Monday, August 17, 2009

But I’m not a manager


We had a blast this past weekend. NYC was hosting its Summer Streets on Saturday. They closed Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge (south) to Central Park (north) to only pedestrians, runners, skaters and bicyclists. We hosted my sister and her husband, and we all pedaled bikes the full length of the course a couple of times.

So what the heck does this have to do with leadership? Sometime during the weekend, my sister commented and complimented the postings and comments on LiaV. While she did add a comment to the blog on one occasion, she said the blog was more for “management people.” She enjoyed the context but did not want to insert comments. I understood her opinion, but it made me think. I learn so much from the most unsuspecting places. There is so much more to be learned about leadership from those being led day-in and day-out! I work hard to get this feedback from the people I work with, but it has not been a priority on this blog.

How can we encourage LiaV readers that are not in management positions to coment more often and teach us from their perspective?

42 comments:

Bret Simmons said...

You raise an excellent question. That voice would add tremendous value to the conversation. Let us know what you find out!

L. Beachy said...

I have maintained that one is not capable of *leading well* if one is not capable of *following well* first. If this is true then the 'voice of the follower' should be one of the key inputs that is cultivated by good leaders who have learned that the views from the loading dock, mail room, or reception desk often produce deeper insights than the more refined and erudite plans of those who have slowly been insulated from the day to day ebb and flow of an organization's heartbeat.

Al McGovern said...

I concur with L. Beachy's comment, which I use in the form "You can't be a good leader if you haven't been a good follower first". The title of this blog might not entice or encourage input from followers but, in the truest sense, we are all followers at some point in our lives, and can include that insight in our comments on this blog.

That said, there might be an opportunity for a more directed solicitation of input/feedback/commentary from people who think of themselves more as followers than as leaders.

Sheldon Midgett said...

Some people may not be as comfortable posting due to fear. Once the person has posted a couple times and interacted with the community then they may have more confidence and self worth in their comments in this community. The next logical question is how do you make readers more comfortable posting? I do see that people can post as anonymous. Do readers realize this? Is there something else that is stopping people from posting?

J Wong said...

Managers manage things, Leaders lead people. You don’t have to be a manger to lead people. There are many leaders on this blog who do not have the manager title but contribute a great deal of information in which this blog is built off of. I say; if you have something to contribute, don’t hesitate because of a title or position. Go with what your hart tells you or tell of examples you have gone through yourself or seen. It is just as valuable for people to read the opinions of those that are affected by leaders (either positive or negative) so that they can learn from the experiences and grow.

Robert said...

I think most non management people really do want to participate in these types of discussions. I have held management roles in the past and am relied on currently for the perspective I bring to my work group and the organization. The best way I have found to bring these folks into the fray is to engage them just as you are by asking for their input.
Part of the issue is that blogging may not be a focus for non management people-who lead regardless of how they perceive themselves.

Thom Smith said...

Simply put, meet their needs, John. Why do we managers comment? We're sharing opinions and experiences in exchange for the same from others so we may grow. What value can we offer to the readers who aren't "management people?"
When these readers are within our organizations, we may offer positive changes to their environment based on their input be it a direct benefit to them or tranlsated into a benefit to the organization that they can see or feel. Wheather or not they are within our organizations, we may offer mentoring that brings new skill sets to be used now or later. But what specifically may we offer that will help them reach their goals?
If they are reading the blog, they must be looking for something. Let's ask them what that something is and do our best to give it to them.

Robin Clifton said...

Initial thought on this ... clearly define the difference between leadership and management. They are not the same. With leadership topics, highlight practical application within the context of being management and not being management.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
A few years ago I was based in NYC while I handled responsibilities for the Nasdaq Stock Market. I had a chance to enjoy the summer days (it was the only time I felt safe riding my bike other than in Central Park). I now reside in Tysons Corner, VA (a Washington DC suburb). I am less than 1/2 mile from a 62 mile bike path that is a converted rail line. It is marvelous biking. Take care.

John said...

John,
I loved your remarks about the source of learning and inspiration coming from anywhere, and from the most unexpected of sources. This is exactly how I view networking... first and foremost to learn from the journey(s) of others. Thanks for sharing your POV.

Would be interested to connect to continue my own learning journey via a connection with you. Interested?

I spent 20+ yrs at Procter & Gamble (~1/2 in operations, supply chain, import/export; and ~1/2 on strategic sourcing). Now out on my own - doing something quite different than the above - but leveraging all of my collective experiences and capabilities in the creative services industries (design, research, marketing, advertising, innovation, etc.).

I look forward to connecting, learning, sharing, and exploring.

Thanks for your very inclusive POV!!

Ignacio Santiago said...

John, nowadays if you work with people you will need to think about how to work with them. The name "management" or dealing, will not be the problem.
Really the key will be to teach people & learn you to working in a continuos change. Adaptative change could be a interesting approach... if you change.

Jeff Pfouts said...

Good question and I think that is a great start. I wish I had the answer to your question but I might have some thoughts:

I've had to learn management and get experience outside of my jobs. For the last 12 years I have been a quality technician with no official supervisory authority. For nine months of job hunting, I was asked "do you have have supervisory experience on the job?" My volunteer leadership was not taken into account and no, I did not have on the job supervisory experience. Time and time again I was told that without experience I can not lead.

If we do not make it into the elite leaders role quickly we have a hard time joining the club even if the skills are there or have been developed. f you look around you so much of everything beyond our high school and college years is geared towards the manager from advertisements to learning opportunities. There is a gap between those that lead and those that are led. It is a subject that starts on the school playground and continues for the rest of our lives.

I believe that it is that gap and subsequent closing of doors that make people shy away from talking to executives. To often we were not listened to in the first place so why bother? We don't buy into big words and theories being handed down from on high. That's is what "God" is for. We want respect. smaller words, and actions that mean something to us

Several weeks ago I attended an ASQ regional volunteer member leader training session and asked of the 30 plus group...How many here, on a Saturday, are hourly? Four hands...the rest were salaried or commissioned and the majority of those are in some type of supervisory role. It has been my observation, that among the hourly, there is a feeling that if you are not paid on an hourly basis for everything than your personal time is too valuable to give up. Whereas the salaried people are better at looking beyond hourly worth. They see their total worth and understand the benefits of going beyond their eight hours M-F.

Now for my ideas:

Those not in the leadership position must be made to feel that their contributions are worthwhile. I was following a discussion in which many felt that to be executive coach you could only have been an executive yourself and pretty much anyone else was a pretender to the throne.

I very much am a fan of Maxwell's 360° Leader. The idea that anyone can be a leader from any position is appealing to me. Promotion of that ideal and redefinition of a leader may also be of some help.

And lastly, those of us not in a supervisory role must step up and take that chance to contribute. Yes, we may fall flat on our faces, but just like that toddler we have to keep trying. Even learning to fall correctly without bruises (to our egos) is a lesson worth learning.

Back to being told that I do not have the experience...No way...I am a volunteer member leader for ASQ, I have helped with my children's events by taking responsibility for tasks that needed done, and by contributing to LinkedIn I am learning to speak my mind in an acceptable manner that I hope will garner respect and trust. How many people want to be respected and trusted and how can they truly lead without respect and trust for any length of time?

Anonymous said...

Hi John. People won't comment unless they truly believe that there are comments are valued and appreciated. I would send a note out to the general population requesting feedback. I believe the key is letting people know that you value their input. At least it works for my staff. Have a good evening.

Don Lafferty said...

A congressman once told me that every letter he received from a constituent represented the opinion of 9,999 other constituents who didn't have the gumption to write.

By publicly addressing the concern of the writer, not only did he address the needs and concerns of the greater group, but he transformed the writer into an evangelist/advocate with a deeper emotional investment in the issue and overall process.

Maybe you could start by asking more directly for input in your blog articles, by listening to your community in other places (where you engage in the conversation), and by being diligent about contributing to the interests of your target community.

Suman Parthasarathy said...

If there is any indication attached to log that implies its for 'management' people, that must be removed and appropriately titled if possible
Also the mindset of the people determine whether they consider themselves leaders or not and if they dont, right there requires an attitude change which shows a self imposed hindrance to their personality and potential development, they don't 'believe' they are leaders!
Some may not have time or they might not be interested or see the relevance to leadership qualities they can share.
Options to consider:
Their mentors or 'leaders' they perceive or management must induce it perhaps.
Alison has a good point of reaching out to people and asking them to participate or if its a Pull approach, focus the blogs on say specific topics

Rod Satre said...

I am sitting on the fence here. I believe that all employees should be empowered to make suggestions, provide guidance and follow up with "managers" on their ideas. However, empowered as that may be, the final decision must come from the "decision makers."
As our new President recently said, when asked what he thought of others's arm chair leadership viewpoints: 'there is only one elected president, and that is me.'

Yes, we must ask for and be responsive to views from every '"stakehoulder." But the salaraies we earn are in some respect, a measurement of the decisional responsibility of our "manager roles." We must listen, incorporate our understanding of the views and suggestions by others, but we cannot become a rule by majority [read rule by commmittee.] When that happens, the nimble business flounders in a sea of indecision.

I've found that employees can and do approach managers that listen and act on their suggestions. The key observation is "listen and act." Failing to perform eithre duty causes the employee/manager link to break.

Anonymous said...

Thank you John for your request. I am sure I am not alone, in having the desire to have my input received, accepted and quite possibly imlemented with out an ensuing political management crisis. Although my present point of view may be stilted (temp. to perm contract manager has just (hrs) terminated. I will try to present a view which is unbiased. My position had its challenges, and certainly politics played a role. Needless to say, if there is any underlinging current of unrest it will permeate an organization and make even the thickest of skins shrink. Knowledge sharing is a key component for a any to company to operate smoothly, keeping in mind those developments which are utmost confidential. So everything becomes confidential. Knowledge is not shared, The incestuous machine begins to feed in on it self. Todays climate creates an edgeyness, so to speak, a double edged sword. You either be true to yourself and continue on a higher road or you fall into the same vicious cycle (survive or thrive). One small error has a ripple effect and what is dispensable is dispensed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Bishop,

ı am really effected and appreciated your comments.

I have production-engineering-purchasıng experinece and would like to move towards to strategic sourcing/management or let's say decision making.

I would appreciate if you can share your recommendations to me

Junior Jabbie said...

Quite an interesting post John. I think it goes back to the age old discussion on what seperates a leader from a managerand the numerous parables that reveal the truths of both functions. I think the LiaV blog can generate more feedback from our day-to-day leaders once a proactive approach has been made to define leaders and managers with using day-to-day terminology and examples from the real-world and not just the boardroom. If we can continue to show readers how they as parents, teachers, technicians, garbage men, etc. are leaders, then they will begin to reflect on their unique experiences. Just my 2 sense.

Sherrie Campbell said...

Personally the best way to encourage LiaV readers that are not in management positions to comment more often and to teach us from their perspective is to add on the web site the simple verbiage of "This web site is for those who lead as well as those who follow...all ideas, suggestions, and/or comments are welcomed."


Regards,

Sherrie

Anonymous said...

John,
Interesting coincidences.
1) I was in NYC on Saturday to move my daughter from her apartment on 20th and Park Ave. South. Due to the event and the closure of all the odd number cross streets, we had to delay our move from 9 am to 2 pm and in working the logistics of this, managed to end up with 2 parking tickets that day. I did not manage it well.
2) I am a former Sikorsky Subcontract Manager who was in charge of all the turboshaft engine contracts from 1984-1986 under Harvey White, then went to be a Production Control Supervisor in the W. Haven plant for a year, and then up th the UTC Corporate Purchasing in Hartford where I managed all the travel contracts. I hope the frantic parts chasing days and command & control culture have changed for the better at Sikorsky.

Regards,

Ignacio Santiago said...

John,
I learn from my 10 years in Otis (Safety, Service & Quality) the following:
1) Your people must need to understand the new business rules, a) More inovation, more innovation, & more innovation is needed.
b) All sources will be initially good to improve point a: Field people, your family, your sons, books, etc.
2) But you will be analitic & carefull with the "new" innovation ideas.....using ACE tools.
3) Never stay far away of field people, they fix the real problems.....
4) In all the cases try to listen one people with differents ideas than you, this would you undertand other views of the same reallity. Finally you would learn day by day.

Anonymous said...

Hi John

just read your comment , intriguing and consistent with an interview in this past sunday's business section of the NYT's with the new CEO at Best Buy.

How long have you been with United Technologies. One of my clients is Carrier. I run the commerical business for Keane consulting and we do a lot of work for Carrier. would enjoy connecting at some point

regards

Jeffrey Jackson said...

Each leader has his or her unique personality but throughout history the best were good listeners. My comments should not be considered license to sow dissent. But I stand by my statement that those who lead need and desire input from their team of experts. The final decision belongs to the leader, and all must follow, but the best leaders listen to and heed the advice of followers.

Glenn Ford said...

Hi John ~

You've hit on an intriguing topic that I've try to teach many leaders across the globe...no one – not even the CEO – is an Oracle.

I believe that a story about my past experience may help answer the question (at least partly) about the social norm, where the people who report to ‘management’ decide to opt out of blogs, conversation, et al because they feel ‘out of their class’.

I am one of ten total children who grew up in less-than-meager circumstances. Being a younger sibling, it was ‘the norm’ for the older children to dominate most of the conversation when we were together. In my early adolescent years, it came quite clear that unless I asserted myself, my perspectives on different family issues might go unnoticed. It was only because of my perseverance that my older siblings eventually started to listen and realize that, even though I was younger, I actually had valuable insight! This was a lesson I learned quite early.

Even though I felt I had value to add to our family conversations, being part of the conversation wasn’t socially accepted by my older brothers and sisters. They had a perception that because I was younger, I may not be able to add anything of value to the conversation.

The analogy? For decades in business we lived in a society where management makes decisions based on either one person’s analysis, or a very small group of people; CEO/President or their executive council. Those on the floor felt intimidated when they provided insight to management. When they did, they felt that the comments go unheeded, or even worse, would be ridiculed for providing a ridiculous suggestion. (Again…part of my experience when I was on the shop floor.)

Further, those with means are normally provided the opportunity to obtain higher education. Those without means - although very intelligent - may not be able to afford college expense. Again, society sets the tone where those who went to college and obtain a degree are considered “intelligent” or “educated”. People on the shop floor (again maybe very intelligent) feel that they are outclassed because they’ve never had the higher-education experience.

Alas! Not all is lost. In today’s business climate, we are just starting to value the floor worker’s very valuable input. TPS has taught us that the Gemba is the place where real value is generated, and that the worker must be respected for their insight regarding how the work is done. Change is slow, but forthcoming at companies who have excellent CI programs (as does UTC/Sikorsky with ACE.) If it’s true that the value derived in any business comes primarily from your workers, then ’management’ must show real interest in requesting the shop for comments and suggestions related to how to improve the VALUE STREAM.

This is one of the most fundamental aspects of a true CI program, such as ACE. When the shop recognizes what a value stream is, recognizes when it’s broken, and is proactive enough to fix it following standard work, then you’ll know you’ve arrived at real GOLD. Only at the Gemba will you discover where the value chain is broke!

It’s not easy listening to your younger siblings as a big brother or sister. As a SCM Executive, you’ve quite a few younger siblings. After reading your blog on several posts, I’m confident that Sikorsky has chosen the right person for the job! Keep asking for input from your entire team and you’re sure to create an SCM organization which will be a great success!

Glenn Ford

John Canham said...

Leading from below can be dicey, depending upon the personality of your leaders. In my experience, one can often interject comments or plant seeds by guiding the leader to ask you your opinion.

Ronald Akers said...

Great Subject John

From my experience I have seen companies pay tens of thousands of dollars hiring business consultants and motivational speakers to help guide the business. Your story reminds me of the Change Management seminar that was hosted at last year. The facilitator, who I am sure was paid very well for the 2 day event, taught us some excellent ways to include more employees in the decision making processes without stirring up conflict and wasting time.
The method of Change Management taught to us by the consultant worked great for the first year. However as time moves on, some of the lessons are forgotten by upper management as they go unpracticed. It is interesting how, after such an engaging event, over time managers gravitate towards the comfort zone when it comes to the decision making processes. I could open up a new tangent to this conversation by saying that short term or short sighted decisions are sometimes made to solve long term problems. This type of reflex reaction by management may not promote motivation from the team.

Individuals value their own ideas, especially when it comes to solving a problem at work. The individual's motivation being, that if my idea works then we can all keep working. Go to any happy hour on a Thursday where people are discussing ideas on how to solve a problem at work. This is often called the meeting after the meeting. Successful managers are able to harness this energy by including non-managers in discussions that are important to the future of the company.

Commenting on your question regarding non management participation in the decision making process, I have seen where managers often demonstrate a lack of respect for information received from non-managers. It is this attitude that turns people off to the thought of commenting on change and ON to the thought of the status quo.

Jeffrey Jackson said...

Following is not passive, it is active, a choice made by those that are led. As a leader I also have to follow those above me and through an understanding of this fact I have come to the conclusion that following is actually...

Leading from below.

The leadership comes not only from the choice to follow but also from the act of influencing the leader's decisions. In military terms if someone is leading from the front then he needs to know what is happening behind him. A leader cannot be effective without the advice and counsel of those on his team because nobody can know all of the facts of any given situation. Information must be gathered and opinions weighed before an effective course can be set. We are all hired for our expertise and must therefore take an active role in leading from below.

There has been a lot written about leadership and there are seminars and workshops that attempt to teach leadership principles but I'm not aware of much advice on following. Perhaps by publishing the message that following is an active part of leadership you can achieve your goal of non-management participation.

Ian Thompson said...

Hi Jeff...Great answer.....leadership not a position...It is about a state of mind and personal and interactive behaviour with others which in itself generates trust and respect from others. Leadership emerges in all areas of society and is not limited by where you stand in an organisation.

Alison Smith said...

Come from a place of unity not separation and watch the words being used.

Here the words “teach us from their perspective” already provides a barrier between ‘us’ and ‘them’. I, as one of “them”, is being asked to provide assistance to you as one of “us”. I’m not sure that will encourage participation as much as more inclusive language such as “how do we learn from all our perspectives”.

I’d also add that whilst we're not all managers of others we're all leaders of others. That is we all inspire others at some point in our lives. It's a role/skill that covers a wider remit because of this. So how do you encourage others to participate? Include them as being part of the leadership club rather than making them feel as if they are not in the club.

Helping you find a paddle when you're up the creek without one
Alison
Newsletter: http://passioninlife.co.uk/static/august-life-news.php

Anonymous said...

John,

In my management experience, when I showed that I cared for others and empathized with their challenges, often personal, they would share their thoughts more freely. Of course it takes considerable time to develop this relationship. Perhaps a quicker way is to hire humble managers who are selfless and not intimidating. Do you ask for feedback, such as "name one thing that I could do better to make your job easier or more enjoyable?" Many employees are in CYA mode and are not comfortable sharing how they really feel.

David Vernon said...

Management is both a job and a discipline. You do not have to have a management job to know about it - everyone has stories of being managed by people who did it quite badly. The point is to identify what works and to propagate it. Anyone can play, as long as they have something to add. Shy people need encouragement to contribute and positive feedback when they add value. Easily done in person, more difficult on-line, still possible. Mostly, management is the art of getting thingds done through the efforts of others. The objectives vary, but there is always a process, always an objective, always some distinction between good and not good results, always process participants who perform specific tasks. Sometimes the participants know more about how to manage a given process than its official manager. Real managers use that instead of fighting it.

Joseph R. Gruber said...

At companies throughout the world there are too many walls that are built up between "the management" and "the workers" that make many believe that managers are of a different level. I remember believing this at one time myself until I realized it's mostly an imaginary wall. This I believe would be one of the main reasons someone might not get involved however L. Beachy also got it on the head as the discussion really comes down to leader vs manager. Not everyone has to be a manager to be a leader. I read a good analogy once about a priest that was a leader but wasn't the "manager" and it showed how someone who had no authoritative role at all (besides the one from God) could still be an incredible leader.

BTW, I'm new to this community myself through a referral from pmstudent.com. Looks to be a great site and I'll be sure to be back often! :)

Richard Forselius said...

I find through my teaching Leadership at Albertus Magnus College that there is a broad spectrum of the understanding of Leadership in the mid-career professional population. I would recommend asking similar academic instructors the same question...how can we encourage mid-career learners that are not in management positions to coment more often?. First we have to get them to the LiaV website. LiaV is new to me; thanks for this question!

Rod Satre said...

Pehaps we should ask OUR elected president to respond?
I am not going to make this a political issue, I was only illustrating my opinion. Nevertheless, I have never seen a 100% sucessful leader, but we look at the batting average. Otherwise how could we consider a .300 to be good?

Ronald Akers said...

I agree with the points you make. I think they are valid and well thought out.
Do you think that your elected president follows the key observation of "listen and act".

Anyone can make a decision. Only the successful managers are able to implement and rally the team around the decision, creating buy in with the employees. The ultimate goal is to maximize the motivation quickly and efficiently

George Osorio said...

John,

I think the fact that you use the word "manager" already places those who are non-managers on the other side of the "line." As an example, I have taught and coached people of all ages and what I have found is that, unlike children, who tend to be themselves under all conditions, adults will take on specific roles that they feel are appropriate for the specific circumstances of the moment.

So, for example, when adults attend special classes (whether life learning, leisure or formal higher ed courses) they assume the role of student and listen and take notes, EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW THE MATERIAL AS WELL AS THE INSTRUCTOR. Very seldom do you get students who pipe up and decide to become teachers of the moment (on some rare occasions you will find them, but, they will soon feel the authority of the teacher who may fail that student or the peer pressure of the other students who feel the class is being disrupted).

It's the same with corporate America, it's the same with the military, and it's the same with any complex human organization. The more complex the organization, the more distinct the roles and responsibilities that are "assigned" to the members. For example, some corporations have long lists of very specific job codes and people in certain job codes are not expected to perform the jobs of those in a different job code. This becomes coded into the employees via some sort of "performance appraisal" system and they come to accept their roles, never straying outside of that assignment ("it's not my job, man"), EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW HOW TO PERFORM OTHER JOBS. since only the "yes men" (and women) are rewarded, learning from non-managers is greatly minimized.

The result of this type of structural culture is that most individuals tend to operate within their assigned responsibility and, for managers and non-managers, that often means that non-managers will seldom tell managers what is the best course of action. After all, that is why the manager is "getting paid the big bucks." I have known many engineers who have voiced their opinion among their peers about how badly certain programs are being managed, but they never voice that opinion above their level, because they feel like a voice in the wilderness. In some cases, they create incorrect justifications for why voicing their opinion is futile (management doesn't listen, they are just pencil pushers, they are just bean counters, it's all political, all they care about is the bottom line and not the people, etc.).

I have also known many managers, especially in large corporations, who seldom talk face-to-face with their subordinates. Their staff meetings consist of top-down flow of information and then, it's up to the subordinates to take up issues, personal or professional, with the management, at a later time when the schedule permits. Managers seem to be too busy to have time to listen to their employees or effectively build their teams. Everyone is expected to know what to do and to just do it - don't bother the other spokes in the wheel. So, I can very well understand why your sister made the comment that she did.

How can we encourage more non-managers to approach management with their ideas? It's all about culture. The more rigid the corporate structure, the less input will be provided from the bottom. Even anonymous "suggestion box" systems will remain empty if top management does not show a genuine interest in "listening." That has to start from the very top, and it has to be demonstrated for all, including other executives and managers, to see and emulate.

As long as managers see themselves as being "above" non-managers, they will create a wall of silence between themselves and those they lead. Effective managers (and leaders) know their people well, care deeply about their people (career advancement, personal development, etc.), and know how to "listen" - sometimes, without actually hearing anything, but, just by watching.

Richard Forselius said...

Anyone can manage. Only a critical few are leaders. I routinely ask my classes to identify leaders in society today (non political). They can't even name 20 leaders. Most don't even think of the executives in their organizations as leaders.

Wes Colberg said...

I think the problem here is that your confusing management with leadership. Managers focus on getting the “work” done, schedules and managing the tasks of others, basically controlling teams of people and their activities, controlling assets etc…
Leaders on the other hand, build trust through mutual respect and a genuine sense of caring within all levels of an organization; an organizations discipline and cohesion is reinforced through this environment of trust. Ultimately, a leader’s authority to lead is in hands of those they lead. If there are problems then, they (the leaders), must identify and act rectify the problem. If there is constructive criticism, the leader allows open forums for these contrary perceptions to be exposed and take steps to solve the issues. People will not be led unless they want to be, and they will not follow without trust. Following is voluntary, and while there many different theories to leadership, without simplicity, truth, goodness you will never inspire a person to attain a higher goal. It’s about trust! Trust in a leader’s vision, competence and character. Trust that you will be treated with respect in every situation; it’s an art form that is developed through experience, study and courage, to inspire others through character and competence, and clear/concise plans and it’s the ability to move an organization through any environment with “direction and purpose!
Many people confuse these two terms, since many managers are considered leaders, while not all leaders have to be managers. By virtue of your role in an organization, you may be required to be a leader without actually having to be a manager. Sounds strange and counter intuitive to all of our thinking, but we all know someone who is the expert in their field, the “Go To” person, they are in themselves, informal leaders. Like Sherri Said give those folks a forum to discuss their experiences, so that everyone could benefit from their perspective. Like any art, leadership is only honed through critical analysis of how leaders and organization worked through their challenges.

Wes

Hugh Stanley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wes Colberg said...

Really??? That’s sad. I wonder if it's just a really poor understanding what a leader is, or not many of their managers have chosen to become leaders. After many years in the military, I have found that the people that have been great leaders inspire me to become a better person and member of society! I can name many of them, they have been older NCO's and Officers and sometimes I have out ranked them! There was one NCO, years ago, who was younger than me, who had this "aura" ,he lifted people up just by his presence. He wasn't successful, or ambitious, just honorable, and everyone wanted to be like him. He taught me humility, not through instruction but through his actions. I was inspired by his grace...Maybe you should ask your class who inspires them and gave/gives them passion, then, have them identify a leader.

Megan Darrow said...

John,
As a person that started at a "bottom feeder" position and worked my way up, I felt that there were two main reasons that my employees or my peers never spoke up. The first one is that they are not informed enough about what is going on around them and the second one is that the questions always comes up in a group setting. As a leader, I felt that I was able to get better feedback and ideas during informal one on one conversation with peers and employees.

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