Thought Leadership

By Arthur James, Client Thought Leader

Recognizing the difference between managing and leading is the first step to change in an organization. And the first step to reducing expenses and increasing profitability.

The basic principle as expressed by Seth Godin is, “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

Simple enough isn’t it? While I think that’s a good start there is a bit more to be discussed and to follow.

If you’re as old as I am, which is somewhat ancient compared to many, no one back then thought about leading, we only thought about managing and of course hiring someone to manage.

The reality is managing is about manipulating resources or processes to get these things done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

While being good at managing resources or processes could make you a good manager, managing people is another matter entirely. Who likes to be managed?

I don’t know of anyone that likes to be managed, do you?

Individuals are looking for assistance and education to do what they do better and to enjoy what they do. To do that you must be a leader, someone who will help those you are in charge of so they will become the best that they can be.

You’ve heard the term before, “lead by example.”

To lead is to make change happen in a way that everyone is on board. They understand the mission, they have the authority to get it done and they have a clear definition of the autonomy they have to satisfy the client (customer) and the organization.

Another quote from Seth Godin that holds so much truth is this…

“Life’s too short” is repeated often enough to be a cliché, but today it’s true.

You don’t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It’s not just pointless, it’s painful. Instead of wondering about your next vacation, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape.

Management and leadership are important, however leadership has a bigger impact on an organization’s success.

True leaders create happiness and when people are happy they usually make other people happy as well. Thus the circle of life is that happiness leads to success, and success leads to happiness.

Don’t you make better decisions and create better outcomes when you’re happy?

So if you really need some pointers on leadership here are a few from Gallup.

First, change your team’s leadership philosophy from command-and-control to one of high development, high purpose and strengths-based coaching.

If you do these three things well, you immediately will experience more innovation and entrepreneurialism…and secure your future.

Second, make a structural change to what you require in a team leader (manager). Show them and require them to actually coach their team members every week and touch base with them regularly.

It’s a simple as getting out from behind your desk and talking with your team.

Great team leaders love using the right tools and learning that things like high development beats high satisfaction. High-purpose beats workplace benefits.

Third, tell your executive committee and board you are transforming your culture from one of command-and-control to one of high development.

When board members ask, “Why?”

Tell them exactly this: “The practice of management has changed. We are moving to a culture that attracts and holds stars. A culture that creates sudden, massive innovation and entrepreneurship — so we can win more customers.”

Come from your heart and learn from the masters such as Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Napoleon Hill, Mahatma Gandhi, Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King and others.

When you lead you’ll know instinctively how to act and what to do if you just allow your heart to lead you.

A few decades ago my experiences and my studies of these great men showed me the truth of what I’m suggesting for you. So I’ll leave you with these two quotes that I live by and hope you find empowering.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

” Man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Ben Franklin

Be the change and stop thinking you can get others to follow through manipulation or beating them into submission or what you can get from them.

One last point, if you’re afraid of losing your job because someone you’re managing might take it, then you’re definitely a candidate for our Leadership Summit.

As a true leader you want someone to take your position so that you can take the position above you. Only when you help others succeed will you succeed.