Jump to content
Stosh

Leadership vs. Management

Recommended Posts

No, if that is what you think of natural leadership, then you haven't met one. Don't confuse expertly using learned skills with being born with the skill. Many times natural leaders don't even know they do it.

 

Over the past 45 years I have been exposed to thousands of kids of all kinds.  With an average of 3% natural leaders, that leaves quite a few I have met.  And in order to understand, one needs to look at their parentage and upbringing, their environment, their opportunities in life, even their handicaps to understand that natural leaders are not freaks of nature, anymore than some young boy's love of baseball might lead him to a professional career in the sport.  So he can't bat worth a darn, but he might make a passionate coach or intuitive talent scout.  They don't have to fit into a "natural born" mold to be one.

 

I'm not sure why some folks can't accept the idea that a person can be born with natural skills of persuasion.

 

Some people have a more logical mind and reason out things easier than others.  It doesn't make them a leader.

 

Persuade

cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument. - "it wasn't easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing"

synonyms: prevail on, coax, convince, get, induce, win over, bring around, coerce, influence, sway, inveigle, entice, tempt, lure, cajole, wheedle; More
informalsweet-talk, twist someone's arm;
"he tried to persuade her to come with him"
antonyms: dissuade, deter
  • cause (someone) to believe something, especially after a sustained effort; convince.
    "they must often be persuaded of the potential severity of their drinking problems"
  • (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something.
    "the cost of the manor's restoration persuaded them to take in guests"
    synonyms:

    cause, lead, move, dispose, incline

The ability to persuade people is a managerial skill not a leadership skill.  I have a job to be done and persuading people to help is part of getting that job done.  Persuading them by giving them money to do the job is not leadership, it's just human manipulation.

 

As I told my sister, we accept that idea and an Olympic athlete was born with an unusual skill or that a person can have a genius level of intelligence. Is a natural leader really a reach. And what does it matter, it doesn't change the concepts of leadership. And hey, it's not a theory, I learned it in professional leadership training courses from real experts. 

 

Barry

Here's were I see the process moving away from leadership, i.e. leading people towards management, i.e. accomplishing a task.  I'm thinking persuading people to act to accomplish a task is just good management and what I'm seeing as what's being a "natural leader" is just a logically organized mindset that can present a logical argument.  Just not seeing it as leading people.  Charisma and the desire for people to be around another person is just that, they just desire to be around the other person, there's no task involved and nothing has to be accomplished and no persuasion involved.  They just feel drawn to that person.  To me that is a "natural Leader" because people want to be around them.  A charismatic person really doesn't need to persuade a person to do anything, they react to the situation differently for that person.  A manager expects people to do something. a task, a leader only expects the people to follow them for reasons only known to the follower.

 

Talking about what a leader is or does still seems a bit murky.

 

I've seen scouts with lots of charisma (other scouts just want to be with them) but their only vision is to get scouts to follow them in a social setting. I've kept in touch with a few and they still haven't grown up. I tried hard to get them to use their talents for doing something besides screwing around but it didn't work.

A leader doesn't aways require a positive need being met.  A street gang might have a leader that meets the needs of his membership with drugs and money.  Doesn't mean he's any less of a leader.  Same for a screwup, that seems to get everyone around him in trouble along with him.  Doesn't mean that person isn't a very effective leader.  People are following him, that's what makes him a leader.  Here's where the word game gets muddled.  A good leader (effective leader) can lead towards socially good, acceptable needs being met.  But a good leader (effective leader) can lead towards socially bad, unacceptable (criminal) needs being met.  Both are good leaders.

 

What I have also seen are people with a passion for something. Some scouts want to organize fun campouts or campfires. Organizing THINGS is a trait of management.  A campfire program is not a person.  That leads to confidence, or they can simply be OCD and they like things the way they want them to be. and people tend to follow. Most of the campfires and campouts require a ton of organizatonal skill and very little leadership.  I have a scout in my troop that has some minor speech impediment. He's shy about it but he tries hard enough that everyone respects him and follows him. It has nothing to do with charisma but everything to do with desire and humility. And exactly what is it this scout is DOING FOR THEM that he is passionate about?  That will clue you in on his leadership.

 

I still disagree with the idea that a leader should only do as told from below. It's not that anything is being dictated from "below".  It is nothing more than the leader recognizing what the others want/need and will work on that person's behalf to get it for them.  He's taking care of his people. One example is the SM that's trying to change his troop to be more boy led. And at this point the SM is functioning as a manager trying to change the program.  Has nothing to do with leading people.  Some parents and scouts won't like change no matter what. People don't like changes in a system they are comfortable with.  A leader recognizes this and helps the people through the change, a manager's prime objective is to make the changes. Does that mean the SM should never change anything? Waiting for everyone to come to complete agreement is called design by committee. If he cares about his people and none of them want to change, why is he doing it?  Maybe that's why the BSA can't get behind boy lead, there are too many bubbles in Texas that can't agree on it. I agree that going it alone is risky and getting enough people to agree is important, but it's rarely the case that everyone agrees on everything. With a vision and a passion for getting something done, THAT is what managers do, not leaders real leaders make things happen and disagreements are part of it. One must lead all the people. Leaders take into consideration people's concerns and needs.  Managers are only interested in getting things done.

 

 

@@Stosh

 

In the case of my unit. Moving towards the Patrol method. I had to persuade the Scouts, and the other adults. Correct, you are managing a structural change in the system of the unit.  I had a vision of what the Troop should be like. Yes, there should always be a clear managerial goal/task outlined so everyone knows when the task as been completed and whether or not the action was successful usually determined by measurable indicators.There was no clamor of change from the Scouts. But I knew it was the right direction, and while there was skepticism from those above and below me on the organizational chart. I continued to make the case. As a 20 year old ASM at the time, the only power I had was the power to to persuade. From the onset the vision was entirely just your vision.  No one was interested in following you, your description clearly indicates.  You needed to implement management skills to manipulate people to agree with you because without such manipulation, no one is going to follow.  If you are able to successfully justify the changes others may assist you in the process, but one has taken the long way around trying to change enough minds that the changes are good for them in the long run.  Once accomplished, how long do you think the changes will last?  If you leave the reason for the changes do as well and the old system will be reinstated rather quickly, a lot faster than it took to make the change in the first place.  One can see this quite vividly whenever there is a change in the SM position in a troop.  New guy has new ideas, old guy's ideas are out the window.  This is not leadership this is managerial manipulation.  New boss, new system.  People simply resolve themselves to it over time.

 

@@Eagledad, I agree some people have higher emotional intelligence than others, and that makes them more effective at persuasion. There are a lot more traits and skills a leader must have besides the ability to persuade others. Also, I didn't mention servant leadership in my post. I'm not sure if I'd agree that it's a leadership style. It's more of a mindset. No, it's a difference in the origin of motivation.  A manager relies on his logical mental acumen to devise persuasion.  A leader relies on his compassion for people  and his caring for their needs.  A set of parameters that a leader judges their decisions against. Managerial goals to accomplish tasks. A leadership style is more personality no, people based. At least from my understanding, but it's been a couple of years since I took the leadership psychology classes in college. 

 

All: I think authority and influence flow from a variety of sources. It's a little too simplistic to say it flows top down, or bottom up, because these things depend on the situation.   Of course it does.  It flows from the top down so that the managerial tasks can get accomplished.  If a person is given the responsibility to do a job, they had better be given the authority to do it.  It has nothing to do with leadership.  However, if people all give up their personal authority to another so that person can take care of them, they will of course follow that person.  It's all based on personal relationships, not just on getting the job done.

 

Leaders can have tons of authority, and no influence, and be utterly ineffective because nobody will follow them. Authority goes with responsibility not influence.  Influence is a skill of managers.  They persuade people in a variety of different ways to get the job done.  Theory X and Theory Y are the two classic examples of managerial persuasion on a classical textbook level.  Leaders can have very little authority, and very strong influence, and still be constrained by the system they are operating in. (the thing they want to do is not allowed.)  That is management again.  Things are not people.

 

Just my rambling thoughts.

 

Sentinel947 

 

 

 

I pretty much agree with your whole post Matt. We spend a lot of time on leadership and almost none on vision. A team without vision is like a ship without a rudder. I'm one of a few who liked 21st Centry Woodbadge because it taught setting a vision followed building a team to reach the vision. I think vision is where adults have to start and most have none.

 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean waiting for permission from bellow. That wasn't my style, so I don't have much experience there.

 

It means getting one's vision from those who are paying for the product.  If the customer wants a white car, you build a white car or it won't sell.  If one does not meet the needs of the customer, they will go out of business.

 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Stosh by your definition I suppose I have never led anything in my life, only managed it. I suppose I can live with that.

Look around you, are there people there looking to you for guidance? Inspiration? help? attention?  When they are hurting do they seek you out?  when they're frustrated and bummed out do they want to sit next to you and just be close by?  Do they need someone to laugh with? Cry with? celebrate with? 

 

How many of those things require visions and measurable goals?  NONE because each one of those dynamics are leadership.  Sure, some things require management.  In caring for others, there are organizational things that need to be done, but they aren't as important as why you might be doing it for another person in the first place.

 

In terms of scouting, do you help the old lady across the street because it's a task you need to do as a good turn to be a scout, or do you see someone in need and you take are of it? 

 

The sad part of this whole discussion is that there are a lot of people so hung up on it, they miss the beauty of servant leadership and the impact it makes on the lives of both the leader and the person being served.  It's not counting coup, it's not keeping score, it's not measuring success, it's simply the joy of helping other people and the smile on their face when they see and trust you as their leader.

 

The real strength in leadership, especially servant leadership is it's perceived weakness.  It's not weak at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to copy the entire other thread of my examples, but, for the record I work in IT Ops so weekends, nights and holidays are required because that's when we get systems.  I argue for my guys raises because in my organization the raise pool is fixed so it's a zero-sum game.    I asked the questions I did because I don't think you can split leadership from management.  Good leaders sometimes have to manage, good managers sometimes have to lead.

 

I worked for a small IT contracting house early in my career.  The man who started the company was fond of saying managers are the guys directing the troops who are cutting their way through the jungle; leaders are the guys above the treeline deciding where to go.  The point he was trying to get at, and one that I tend to agree with, is leaders should generally be strategic thinkers while managers are generally tactical thinkers.  This generally fits Stosh's model but it's broader and allows for different leadership styles (servant, autocrat, salesman) and flexibility for situational awareness.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Servant leadership is one style of leadership, it is not the definition of leadership. Of course we in scouting teach servant leadership as the preferred method because it fits within the boundaries of the Scout Oath and Law. Living the Scout Oath and Law is living as a servant because the action of the Law are outward actions toward others. That is why I describe scouting as boy run, not boy led. You don't have to lead to live the servant lifestyle of the Scout Law.

 

As I said, leadership is simply the actions to persuade others to follow change. It is that simple. That can be done a number of different ways other than servant leadership. The military used a directive style of leadership because they require an instant response of obediance to perform efficiently.

 

But we tend to make leadership a high level of importance because it is at the top of the stature of recognition. We all know that most big accomplishments can't be met without a whole team. Yet, the "Leader" is given credit for one of the skills in that team. Why? Because since the beginning of time, stature is how adults rank themselves among their peers. But I believe good followship requires greater skills than leadership. The bible say pride is the main cause of folly. Humility is the cure. Leadership within the bounds of the Scout Law is expression of humility.

 

I can't change your mind about natural leaders, but I will say that you likely haven't met one. My sister and I had the same discussion once and my answer to her was not believing in natural leaders is like not believing in natural athletes and everyone should be able to run a 4 minute mile for 27 miles. Call them freaks of nature if you want, but they are out there. A natural leader scout can teach adults a lot because they push adults pride to their limits. I can honestly say I was a better SM with the natural leader in our troop. I failed him and I changed as a result.

 

Barry

 

I'm not going to copy the entire other thread of my examples, but, for the record I work in IT Ops so weekends, nights and holidays are required because that's when we get systems.  I argue for my guys raises because in my organization the raise pool is fixed so it's a zero-sum game.    I asked the questions I did because I don't think you can split leadership from management.  Good leaders sometimes have to manage, good managers sometimes have to lead.

 

Yes, you are totally correct, but by simply making that statement one can only conclude there is a difference between leadership and management.  Leaders can manage and managers can lead.  But what leaders do to manage is not the same as what managers do to lead.  That's the whole point I'm trying to make.  What is often done is to think that when people manage a task they are leading.  But if the task can be done by oneself, who's there that makes it necessary to lead?  If a leader is doing a task and there's no one to lead, where's the leadership?

 

I worked for a small IT contracting house early in my career.  The man who started the company was fond of saying managers are the guys directing the troops who are cutting their way through the jungle; leaders are the guys above the treeline deciding where to go.  

 

Nope, totally disagree with this gentleman.  I'm sure that if he didn't have customers with needs, he'd be out of business in a heartbeat.  Servant leadership serves the customer.  The Ivory tower can make all the plans it wants, budget finances, strategize marketing, until they are blue in the face, but if they don't provide what the customer needs their efforts are wasted.

 

The point he was trying to get at, and one that I tend to agree with, is leaders should generally be strategic thinkers while managers are generally tactical thinkers.  

 

Top level managers are no different than middle managers who are no different than low level managers.  In actuality the only one that is not a manager is the guy at the bottom who is in fact the only one that has the contact with the customer by providing the product they want.  Notice it is not the manager that takes care of the customer it is the only one in the operation that is NOT a manager. 

 

This generally fits Stosh's model but it's broader and allows for different leadership styles (servant, autocrat, salesman) and flexibility for situational awareness.  

 

Servant leadership is not a style, it is leadership by definition.  Autocrat is management and persuasive salesmanship is managment.  One does not TELL the customer what he wants, but an autocratic manager does.  One does not need to convince the customer that his product is what they need, but a persuasive salesperson might try some tactics to trick them into it.  Madison Avenue has persuaded people to buy junk they don't need but think they want for years.  A lot of people have gotten rich conning people out of their money by persuasion.  They are really good at it, but they aren't leaders.

 

Servant leadership takes it's cue on what it is to do from the customer, the person needing to be cared for or tended to.  They have a need.  That is what dictates the actions of the servant leader.  They do not get their marching orders from on top from an autocratic manager.  They do not devise schemes and tactics as to how to gain from persuading others into thinking that what they have is what the other wants and/or needs.  Servant leadership takes it's directive from the customer.  Management takes it's directive from others who are telling the customer what they want to think.  Persuasion has no place in the operation of a servant leader.  But we have seen "leaders" who through persuasion done a lot of manipulation to coerce people into doing and acting in ways they normally wouldn't, mostly to avoid punishment and pain. 

 

It can't be emphasized enough that management's priority is to accomplish a task.  People are used, coerced, paid, manipulated, catered to, rewarded, etc. to "get the job done" or complete the goal or task.  These tasks are strategized by thinkers who are motivated by any number of different dynamics.  Narcissism, altruism, fear, reward, etc. and hundreds of other reasons.  They are taking their directive from what they think is best.  

 

On the other hand leadership's priority is to take care of other people.  There is no using people, no coercion, no one's getting paid, manipulated, catered to or even rewarded.  The actions of a leader set priorities based on people and their needs and wants.  They are motivated by the people they serve, they take their directives from the people they serve which is ultimately the customer.

 

Do I owe allegiance to or any sense of connection or loyalty to the people who sold me a car?  Maybe not, but if they service my car at a fair price, make sure I get to where I need to be and basically take care of my transportation needs while I have that car, I have developed a loyalty to them, not because of what they do, but because of who they are.  Anybody can fix my car that is trained, but the guy that takes care of my needs by fixing the car will stand out.  Is he persuading me to come back for service?  Nope, at any time I can go someplace else I feel does a better job of attending to my needs.

 

It's servant leadership that makes a business manager a leader because a leader is worried about more than just getting the job done or even done right.  To the leader, people take president over the "job" (task).

 

If one can't separate that out, they will never be able to understand how doing one's duty to God and Country is part of their life.  They will never understand why it is important to help other people at all times (the core and impetus of servant leadership), being trustworthy to the task or to people?  Loyal to the task or to people? Helpful to the task or people? 

 

So if all we do as scouters is to teach our boys how to finish the task at hand and strategize program, manage duty requirements and get Eagle, they have missed out on learning what it means to do one's duty to God and Country and to help other people at all times.  For me a paper Eagle can get the job done, but a real Eagle is the one that servers God and Country and helps other people at all times.  Those are servant leadership words, not management words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So,sticking with leaders work on people while managers work on tasks, let's look back at history. Lincoln had a vision of abolishing slavery. He then had to manage the task of making that happen. Yet, he was looking out for his people. Not all of his people agreed with him. What people want is not always what they need. Before you say it, I agree that sometimes people are wrong deciding what others need, but anyone that has been involved in educating a child or student knows that what a student says he wants is not always in his best interest.

 

Similar situations for our founding fathers and FDR and lots more. These people were not considered great managers. They had to deal with the problems at hand. If you'd like to call that management that's fine even though I disagree. They also dealt with people. They had to get the people to work on the problem at hand. They had to understand the people, their strengths and weaknesses, listen and learn from them, trust them to do their part, help them when they needed support, motivate them when they were down, and yes, even fire them when they were in over their heads. In short, take care of them so the problem at hand could be solved. Most people would call that leadership.

 

Groups of people usually have problems to solve and they have to work together to accomplish that. If leadership can never include solving group problems, or tasks, then there isn't much room for leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So,sticking with leaders work on people They take their cue/vision from the needs of the people.  Obvious if one is to lead, leading people is the goal.while managers work on tasks, or goals, or visions, things that basically don't need people to follow, but if people are involved, they are basically like any other resource needed to accomplish the goal. let's look back at history. Lincoln had a vision of abolishing slavery. Not according to the record of history.  He specifically said that because South Carolina attacked attacked a federal fort, his only concern was to save the Union.  His "mission" had nothing to do with slavery.  Two years into the war he issued an Emancipation Proclamation freeing only the slaves in federally held territory in order to impose economic hardship on the Confederacy's ability to wage war.  His solution to the slavery issue was to send them all back to Africa.  He then had to manage the task of making that happen. Yes, he held the Union together.  Yet, he was looking out for his people. Not all of his people agreed with him. What people want is not always what they need. Before you say it, I agree that sometimes people are wrong deciding what others need, but anyone that has been involved in educating a child or student knows that what a student says he wants is not always in his best interest.  I'm in total agreement that what people want and what they need are worlds apart.

 

Similar situations for our founding fathers and FDR and lots more. These people were not considered great managers. George Washington was able to organize a citizen army of untrained civilians and defeat one of the greatest military powers of his era.  I'd say that took a manager of great skill to pull off.  Keep it in mind that not all of the people of that time wanted freedom, they were loyal British colonists,  Washington didn't lead on their behalf, he led only those that wanted independence.  They had to deal with the problems at hand. If you'd like to call that management that's fine even though I disagree. They also dealt with people. They had to get the people to work on the problem at hand. Lincoln put out a call for 75,000 volunteers at the opening of the Civil War, they came in by droves, volunteers, they didn't have to, they came in response to Lincoln's call.  They had no idea what was in store for them, they simply heeded Lincoln's request.  They had to understand the people, not really, these were people from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different ethnic ties their strengths and weaknesses, nope, these were citizen soldiers with very little if any training and no experience whatsoever listen and learn from them, I don't think it worked that way in the army.  trust them to do their part, everyone that signed up was willing to do their part help them when they needed support, he instilled martial law when and where necessary motivate them when they were down, he only steeled his resolve when the horrendous casualty reports came in and yes, even fire them when they were in over their heads, Yep, Little Mac was fired because he wouldn't fight the army he raised and hire Grant who did what was necessary to win the war.  A lot of people died because of the TASK AT HAND OF WINNING THE WAR In short, take care of them so the problem at hand could be solved. Most people would call that leadership.  At the end the task of saving the Union was completed.  It wasn't until years later when the 14th Amendment was ratified that the slaves were set free.  Lincoln could say anything he wanted, it didn't make it law until well after the war.  Legally Lincoln freed no slaves.  But as far as winning the war, he got the job done.

 

Groups of people usually have problems to solve and they have to work together to accomplish that. If leadership can never include solving group problems, or tasks, then there isn't much room for leadership.  Never claimed a good leader can't use management and never said a good manager isn't a good leader.  I said, a manager whose goal it is to accomplish a task doesn't need leadership if all he's going to do is persuade, threaten, and force people to do help with the job.  It's a lot easier to accomplish the task using leadership where people willingly help out because they see the benefit for themselves in the effort.    I also never claimed that a leader couldn't also be a good manager.  Washington built an army (management) and used it to defeat the British.  McClellan built Lincoln's army but had no leadership ability  to lead the men in battle. 

 

The only claim I have made is don't confuse the two.  One may be teaching the boys leadership and the boys can't figure out why no one ever listens to them (a common complaint among the boys.  Maybe they are good manager but lousy leaders.  If the boys are expressing this complaint, maybe a lesson in leadership is necessary, but if all one is going to do is teach the boys to manipulate, persuade and coerce the "followers" it may not work out very well.  This is why I draw the distinction between leadership and management.  I cure the right disease knowing which illness I'm dealing with.  If the boys need management lessons they get management lessons.  If they need leadership lessons, they get leadership lessons.  Far too often boys need leadership lessons and all they get is management lessons in strategy, goal setting, people persuasion and then can't figure out why the boys still don't listen to them.  I can see why this happens, but I know of  a lot of people who don't.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think historical abstraction gets us removed from the concepts we are trying to handle. It took countless leaders at every level to turn the nation from imperial colonialism and a slave trade economy.

 

Management is where you might see leadership come to the fore. However,

You could say the same for service, worship, patriotism, friendship, and nearly any other aspect of the scout law.

 

When I ask a youth to take leadership on something, I'm not asking that he or she assign people a series of tasks (although that may be what is in store). I'm asking primarily for him or her to accomplish something in a way that everyone involved will attain a sense of fellowship an comraderie that would not otherwise be shared.

 

If youth stick with me, after a while, they realize that I'm looking for the shy kid being cared for, the ranger at a run down camp getting a phone call about camping/service weekends, the fire attracting so many venturers that the builders drift into the background. And (sometimes) the tired old ASM getting some weight redistributed from his pack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think historical abstraction gets us removed from the concepts we are trying to handle. It took countless leaders at every level to turn the nation from imperial colonialism and a slave trade economy.

 

Management is where you might see leadership come to the fore. However,

You could say the same for service, worship, patriotism, friendship, and nearly any other aspect of the scout law.

 

When I ask a youth to take leadership on something, I'm not asking that he or she assign people a series of tasks (although that may be what is in store). I'm asking primarily for him or her to accomplish something in a way that everyone involved will attain a sense of fellowship an comraderie that would not otherwise be shared.

 

You're getting warmer.  :)  ...accomplished in a way that those affected have a sense of affinity to you as a leader.  Once they realize that such leadership is an attractive quality to have for oneself, they will follow that person and develop leadership a leadership for themselves as well.  Once everyone figures this out, it is then when esprit-de-corpse, camaraderie, and fellowship kick in.  With everyone taking care of everyone else, management and management skills are pretty much a back-burner item anymore, they are almost unnoticeable.  :)   This is where the patrol goes off camping and no one ever even thinks about having a duty roster and if it became mandatory to have, someone would post one for cosmetic purposes and then everyone would promptly forget about it.

 

If youth stick with me, after a while, they realize that I'm looking for the shy kid being cared for, the ranger at a run down camp getting a phone call about camping/service weekends, the fire attracting so many venturers that the builders drift into the background. And (sometimes) the tired old ASM getting some weight redistributed from his pack.

 

And so how does one help people "see" this kind of service, taking care, aware of others and their needs kind of leadership?  How difficult would it be for me as SM to always have to persuade my SPL and PL's to be on the look out for shy kids and their needs?  Persuade them to contact the ranger who is in need of help, persuade them to help out the tired old ASM with his pack?  If one has to constantly persuade others to do these things, then one needs to reassess their own leadership because in my opinion the scouting fundamentals of leadership aren't getting through to the boys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New definition that circumvents the top down bottom up discussion: Leadership is management based on good character. A leader can simultaneously look out for the needs of his people and tell them what to do. I tell the scout leaders in my troop that every decision they make has to be checked against the Oath and Law. If he puts the good of his patrol before himself then there's nothing wrong with him telling a scout what to do.

 

This is what good presidents, generals, parents, mid level managers at big companies, and any other good leader does. I agree there's a difference between handling tasks and handling people but real leaders have to do both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New definition that circumvents the top down bottom up discussion: Leadership is management based on good character.

 

David Koresh, Adolph Hitler, and Jim Jones were all very charismatic leaders that effectively orchestrated horrendous outcomes.   I think that definition might not hold up very well if one considers all aspects.  Leadership is management based on character doesn't really say much either.

 

A leader can simultaneously look out for the needs of his people and tell them what to do.

 

But a leader can look out for the needs of his people and not tell them them anything or have them do anything either.  Why is everyone so insistent on telling others what to do all the time?  Bullies do that, military officers do that, parents do that, teachers do that, but it doesn't make them leaders.  And isn't it true they are the ones complaining that their kids don't listen, their students don't listen, etc.?  Telling people, persuading people, rewarding people, coercing people, threatening people, etc. are all management strategies and have nothing to do with leadership.

 

I tell the scout leaders in my troop that every decision they make has to be checked against the Oath and Law. If he puts the good of his patrol before himself then there's nothing wrong with him telling a scout what to do.

 

A good manager doesn't need leadership to walk through the process described in that statement as long as the job gets done.  Nothing wrong with doing the job for all the right reasons, but it doesn't make the manager a good leader.  Basically it could be said that in order to CYA on the task one needs to get done, make sure it complies with the Oath and Law and you won't get in trouble.  And we're once again back to telling people what to do thinking it's leadership.

This is what good presidents, generals, parents, mid level managers at big companies, and any other good leader does. I agree there's a difference between handling tasks and handling people but real leaders have to do both.

 

But a leader leads even if there is no task needing to be done.   And just doing a good job of something doesn't make one a leader.  If something needs doing maybe the servant leadership just does it on his/her own and doesn't even need to tell anyone what to do.  Do a Good Turn daily.  Where's the management strategy in that?   The 2:00 am homesick boy attended to by a caring SM.  Maybe just the two of them sitting by the fire for an hour or two is all that is necessary.  What exactly IS the task necessary to be done at 2:00 am anyway?  Maybe just being there is all that is necessary for the person to do to be a good leader.  One can, however, quickly realize that the SM is showing excellent leadership by taking care of his boys at a time like that.  Even better if his PL were to get up and sit by the fire too.  What's he expected to do to lead?  What's the goal? What's to manage?.... Nothing really, just like the SM, just be there for him.

 

Why is it so hard to understand that when one is helping other people at all times, when the PL is taking care of his boys, when he's being trustworthy to his boys, loyal to them, helpful, friendly, courtesy, kind, is there a goal, a mission, a target or some need for throwing in management strategies and visions into the mix?  I'm saying a good leader may work well with very little management skills and do remarkably well in the process.  When one relies on management skills thinking they are teaching leadership I believe it is short-changing the boys in the long run and making their effectiveness as leaders questionable.  Like I said, I very seldom hear my PL's complaining that the boys won't listen, i.e. follow.  I do hear my leaders constantly asking their buddies, "What can I do to help!"  That to me is servant leadership and it accomplishes a lot more in a more effective way than management strategies because no one really has to tell anyone what to do, they don't have to persuade anyone and if the if someone says "What can I do to help?" who is the real leader?  If the Grubmaster is "running the show" and one of the boys asks, what can he do to help and the Grubmaster says, I need the water bucket filled (a task) and the boy grabs the bucket and heads for the pump, who's the real leader there?  Who's the one taking care of the boys when it comes time to do the dishes after supper?  The Grubmaster for providing the vision or the boy for providing the water?   I'm thinking the dishes did better in water.  Servant leadership gets the job done and no one has to tell anyone anything.  Persuasive strategies aren't even an option for a unit run on servant leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telling people, persuading people, rewarding people, coercing people, threatening people, etc. are all management strategies and have nothing to do with leadership.

 

I'll have to disagree and offer up three words in my defense: Apple Computer Incorporated.  Apple fired Jobs right after the release of the macintosh.  It wasn't a successful product based on sales but Jobs had a vision of what it could be.  After he was fired he formed a company called NeXt to keep working on his vision of macintosh.  Fast forward to 1997, Apple is largely bankrupt having been through multiple CEO managers (managers that meet your definition to a tee).  Jobs is hired back and in the next 10 years changes multiple industries.  He replace the Apple mac with the NeXt, changed music through not just the iPod but building a consumer platform for the iPod.  Add in the iPad and iPhone and Apple is now one of the largest companies by market capitalization in the world.  By most accounts I've read Mr. Jobs wasn't a cuddly kind of guy but rather driven.  He surrounded himself with people who bought into his vision of the future and he lead them to achieve their shared vision.  Through his leadership he created markets where they didn't exist.  By any measure they were wildly successful.  Now, I suppose one could argue that was all a management exercise but I'll disagree.  Sometimes a leader has to stop the boat and convince people to row in a different direction.  

 

To put in perspective how fast that all happened under his leadership, the first iPhone wasn't released until late June 2007.  Then Senator Obama had announced his candidacy for President a scant 4 months earlier.  If you owned a smart-phone back then it was either a Palm (U.S. Robotics/3Com) or a Blackberry.  If you owned a cell phone it was most likely a Motorola.  What do Palm, Blackberry and Motorola all have in common?  They're all dead or dying largely because of a lack of vision for the future.  They owned the portable phone market and saw it torn from their hands by Apple and later Google.  

 

We could have a similar conversation about Bezos and how he turned a small e-commerce retail operation into a retail/logistics/cloud platform provider business.  Mostly he used his powers of persuasion to drive change.  When other companies were guarding infrastructure as proprietary he was selling access to his infrastructure to his competitors!  That's vision. 

 

Finally, at least for this post, I have to chuckle a little.  In fact you Stosh are practicing visionary leadership.  You posited a vision of what leadership could/shoud be in your opening post.  In the posts that follow you've been working very hard to persuade us to buy into your vision :).  So, are you practicing leadership or management?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to disagree and offer up three words in my defense: Apple Computer Incorporated.  In a sense and using a limited definition of leadership, you are correct when you suggest that getting someplace first, you can proclaim yourself the leader.  Getting to the finish line first makes you the leader in contention for the overall championship.  Winners coming in first are lead-ers.  Given that argument, all followers must be losers.  This is why I have stayed away from using  leadership in the competitive setting.  Scouts are not using leadership in any sense of competition.  If it were, then all Eagles would be winners and if one doesn't get Eagle, then of course everyone can draw their own conclusion.  So, instead, let's try my definition of Leadership.  Apple fired Jobs right after the release of the macintosh.  It wasn't a successful product based on sales so it is obvious that Job's "vision" for the home computer didn't really take into consideration of the customer who was to buy it.  So he was by definition not only a poor at serving the public, he didn't do a good job of managing either  but Jobs had a vision of what it could be.  After he was fired he formed a company called NeXt to keep working on his vision of macintosh. Having a personal vision and driving oneself to go after that vision is at this point leading no one but himself.  For me, that is the classic example of what I define as a Paper Eagle, the guy who's in it for himself and his own little vision of what's important.  Are we getting to the "help OTHER PEOPLE" any time soon?  Fast forward to 1997, Apple is largely bankrupt having been through multiple CEO managers (managers that meet your definition to a tee).  Or it's just trying to make a company that provides what the customer doesn't want be successful.  Jobs is hired back and in the next 10 years changes multiple industries.  He replace the Apple mac with the NeXt, changed music through not just the iPod but building a consumer platform for the iPod.  Add in the iPad and iPhone and Apple is now one of the largest companies by market capitalization in the world. All by being there their first.   By most accounts I've read Mr. Jobs wasn't a cuddly kind of guy but rather driven.  He surrounded himself with people who bought into his vision of the future and he lead them to achieve their shared vision.  Or they saw where this cash cow was headed and they got in on the ride for financial gain.  Did you know that this is what put Forest City, Iowa on the map as the city with the most millionaires per capita in the United States? Through his leadership he created markets where they didn't exist.  By any measure they were wildly successful.  Now, I suppose one could argue that was all a management exercise but I'll disagree.  Yeah, well there is still something to be said by good Madison Avenue marketing, too.  :)  Sometimes a leader has to stop the boat and convince people to row in a different direction.  Or a good sales department can sell you a Ponzi Scheme and you, too, can be a millionaire for a while.

 

To put in perspective how fast that all happened under his leadership, the first iPhone wasn't released until late June 2007.  Then Senator Obama had announced his candidacy for President a scant 4 months earlier.  If you owned a smart-phone back then it was either a Palm (U.S. Robotics/3Com) or a Blackberry.  If you owned a cell phone it was most likely a Motorola.  What do Palm, Blackberry and Motorola all have in common?  They're all dead or dying largely because of a lack of vision for the future. Again we're back to getting to the market place first with the newer and better.  And how much of it has to do with what the customer needs?   They owned the portable phone market and saw it torn from their hands by Apple and later Google.  Henry Ford made a ton of money for Toyota.  Dale Carnegie sold a ton of books.  Winebago made a lot of RV's for the Mallard Company.  Alexander Grahm  Bell gave the world the cell phone.  Thomas Edison gave the world alternating current electricity along with obsolete light bulbs, phonographs, and film projectors.  These were all "leaders" because they were first.  They were successful because they figured out how to make a fortune on their personal visions.  They were inventors who figured out how to successfully market their ideas. 

 

We could have a similar conversation about Bezos and how he turned a small e-commerce retail operation into a retail/logistics/cloud platform provider business.  Mostly he used his powers of persuasion to drive change.  When other companies were guarding infrastructure as proprietary he was selling access to his infrastructure to his competitors!  That's vision. As long as the money is rolling in, who cares who's buying it.

 

Finally, at least for this post, I have to chuckle a little.  In fact you Stosh are practicing visionary leadership.  You posited a vision of what leadership could/shoud be in your opening post.  In the posts that follow you've been working very hard to persuade us to buy into your vision :).  So, are you practicing leadership or management?

 

Nope, I'm only putting out there the difference between what people think is leadership because they have mistakenly defined it as such using inaccurate descriptions.  Using the proposed definition in the post I don't hear any of this kind of leadership leading any people anywhere.  The US was at one time the leader in nuclear energy, so how many nuclear power plants are operational today? 61 plants with 99 reactors at last count.  There 437 reactors world wide and another 99 under construction.  The US is no longer the leader in this area and falling behind every minute.  Of course the US has 7304 power plants with 19,243 generators in operation as well.  In light of all the global warming issues. where's the leadership?  Or is this whole thing driven by the people?  Could it be people don't want expensive energy but are willing to only pay for the cheap stuff?  The model of competitive leadership has it's limits. Managerial business practices adjust accordingly.  Keep it in mind if it wasn't for Edison, Rockefeller, Ford, and others who were looking to cash in on their inventions we'd be riding horses and heating our houses with wood and lighting them with tallow.   So I ask, were these people interested in making the lives of others better or were they making their own lives better?  There's a lot of grey area in this argument with no real answers.  A scouting taking the initiative to help an elderly lady across the busy street, kinda speaks for itself.  But then that scout's vision is going to change the world for one person for just a couple of minutes, or however long it takes her to quit being appreciative of a kindly young man in uniform.  I wonder how many times, "helping other people at all times" floated through the mind of Steve Jobs over the years?  I wonder if it even ever was a part of his "vision".  IF you can understand that, then you might understand a bit of what I'm talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that words mean different things to different people, I try to focus more on what is actually going on.  "Boy-led" often means boys as the non-coms to the SM as platoon leader. ( "Joe, get your tents up." "Yes, SIr.")

 

Having said that, using "leadership" instead of "management" can focus more on leading vs. pushing/controlling/directing.  My employer started using "leadership" when it started giving leadership training planned by Blanchard @ Associates.  

 

Further, I would like to have BSA-Speak reserve "leader" for Scouts, with "Scouter" for adults  - just as a reminder.

 

If, as BSA says it should be, the Scouts primarily experience Scouting in the patrol setting, not in a troop setting, there are better odds that the leadership will be by Scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that words mean different things to different people, I try to focus more on what is actually going on.  "Boy-led" often means boys as the non-coms to the SM as platoon leader. ( "Joe, get your tents up." "Yes, SIr.")

 

Having said that, using "leadership" instead of "management" can focus more on leading vs. pushing/controlling/directing.  My employer started using "leadership" when it started giving leadership training planned by Blanchard @ Associates.  

 

Further, I would like to have BSA-Speak reserve "leader" for Scouts, with "Scouter" for adults  - just as a reminder.

 

If, as BSA says it should be, the Scouts primarily experience Scouting in the patrol setting, not in a troop setting, there are better odds that the leadership will be by Scouts.

From TAHAWK:

 

"The OA lodge in my oldest council was about dead.  One recent year, it had no - 0 - activities.  Then the lodge got a new Lodge Adviser and a very impressive Lodge Chief.  Like flipping a switch, the Lodge came to life.  Leadership is once more proved to be the "magic" ingredient."

 

Was that leadership or management in your opinion.

 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×