Is it possible to be a good company leader without being a good people manager?

By Ignasi Carreras

Being an effective manager is no longer enough to be considered a good company leader. 

Exceptional managers combine an ability to deliver great results with a clear people orientation in order to achieve them. They generate a common purpose and encourage personal growth through performance. They invest in people and use challenges to help them develop professionally and personally. 

Exceptional managers encourage personal growth through performance

This form of leadership blends corporate social responsibility (CSR) with advanced people management. Increasingly, when deciding whether to join or remain in a company, people value that it acts responsibly, that is, that it demonstrates an active commitment both to society and to caring for its employees and promoting their development. This requirement is even clearer in younger generations. 

CSR promotes corporate ethics and drives an exciting aspiration that combines economic value creation with social and environmental value creation. 

It also promotes a culture of equal opportunity, diversity and transparency.

When CSR influences people management, it broadens its scope and content. It goes far beyond the legally established minimum and what is necessary to train and develop team members according to the different operational needs. It results in what is known as responsible people management

A recently published study by Esade and ISS identifies seven responsible people management policies and practices that companies should consider:

  1. Work-life balance and workplace flexibility 
  2. Hiring people in vulnerable situations
  3. Skill development through corporate volunteering 
  4. Physical and emotional health care and prevention
  5. Promoting diversity 
  6. Training in personal and professional skills
  7. Responsible outplacement 

The studied experiences suggest that to adopt this responsible people management approach, a company needs to have a more shared, people-centred and socially committed type of leadership than what is typically found to date. 

We still have a long way to go.

This article originally appeared on La Vanguardia.

All written content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.