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Leadership is not management

April 17, 2015

Leadership is: “The process of influencing others to accomplish a mission or task by providing purpose, direction, motivation, and support”.

Simply stated; leadership is not management. We manage things, but we lead people. The historian Roger Nye remarked that we are not leaders until validated as such by those who we have chosen to lead.

In other words; leaders are not identified by titles, positions authorized on manning documents or by uniform. A true leader is defined by the success of the team and how well the leader mentors others, sponsors team members, resources team efforts, trained team members to do their job and set positive conditions for team success.

Leaders embrace uncertainty. They inspire initiative, creative thinking, innovation and complex problem-solving. Leaders assign tasks to others with a high probability of success. Remember; a vision without resources is nothing but a dream, so leaders must resource priorities for success. In addition, leaders must master the skill of compromise, facilitation and team integration.

Tenets of good leadership also include; being a good listener, a solid public speaker, a person of good character. A good leader stresses mastering the fundamentals of the trade. Good leaders set a positive example for others, they set and enforce standards and follow through on commitments.

A good leader can’t be everywhere, so he or she masters the skill of placing themselves at the critical point; thereby, positively influencing the outcome of critical events. A good leader shows uncommon commitment in relationships and work and cares for others before him or herself (selfless service versus selfish service). A leader is compassionate, firm, consistent and fair in handling people problems.

The Golden Rule is very appropriate here: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

This editorial was submitted by Vice President of Development & College Relations Steve Bloomer.

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