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Stosh

Leadership vs. Management

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A lot of discussion has gone out on issues that seem to have multiple definitions that have caused misunderstandings in some of the threads here on the forum.  After we settled down to defining NSP's it became a bit clearer that the chasm we were peering over wasn't really as big as we thought it was. 

 

Rememberschiff put out a quote from Gates' book on how he saw a difference between leadership and management, an issue I have struggled with because I do see a marked difference between the two.  A lot of people I have met don't see much difference at all.

 

So I'd like to open up the discussion on exactly how do others see the difference.

 

I see it as: Leaders lead people and Managers manage tasks.

 

Still others see leaders as those who are good at convincing others to follow them and still others follow certain leaders because they are drawn to them by what they do.  Managers focus on "getting the job done" and of course they delegate tasks to other people to get it done. 

 

The flow of authority for me runs in opposite directions.  Where as the authority of a Manager flows from the top down, thus all the conversation about who runs the show and who's the top dog.  Leadership the flow of authority originates with the people who empower certain people to lead them for whatever reason.

 

Thus one can draw a strong distinction between even the phrases, boy-led and boy-run, where to me boy-led is leadership and boy-run is management. 

 

So is adult-led and boy-run troop possible?

How about a boy-led, adult-run troop?

We all know an adult-led, adult-run is possible.

But is boy-led, boy-run an ideal that can never be attained?

 

I for one think there are a lot of adult-led, boy-run troops out there thinking they are boy-led.  But just ask yourself, who do the boys look to for the final decision in any situation?  Why is it the boys keep asking adults on every little issue? Who's really running the show?  It would be interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

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Interesting to note: "lead" is not in the definition (Webster's or Oxford's) of "run".

 

Adults may play on that and limit "leadership" to the decision-making process. Once boys make up their minds, adults jump through all of the hoops to make it happen. They "run" the program. @@Stosh, no doubt you can expound on how this may conform to a Gnostic ideal. (No offense to any devout Gnostics out there.)

 

A simple example is the Tour Plan ... For a while, I was having my crew president fill it out and give the finished product for review, which I would sign. However, now that that monstrosity is online, the default operation is clearly for an adult (key-three) to operate. Set aside any IT problems there may be with bringing SPLs up to speed with his scouter accounts, etc ... it's quite clear that the design of the tour plan -- even as a piece of paper -- was such that a PL or SPL would never see it.

 

There are definitely troops out there where adults lead (tasking scouts with X, Y, and Z), and they leave it to boys to run everything. I've had my boys' SM's slip into that mode unnecessarily.

 

But, I would say that most scouters, when pressed, envision something that's boy-led/adult-run. They simply can't imagine a youth being concerned about the make, model, and insurance coverage of a driver's vehicle. (Although ... I found that many 16 year-olds are very much attune to such things!)

 

What many adults fail to reflect on is that every task that they run is a squandered opportunity for a boy to lead.

 

So, if you get adults to reflect on the tasks they've taken on ... you're more likely to get them to see the value of a boy exercising leadership via service. When they value service as leadership you then can move everyone to "boy led and run."

Edited by qwazse

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Interesting slant I hadn't considered @@qwazse.  Maybe it's because I don't think in the same terms you do.  I'm Gnostic, remember?  :)

 

Boys lead, but adults support the work of the boys, not by doing anything, but by providing what is necessary for them to be successful.  Boys need a tour permit.  Okay.  PL's plan a trip, notify SPL they are going to be needing drivers/rides and a Tour permit.  That has nothing to do with any adults running anything, they are simply doing what's necessary as part of a management task to support the decision of the PL.  Of course at any time some adult can refuse to support the boys, and take the leadership from them and hold them hostage.  Boys need tour permit and rides to X activity.  SM doesn't think that X activity is a good one for the boys even though it is well within the limits of BSA policy, i.e. this patrol of older boys are planning on attending a summer camp different from the rest of the other patrols.  So he refuses to support the patrol, takes over the leadership and tells the boys they have to go to the same summer camp as the rest of the patrols.  PL and patrol decide that if the SM isn't going to support them and their decision and instead attempt a leadership coup, they would not be attending summer camp this year.  Checkmate the boys!  and the damage done by the power playing SM may take a long time to heal if it ever does.

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boy, this sure reminds me of a conversation I had with the old SM back when I was CM and also acting CC for the troop.  

 

The SM had only recently taken over as SM, was previously some other role for the troop and had been around a while (older son is eagle).  So he was in the early stages of trying to turn the troop to "boy led"

 

During a committee meeting when no boys were around, something came up about planning where and when to go to summer camp... or maybe it was a more routine monthly/local camp

 

anyway, i said something about boy led and shouldn't they be the ones deciding where and when they want to go, then trying to find enough SM and ASM to take them?

His answer was, "I'll be "dunked" if I'm going to let a kid determine when and where I'm going camping"... or something to that effect anyway.... and he didn't say "dunked".  

The comment took me by surprise since it seemed so out of character for this guy.

Well I saw that line of thinking was going nowhere, at that point in time, so we moved on....

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The SM had only recently taken over as SM, was previously some other role for the troop and had been around a while (older son is eagle).  So he was in the early stages of trying to turn the troop to "boy led"

 

His answer was, "I'll be "dunked" if I'm going to let a kid determine when and where I'm going camping"... or something to that effect anyway.... and he didn't say "dunked".  - edited quote by @@blw2  (for some reason the quote function didn't work right for me.)

 

:)  It must have been in the really, really early stages of trying to turn the troop to "boy led".  It is pretty obvious that no "kid" ever is going to ever be able to lead anything while he's SM.

Edited by Stosh

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The SM had only recently taken over as SM, was previously some other role for the troop and had been around a while (older son is eagle).  So he was in the early stages of trying to turn the troop to "boy led"

 

His answer was, "I'll be "dunked" if I'm going to let a kid determine when and where I'm going camping"... or something to that effect anyway.... and he didn't say "dunked".  - edited quote by @@blw2  (for some reason the quote function didn't work right for me.)

 

:)  It must have been in the really, really early stages of trying to turn the troop to "boy led".  It is pretty obvious that no "kid" ever is going to ever be able to lead anything while he's SM.

 

yeah, not to speak ill of the guy at all

but unfortunately I think he thought the troop was a good bit further along that it really was

I just think it was a case of not knowing what he didn't know.

 

I've had that in the back of my mind a lot, and I often wonder if this isn't the core to the probably subconscious thinking of many scouters as they let the boys "think" they are leading... you know, the whole lip service thing.

 

and I think this thread really points to it, as adult led, boy run

where the adults decide what, when, where, and why... while the scouts get to choose the who and the how

and by this the adults i think genuinely think they are doing boy lead

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Stosh, I like a lot of what you've written but your idea that leadership is bottom up and management is top down doesn't match what I see. I agree that bad management is top down. But leadership goes both ways. Sometimes a leader needs to tell a scout something he doesn't want to hear, such as "no, you can't go play, it's time to wash the dishes." There's give and take. The leader's responsibility is the group as a whole. Not only that but sometimes a vision has to grow from one person, usually the leader, to the whole group. Take the whole subject of boy led from the SM's view as leader and a bunch of new parents. The new parents want a schedule of events so their sons can get FCFY but the SM wants scouts to make their own decisions. The SM says no, this is the way we're going to do it. It's not bottom up. It's more like tough love.

 

Who is the keeper of the flame? Who cares about the scouts in the patrol? That's the leader. We ask the PL to care but there's no way we can force him to do it. It's the exact same thing with character. We can tell them what it is, we can show them how we do it, we can tell them to do it, but we can't make them do it. I've tried to make opportunities for scouts to try leadership at a lower level than PL, just so they can try it out, but it hasn't worked well.

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@@blw2

 

That was my gut feeling from a lot of the things posted here as "boy-led".  I'm thinking the more precise term is "boy-run". 

 

I also believe a lot of this has to do with BSA's move from teaching leadership to teaching management skills and calling it leadership.

 

If a leader is leading people what's there to delegate?  NOTHING!  :)

 

Look at it this way. 

 

PL is the "leader" because he takes care of his patrol members.

APL is the "leader" because he takes care of his PL and will even step in when needed, he's the PL's right hand man.  He's successful when his PL is successful.

Patrol Scribe is the "leader" because he takes care of his patrol member's paperwork/financial needs.

Patrol QM is the "leader" because he takes care of his patrol member's equipment needs.

Patrol Chaplain Aide is the "leader" because he takes care of his patrol member's spiritual needs.

Patrol Grubmaster is the "leader"...

 

I think you get the point.  At one time or another each of the members of the team actually leads.  They know their job, they've been trained in their job, no one needs to delegate anything to them, they can be trusted to do their thing for the patrol.  In fact, if everyone has a job (see GGB Harcourt's leadership training program) then at one time or another everyone leads and it's called teamwork.  Nothing ever gets delegated!  What task is there that needs to be delegated?  NOTHING!

 

Oh, but the first thing that comes to mind is that the fire needs to get started and the GrubMaster is busy mixing pancake dough. 

 

The first lesson in Leadership is "Take care of your boys."

The second lesson in Leadership is "The best leaders are also the best followers!"  All followers are successful when their leader is successful.  (see APL above) All my boys when the leader is working are asking, "What can I do to help!" 

 

The only time any of my boys have ever done a duty roster for their patrol was at summer camp when the PL was forced to provide one by the camp staff and placed on the bulletin board.  NO ONE ever looked at it after that first day.  Duty rosters are management tactics to delegate chores. 

 

The boys at summer camp encountered Shepherd's stoves for the first time and had no idea what they were doing on getting it to work.  They came to me and asked me to teach them how to set it up and use it.  I went over there and the very first thing the PL asked was, "What can I do to help."  The APL chimed in and said he could help too.  :)

 

Where in the NYLT curriculum does it teach that?

 

@@MattR  You posted while I was writing this, but I think I caught it anyway.  If not let me know.

Edited by Stosh

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Stosh, I like a lot of what you've written but your idea that leadership is bottom up and management is top down doesn't match what I see. I agree that bad management is top down. But leadership goes both ways. Not necessarily.  The authority to lead is always given by the subordinates. Sometimes a leader needs to tell a scout something he doesn't want to hear, such as "no, you can't go play, it's time to wash the dishes." If that's how a PL sees him taking care of his boys, then there's a major breakdown in his leadership.  That boy is not allowing authority to be given to the PL because the PL isn't taking care of him very well.  There's give and take. A leader does not take anything from the follower, he's there to help the follower become a leader himself. The leader's responsibility is the group as a whole. Not only that but sometimes a vision has to grow from one person, usually the leader, to the whole group. So now the leader's vision takes president over the needs of his people he's supposed to be taking care of?  I would think the true leader's vision would be dictated by the needs of his people. Take the whole subject of boy led from the SM's view as leader and a bunch of new parents. The new parents want a schedule of events so their sons can get FCFY but the SM wants scouts to make their own decisions. The SM says no, this is the way we're going to do it. It's not bottom up. It's more like tough love. And all the followers will thus walk away and find someone who will help them and take care of them.  They can pull leadership authority away from another in a heartbeat.  I've seen it done.  Over the years I have seen a few PL's get voted out and replaced on a moment's notice.

 

Who is the keeper of the flame? PL Who cares about the scouts in the patrol? They care for each other. That's the leader. We ask the PL to care but there's no way we can force him to do it. We?  If the boys ask and he doesn't do it, they can simply ask someone else.  It's the exact same thing with character. We can tell them what it is, we can show them how we do it, we can tell them to do it, but we can't make them do it. I've tried to make opportunities for scouts to try leadership at a lower level than PL, just so they can try it out, but it hasn't worked well.

 

And you have hit the nail on the head.  No one can be forced to be a leader.  One can force someone to be a manager and one can set goals and expectations to define success and failure of that person as a manager, but forcing them to be a leader is impossible.  It's an issue of the heart and drive of a person's character, not the accumulation of skill and knowledge that makes a person a leader.  This is what BSA doesn't understand very well because they have forgotten how to do it.

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I think leadership is like pornography, hard to define but easy to identify when you see it!  

 

Stosh, help me understand how it works in your definition.  I'm a manager, says so on my business card, and I'm regularly given tasks that need to be accomplished and expected to see them through.  Seems like it fits your definition of management.  So, if I have to call my team in on a Saturday to complete a task I'm managing, but, if I take care of them by buying them lunch or making sure they get and take some comp time, am I also a leader?  I have to evaluate their performance every year against some set of standards, a management task, but, then I have take care of them by defending my evals and arguing for their raises, bonuses and personal development.  Leadership, right?  If I have to fire an underperforming employee I'm certainly not "taking care" of that employee but I may be taking care of my overall team both from a performance and morale perspective.  Leadership or management?

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Stosh, I like a lot of what you've written but your idea that leadership is bottom up and management is top down doesn't match what I see. I agree that bad management is top down. But leadership goes both ways. Sometimes a leader needs to tell a scout something he doesn't want to hear, such as "no, you can't go play, it's time to wash the dishes." There's give and take. The leader's responsibility is the group as a whole. Not only that but sometimes a vision has to grow from one person, usually the leader, to the whole group. Take the whole subject of boy led from the SM's view as leader and a bunch of new parents. The new parents want a schedule of events so their sons can get FCFY but the SM wants scouts to make their own decisions. The SM says no, this is the way we're going to do it. It's not bottom up. It's more like tough love.

 

Who is the keeper of the flame? Who cares about the scouts in the patrol? That's the leader. We ask the PL to care but there's no way we can force him to do it. It's the exact same thing with character. We can tell them what it is, we can show them how we do it, we can tell them to do it, but we can't make them do it. I've tried to make opportunities for scouts to try leadership at a lower level than PL, just so they can try it out, but it hasn't worked well.

 

In general terms, i sometimes think of a good leader as being a person that people want to follow.

It might have nothing really to do about that leader caring about me

but it's something else,

sometimes it's personality driven

maybe that I want to be like that person.  I want some of what they've got perhaps.  I don't know exactly.

Maybe a way to picture it more like the leader pulling up, as opposed to supporting from below.

so is that top down? or bottom up?

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I think leadership is like pornography, hard to define but easy to identify when you see it!  

 

I guess I'll have to take your word for it... I have absolutely no idea what your talking about!  :)

 

Stosh, help me understand how it works in your definition.  I'm a manager, says so on my business card, and I'm regularly given tasks that need to be accomplished and expected to see them through.  Seems like it fits your definition of management.  Yep, to a Tee.  So, if I have to call my team in on a Saturday to complete a task I'm managing, but, if I take care of them by buying them lunch or making sure they get and take some comp time, am I also a leader?  If your team was involved on the project to begin with and built ownership in it, you wouldn't be calling them in at the 11th hour, they would be fully aware of the situation and would be there taking care of the task they ALL have been tasked to do. Its a lot easier to follow a leader who's in the same boat as they are.  Did they have a chance to work extra hours during the week so they wouldn't have to come in on Saturday?  Were you looking out for them or was the task the main focus?  If they worked extra hours Monday thru Thursday to get it done early and not work on Saturday, I'm thinking a 3:00 pm, break on Friday for a little celebration would be in order.   I have to evaluate their performance every year against some set of standards, a management task, but, then I have take care of them by defending my evals and arguing for their raises, bonuses and personal development.  Leadership, right?  Or were they evaluated on their performance and given a chance to excel long before the year end evaluation time?  Maybe if they showed improvement throughout the year, you woldn't ben arguing for bonuses, raises and personal development opportunities.  A leader has their back from day one.   If I have to fire an underperforming employee I'm certainly not "taking care" of that employee If one were taking care of their employee, how could it ever get to the point where they must be fired?  I'll accept flagrant betrayal, but that's not the case very often. but I may be taking care of my overall team both from a performance and morale perspective.  Leadership or management?

 

It reminds me of an incident with my dad in his office.  He was a 6-digit executive with employees working for him.  As part of his goal-setting and performance evaluation every year he had every one of his subordinates write down company, professional and personal goals for the year.  His assistant put down that he wanted to be a better father and more involved with his kids.

 

So Dad had him give him his kid's baseball schedule, school schedule, etc. things that would be important to his son.  So, one afternoon, Dad's calendar pops up first game of the season for the employees son at 2:00 pm that afternoon.  At 1:30 he goes down to that employees office and asked what he was doing.  He said he was finishing up on some project that needed some extra time, to which my dad implied he either get out of the office immediately or he'd be fired.  That man worked for my dad for over 30 years after that, never missed a game either.

 

Do your subordinates give you authority to direct their work and their lives?  Do they trust you to do the right thing?  Do they feel you have their backs when the stuff hits the fan?  Do you go to bat for them when needed.  Do you really appreciate what they do to make your job easier.  Does what they gladly do make you look good?  And have you told them you noticed they do and you appreciate it?  Do you trust them to do their jobs and do it correctly? or do you need to "keep an eye on them all the time"? These are the questions you need to be asking besides, did the task get done on time, under budget?  If you're there for them, they'll be there for you.

 

So, are you a manager or a leader or both.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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I'm always on the lookout for "leadership" manuals.  One of the best I've found that breaks things down into a simple form is the Petty Officer 3 & 2 Leadership Fundamentals that the US Navy puts out.

 

From that book, the qualities/traits of a leader:

-high standards of performance

-moral courage

-dedication

-example

-initiative

-loyalty

-accountability

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I'm always on the lookout for "leadership" manuals.  One of the best I've found that breaks things down into a simple form is the Petty Officer 3 & 2 Leadership Fundamentals that the US Navy puts out.

 

From that book, the qualities/traits of a leader:

-high standards of performance

-moral courage

-dedication

-example

-initiative

-loyalty

-accountability

 

Unfortunately the main aim/goal of any military operation is the "mission" (task)  To me all these qualities may make a good manager, but unless one adds further clarification might apply to leadership.  Loyalty to whom or what?

Accountability to superiors (management) to subordinates (leadership)

Obviously high standards of performance would fall smack dab in the management arena.

 

Look at the US Army leadership manuals, they are quite different.

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I see the distinction between leadership and management as two words, trust vs compliance. Leaders trust and have the trust of the others. Managers comply and and ensure compliance.

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