Screaming Into The Abyss

On Leadership
By Ben Zvan
On February 05, 2010 at 11:18
General News

I spent the better part of my day yesterday listening to well-paid people talk about effective leadership. There was some good information:

Management and leadership are different things. Management is concerned with keeping the trains running on time; Leadership is concerned with where the trains are going. I would add, though it was not mentioned, that people in management positions can be leaders and that people in leadership positions need to be able to manage. Their trains might have new destinations, but they have to be able to get to them in order to get to them on time.

To effectively lead people somewhere, they have to want to go there. The trick is identifying and explaining the problems with the current system so that people will see that it needs to change. How many leaders ignore this step? From what I've seen, most of them make changes without mentioning why they're doing it. The followers end up seeing the problem with the current system as 'it changes too often and never improves.'

There was also a lack of one critical piece of information:

Effective leadership is not always good leadership. I heard a lot of talk about how to get your way and about constantly evaluating if your way is the right way. I heard nothing about figuring out what your way is or why it's better (not just different) from the current way. It's one thing to keep checking the GPS to make sure you're heading toward your destination, it's another thing entirely to make sure you're heading in the right direction to begin with.

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