Ovid. L.: Macmillan, 1909. P. 5.

[7] Ovid. The Fasti of Ovid. P. 3 4.

 

[8] King R. J. Desiring Rome: Male subjectivity and reading Ovid's Fasti. Columbus (OH): Ohio state university, 2006. P. 69.

[9] Ovids Fasti. With an English translation by J. G. Frazer. L.: William Heinemann, 1959. P. 7.

[10] Ovids Fasti. With an English translation by J. G. Frazer. P. 11 12.


 
 

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