Frequent attempts have been made to improve corporate management with the help of tools; codes of conduct; or systematic processes. The current buzzword is “Management 3.0”, which many experts view as the holy grail of management.

In reality, this concept is a mix of familiar tools that have been updated, revised, and repackaged. Not bad – but is it really the ultimate solution? Can such a collection of tools and systematic processes make the difference between a good and a mediocre executive? Remember the old adage “A fool with a tool stays a fool”.

What management needs first and foremost is brains – not tools! Management leadership is all about attitude and character. Employees would never judge their boss on the basis of the methods he or she uses – their criteria are his or her attitude; way of interacting; and character. No football coach was ever fired because he was using the wrong methods. The reason usually given is “He was unable to engage with the team”, which can generally be translated as “The team didn’t like his personality, attitude, or character”. The outcome is that the team “plays against the coach”. Until the latter is replaced.

There are no reliable studies to confirm that specific leadership styles are more successful than others. What can, however, be proven is that corporate success is dependent on the integrity of its leading executives. So, attitude not tools.

Managers who want to be successful should not reach for their tool boxes and the wide range of methods, techniques, and systems they contain – this will only annoy their employees, instead of getting through to them. Instead, managers should begin by taking a look at themselves and, where necessary, identifying and correcting their attitude and relationship with their team. The players will be grateful and respond by achieving one success after another.

Leadership and Management Today