Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

Managers and Leaders are not the same thing

There is always a lot of talk about managers and leadership, but I sometimes have the feeling there is a little confusion on the subject.

I can agree that a manager needs to have leadership qualities, as some other key soft skills, but leadership, per se, is not enough.

Wait, this means that a great leader can’t be also a great manager?

Exactly, a manager need leadership skills to be good, but this is only one of the several skills he need.

He should be able to understand the job heshe is asked to do, this means to have the correct technical and soft skills.

There is a risk connected with leadership: leadership needs to walk hand in hand with honesty and ethics, otherwise we risk to have leaders without soul.

Think about Charles Manson, or Adolf Hitler or some of the most evil serial killers, were they not also leaders?

Manipulative attitude common to many sociopaths are often seen as leadership skills, so leadership has to be one but not the only skills required to a manager.

Lack of empathy toward others are often a sign also of many successfull “managers” that makes their career on many other bodies, and is quite a common portrait in the financial sector (but not only), where dehumanization is at the basic of the speculation activities (it is business, workforce are just numbers on a spreadsheet).

So are we talking too much about leadership? Probably yes, we should talk about leadership in a context that require other strong soft skills, and mostly we should talk about management.

what do you think?

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Managers and Leaders are not the same thing was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The sunrise of hate and the sunset of reason

Statistics on political violence
Statistics on political violence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a vivid LinkedIn user, I post on LinkedIn and read posts. Is a great way to understand and know the world outside. but lately I have seen a rise of hate comments and speeches that I find disturbing.

Mostly are related to political issues (quite understandable USA election are rising the bar of intolerance and violence between the contenders) but also ethnic and religious ones are present. The most deplorable are the ones related to the never ending war between Israel and Palestine and the reaction to muslin radicalism.

I am not a religious guy, I am agnostic, and I find revolting people using religion to justify their action of hate and violence, both side. I find revolting when people claim a land for “god’s” will, i find revolting when people distort history to justify that “right”, I find revolting when people call for violence against the other, all in the name of god, country, truth or freedom.

No matter if come from ISIS, some “questionable” government, far rights xenophobic parties, Christian, Muslin or Jews  fundamentalism, radical Zionism, or revolutionary communism … nothing good could come from not respecting the counterpart, and respect means to admit that the counterpart has its reason.

you will be hero or terrorist, depending if you will win or loose

Both contenders have their heroes, martyr that are seen as evil bringer of death from the other one. And this justify the chain of reactions. So you can kill because of a strip (charlie hebdo) and be considered an hero because of your god, or you can kill a kid on the sea and be considered a patriot because of another god.

Funny more the positions are radical more the contenders use to present “facts” in their distorted way, and I am almost sure most of them does not even realize that the truth is somewhere else, and they are just covering their need to be in the right spot, and the few ones that try to rise a bit of analysis or moderation are immediately attacked, more than the ones in the opposite side.

“…there are none so deaf as those who do not want to hear, there are none so blind as those who will not see…”

Alas in a world that keep considering the other an “enemy” and so ontologically evil it is hard to find hears and eyes open. at the end if your “truth” comes from god it is indisputable that the other one is wrong, and since the truth is there if they do not get it is because are evil.

So we keep seeing the right (or conservative) named fascist, the leftist communists as the Russian and Chinese (and for some USA people also the Europeans) , the muslin terrorist as most of the the middle eastern people, the Christian crusaders murderers of Muslims and so on. In a never-ending dualism where the other has no reason because the reason is all in one side. Above all there is the absolute ignorance of what most of those terms means: communism, democracy, fascism, free market (I am so sorry for Adam Smith) and so on,  are all used in a distorted way, that not even resemble the original meaning.

History is distorted as well, with the most recent facts but also ancient and consolidated, omitting or denying, no more or less as the revisionists deny the mass murdering done by the Nazis during the second world war. But we are all Bonaparte’s sons: it is not the map in error, is the battlefield that is wrong ….

And this allow us to make the sweetest generalization because if you don’t agree with me you are against me, and so your objections are not real but vicious lies.

We are so deep into this kind of thinking that if you care about environmental problems or climate change you are a communist…the earth is not changing its climate because of mankind…. come on really? Does history teach anything to any of us? Again science is under suspicion? And believing in climate change makes you left or right? And if I believe in the theory of strings what am I?

On the other end, people happily believe in creationism, why they should even go further…they know the truth…

(and yes evolutionism is a theory, as everything else in science, as the dinosaurs extinction because of a meteor and the other 5 big extinctions on hearth … this is what science is about)

Yes we made also science (again) a matter of left and right, good or evil. Even science has been caught in this loop, like if physics of our universe does really care about our silly disputes. Seems that the age of enlightenment has passed away with no trace, and we are turned back to the darkest middle age: age of slaughtering and crusades although, we should remember, of technical innovations. would be funny if, in the meanwhile, people die.

There are voices that try to call to reason; funny enough, the head of the catholic church, pope Francis, who would be supposedly on one side, is continuously asking for a more open approach, even about relationships between religions, may be for this reason has been called “communists”, quite funny i have to say.

But in a world that cherish violence and hate speech against moderation and real talking what could we expect.

I will keep reading post on LinkedIn, sometimes makes comment. And I will keep listening to tv news and politics making fun of reality to present their vision of the world, and I will keep trying to teach my daughter that there is never one reason and one truth, and only keeping an open mind, listening and watching some sparks of the truth could be seen.

Prove me wrong, I will listen.




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The sunrise of hate and the sunset of reason was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

Pavia – Shenzhen 4:I think what I need here is a surviving guide

I think what I need here is a surviving guide :)

I have had the chance to talk with some western colleagues, apparently we share, more or less, the same difficulties.

Language Barriers

Let be clear, if you want to take shenzhen metro, well it is a piece of cake, all indications are in chinese and english, the train are modern as the stations. Every stop is clearly described on the train (and announced in both languages) so it is a great way to travel here.

The things get differents when you need a cab.

you have to wait on the street hoping to find a free taxi running, then you try to call it somehow (being italian make me easy to work with gestures, lol). and beware of the color, not all taxi can go everywhere, so if you are a little far form the centre may be you find red and green ones. not all can drive you where you want or need.

And once you are in… welcome language barrier. trying to explain where you need to go is not easy, so better you write or print the direction, i have my hotel business card always with me, just to be sure I can show him the direction.

I have not found any cab driver able to talk in english as of now.

Alas if you plan to use your google translator here, you could have problems, golden firewall blocks google tools.

surviving tips:

1) download an offline maps for your phone, will be useful.

2) if you plan to stay here a bit, and you want to connect using a 4g\3g network i suggest you to buy a sim in Hong Kong, there are plans without roaming from china, with 6 and more gb\month and it is outside the golden firewall, that means you can easily have all your tools working.

3) download a vpn software before being here if you plan to use a local sim or some roaming (but is so expensive, would you really like to go on roaming?)

4) if you buy a phone here, be aware that chinese android version is different, it does not run some google key engine so some apps could not work, eventually you can install a new rom (in some shops they do it for foreign people)

I am still struggling to find a decent translator. The hardest point is being able to translate written text of course. I have this issue also at work, chinese love to send communication with graphics instead plain text. Visually nice sure, but hard to deal if you are not a chinese speaker.

Food is great

I love chinese food, but you should be aware of some things:

They do not use to drink at lunch or dinner, beside some tea. And the water is usually warm, a sort of very light lemonade i think. if you want cold water or even cold beer you should ask for it. Do not give for granted that they bring cold beer if you ask one.

And do not give for granted the have cold drinks at all.

As in hotel even if they have a fridge it is probably empty and disconnected.

(now mine has some bottles of water and a beer, lol)

Food is generally cheap here and of good quality, if you plan to eat western style you have to spend a little more, but usually you can eat under 200 yuan.

Well I cannot guarantee for the quality of western food, i tried Pizza Hut and I was quite disappointed. But I have seen also a lot of KFC here and some Starbucks. I have had coffee at starbucks and was good, but not sure it was because of quality or because I were missing coffee so much :)

You should also be aware that chinese way at restaurants is different:

restaurants are usually loud, people talk normally.

Chinese food is shared, they bring you several different things, and all people take with the chopsticks. they usually leave bones and stuffs on table, spitting directly on the table. You have to be used to this, can be a little strange at the beginning.


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Pavia – Shenzhen 4:I think what I need here is a surviving guide was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine