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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 4:05pm
Leadership is behavior born of a way of thinking. It is an issue of character as much as it is a matter of study. Where "management is a way of doing things right, leadership is doing the right things" (Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker).
Management is a top-down thing.
Managers are tactile, organizing and handling people and their work. They work through spans of control and organizational charts. The best ones facilitate teams who complete tasks and processes.
Leadership is a forward-looking thing.
It is strategic - sees around corners and obstacles. Leaders set goals and motivate others by modeling behavior. They draw the hearts and minds of manager and team members towards a vision. Where managers improve and hone their tools, leaders study others, examine their own skills and delivery systems, and review character and its evidence. One step forward and up is pursuit of a degree as a Master of Business Leadership.
Business leaders know that leadership is a process. They finish things but are not finished. They respect that education is a continuing process and learning remains on-going. They became leaders partly because of their education on the job, in school, college, and training. Their character comes from the home, ethics, and life's experiences.
Managers learn terminology and applications. Some show the potential for leadership inspiring, as well as commanding. How to and what to inspire can be learned, shared, and improved during graduate courses qualifying as a Master of Business Leadership in a program for working adults.
Most managers finish tasks and put them away whereas leaders see ongoing changes and evolving challenges. If they don't have all the answers, they don't know anyone who does. They seem to know what others need to meet their goals or find their dreams. They understand people need a visionary and that sometimes that's them.
Not shy about bringing their skills to classroom or seminar, they thrive on the input of others. They want experienced mentors, not old-school professorship. They like real-world problems, practical experiences, and case-studies as textbooks. They seek to model teamwork, ethics, and leader-as-servant styles.
Managers at their worst are conductors. Impatience makes them difficult and impulsive. If a leader needs fast results, s/he models pacing and pursues innovation to reduce process and cost.
Leaders mobilize managers and teams around goals. Where the manager assigns and measures, leaders identifies and encourages individual talents and team dynamics.
While managers arrange and normalize things after a crisis, leaders empathize and nurture.
Managers brainstorm possible team approaches, but leaders show team members how they can, each in their own way, contribute to the team success.
Pressed on performance, managers will coerce. Coercion alienates and stifles leaders.
Managers are often victims of democracy, letting the team majority rule regardless of the situation. In the same situation, the leader sorts one occasional need from another, and seeks buy-in, not votes.
In an adult-learning environment among other working adults, managers grow in their leadership skills. Each becomes a master in business leadership.