Round Two | What Is Leadership Anyway?
In our last blog, What is Leadership Anyway?, we focused on what leadership was not and then gave you a few examples of respected leaders attempts to define it and then concluded with a possible new definition of Leadership. Today, we are going to expand on this definition a bit.
Listening to others has made us realize that leadership can only be understood by knowing what followers follow. What we heard them follow is the value standards reflected in what they experience in the workplace. The vast majority of what they experience consists of the support provided by management: training, coaching, tools, parts, material, discipline, direction, information, planning, and the like.
For instance, a management that attempts to control employees with commands, goals, targets, bureaucracy, policies, and the like transmits disrespect to employees leading many employees to treat their work, their customers, each other, and their bosses with the same level of disrespect. The same occurs if management does not listen to employees enough to satisfy their need to be heard or fails to openly share information with employees. Management’s leadership is its support, no more and no less.
It may be true that some managers are also leaders, but that’s not necessarily the norm. We feel that most people think of “leaders” as those in the organization who can align people around a vision, strategy or idea and galvanize action. These leaders might exist at every level of the organization, but the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of large numbers of people – particularly to address complex problems – rests in the upper levels of the organization because only they are in a position to allocate resources. To us, the difference between a leader, a manager, and a “follower” traces the difference between vision, strategy and execution.
What do you think about this? Tweet us @abetterleader.