What does it mean to be a manager and a leader?
Managers have many complex, interrelated responsibilities. They organize how an organization’s work gets done and by whom. They coach employees, motivate them, and hold them accountable. They often budget for and allocate resources. They organize work processes and plan for how a group will reach its goals. Performing these core managerial activities successfully is critical to being an effective manager.
Managers also play a vital role in leading people through organizational change. When managers manage as leaders, they proactively take steps to lead their group towards a vision of the future, which may look different than the present. During this process, they continue to be responsible for making sure that their group is operating effectively on a day-to-day basis, but they are also responsible for leading their group towards change that allows the organization to meet its strategic goals.
What can I learn or do here?
This learning topic provides background and tools to help managers develop their abilities to provide effective leadership, particularly in times of change. In these complex times of advancing technology, integrated work processes, and increasingly flat organizations, this learning topic intentionally focuses on how managers can be effective leaders of organizational change.
While this learning topic focuses on managers as leaders in times of change, the basics of management (planning, goal setting, delegating, coaching) continue to be critically important. For this reason, we recommend that you consider some courses to develop basic managerial skills. For new managers, you might be interested in our Transitioning to Management course. For new managers or experienced managers who want to refresh their knowledge, we recommend our Essentials of Managing course to learn about MIT policy, the law, and good management practice.
What is not included in this learning topic?
This learning topic is intentionally not targeted for people who are interested in developing their individual leadership capabilities outside of the context of an organizational hierarchy. If you are interested in learning about MIT's twelve-month leadership development program, see Leader to Leader for more information.
This learning topic does not include specific information about the performance review process. For this, see the Human Resources' Performance Review and Development site.
Can you help my group with leadership or management issues?
Yes. HR's organization development consultants can provide customized workshops around management or leadership to MIT's departments, labs and centers. Learn more.
Can building leadership and management skills help my career?
Yes. Learning and developing leadership and management skills is a great way to develop professionally within MIT. See Learning & Development to see other ways in which MIT is committed to the professional and career development of its employees.