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successfull effective managersWhat is the difference between success and effectiveness? In most organizations, and indeed in most human resources departments, the two terms are often thought of as synonymous. However, the truth is, success is not highly correlated to effectiveness. The misperception that successful managers make the most effective managers is in fact number nine on our list of The Top 12 Fallacies That Get In The Way of Organizational Performance.

Success Versus Effectiveness

Successful managers are those who are repeatedly promoted to increasingly complex work because of their perceived value to the company, but this does not necessarily have anything to do with their effectiveness. Research shows that a person’s success in climbing the corporate ladder is based more on their ability to network and build relationships with those higher in the organization than anything else. People who are better at selling themselves and networking are often more successful than those who don’t have those skills.

Effectiveness on the other hand, is based on an individual’s ability to help their organization attain its strategy. A manager’s effectiveness is determined by their capacity use the resources that have been delegated to them in the best way possible in order to benefit the organization to the largest extent possible. People who are very effective at work may not be as successful because they have their nose to the grindstone and are not as focused on networking.

Take it a Step Further

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Both qualities are important. The characteristics of successful managers are not more or less valuable than the characteristics of effective managers. Ideally, you would find both sets of characteristics blended into one super manager! The key thing to remember is that when it comes to promotions, a manager’s ability to network and sell themselves should only be one of the factors considered.

The 3 Capabilities of Effective Managers

Rather than focusing strictly on the outward appearance of success, it’s better to measure managerial ability based on the 3 Fundamental Capabilities of Effective Managers , specifically:

The most effective managers aren’t always the most successful. When it comes to evaluating managerial ability, it’s essential to take into consideration the three fundamental capabilities that make a manager effective.