Leadership
Leadership Versus Management

by Kevin M Burns
Often there is a mention of "lack of leadership". Is it because leaders are born and not made? Are our business schools preparing managers rather than leaders? Is there any difference between leadership and management? Get your answers here!

If everyone seems to know what leadership is when they see it, why do most organizations seem to bewail lack of leadership continuously, and why is there an apparent huge dearth of leadership at the top of most corporations these days?

Is it?
a) Accident of birth? Leaders are born not made?
b) Demographics? Maybe there is only one leader for every 1000 managers?
c) Training? Do our education systems train managers rather than leaders?
d) Selection? Maybe true leaders don't get selected in favour of managers or get screened out, or just maybe are not recognized as leaders?
e) Desire? Maybe folks just don't want to lead even if they have the skills & aptitude?

My answer:
Sorry, I don't buy into the belief that Leaders are born. Anyone can become a leader of any organization at any time. All that is required is a firm commitment to better oneself at every turn, acknowledging every foible and be willing to accept it and to continuously make improvements - real lasting improvements in becoming a better, more decent human being.

The more we read, the more we learn, the more personal discovery seminars (not that Meyers-Briggs or DISC fluff - a twenty-minute personality assessment which only explains why you are the way you are but not any real tools to change it) from real hardcore, locked-away for weeks at a time personal development journeys that we can attend, the more work we do on ourselves the more we become real.

Leadership must be authentic. In order to be authentic, a leader must be prepared to show all of him or herself - warts and all. Leadership comes from confidence. Real confidence requires no proof (think about that statement until you get it).

Management, however, can be done by anyone (I didn't say quality management). That's why it would be easier and more expedient to send someone to management school instead of self-discovery programs. It's quicker. It's cheaper. It doesn't remove the person from the workplace as long. And if he or she doesn't work out, the company can start again and send someone else.

You can be a jerk most of your life but it's in the "why" of being a jerk that we can discover many of our subconscious driving needs. Once we figure out what makes us tick, we can find more appropriate avenues to realize those needs.

Until organizations around the world figure out that you can't send a jerk to manager's school and expect him to become a leader, we'll keep ending up with the same old-same old. Leaders CAN be made. But they have to want to go out and get it. And it's hard work - I mean HARD work. Most people don't want to do the work. That's why there are so few leaders.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: If you need to have power and control - then you will only ever be a manager. If you want to help people become better, more proficient and help them find meaning in their work - then you are a leader.

If you need to demand respect - you will only ever be a manager. If you give respect knowing deep down that you get what you give, then you are a leader.

If you believe that your people serve you - you will only ever be a manager. If you believe that you are, in fact, in service to your people - you serve them - and that you work WITH them - then you are a leader.

You see, Leadership is an Attitude. Management is a position.
Service is an Attitude. Customer Service is a department.
Safety is an Attitude. Occupational Health & Safety is a program.
Engagement is an Attitude. Work is a job.

The moment you give up the NEED to be in control is the moment you stop being a manager and start being a leader. Managers control. Leaders inspire.

Kevin Burns, Author & Attitude Adjuster, is an attitude expert in Employee Engagement, Service Leadership and Corporate Safety. Kevin believes better people offer better service, make better sales, get along better, communicate better, engage themselves better, manage better and overall, make your organization better and safer as a whole. He delivers high-energy and hilarious keynote presentations to corporate and association audiences throughout North America. To inquire about Kevin's availability, call toll-free 1-877-BURNS-11.

More info on Kevin's programs at http://www.kevburns.com

Read Kevin's Blog http://www.kevburns.com/blog

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