Take Me to Your Leader

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to differentiate your managing and leading skills. Reading time 3:57.

        Take me to your leader. Remember those old science fiction movies you watched as a kid?  Those invaders from outer space never said: Take me to your manager.”

     take-me-to-your-leader Why? Managers focus on the NOW. Leaders focus on the NEW. As Peter Drucker famously noted  that managers (NOW) do things right while leaders do the right (NEW) things.

      In today’s ever-changing business environment proficient managing—good planning, budgeting, organizing and controlling- is necessary but no longer sufficient as John Kotter, the Harvard professor observed in his book The Leadership Factor. “One also needs good visions, strategies, coalitions and motivation to deal with competitively intense business environments.”

      Indeed all leadership development begins with your intensive managing skills to cope with changing conditions. Then leaders get involved and they evolve their decision-making  from a focus on changing conditions to  conditioning change.

     When you condition change, you adapt and adjust to the swirl of the world around you. And you evolve into a never-ending, always-engaging focus on continuous improvement. But it takes two to tango on the ever-changing dance floor of change.

     You can’t be a good manager without FIRST being a good leader.   And you can’t be a good leader without FIRST being a good manager.

      Managing and Leading are two sides of the same coin—the coin all leaders need to polish on both sides –IN ORDER to consistently open the gate into the C-Suite  for you and other developing leaders.

     To help better define, differentiate and distinguish your progress from managing to leading, study the following 24 behavioral comparisons.  They are  rhymed to make a more significant deposit long-term in your memory bank.

      Managers play the tune. Leaders set the tone. Managers assign sources. Leaders align resources.
Managers fill a role. And Leaders till the goal.

take me      Managers checkup. Leaders check in. Managers look in on others. Leaders look INTO others. Managers make good decisions. And Leaders make decisions good.

      Managers approve. Leaders improve. Managers seek how comes. Leaders seek outcomes.Managers compete. And Leaders complete.

      Managers report. Leaders support. Managers win over them. Leaders win THEM over. Managers seek reports. And Leaders seek rapport.

      Managers focus on value. Leaders focus on values. Managers accomplish. Leaders achieve. Managers enforce. And Leaders reinforce.

      Managers instruct. Leaders construct. Managers are on their guard. Leaders are on the vanguard. Managers tell. And Leaders compel.

      Managers field the plays. Leaders play the field. Managers effect. Leaders affect. Managers change plans. And Leaders plan change.

      Managers take directions. Leaders give direction. Managers homogenize. Leaders harmonize. Managers inspect. And Leaders respect.

      No wonder people around the world — and even those out of this world –proclaim: Take me to your LEADER!

Today’s ImproveMINT

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2 thoughts on “Take Me to Your Leader

  1. Nancy Roggen

    just read your article in Training magazine. http://pubs.royle.com/publication/?m=20617&l=1 Honestly I was appalled about the artifact section where you lauded a plant manager who used a 12 inch Hula dancer as a motivator – having started my professional career in the steel business where as a woman I was in the minority I know what it feels like to have women viewed as objects and this “Artifact” perpetuates an out of date belief and attitude that it is OK to sexualize women and make that into reward. Shame on you And by the way Hula is an art form that does not “shoot the moon”

    1. The Leadership Mints Guy Post author

      You are absolutely right and I apologize to you, Nancy. This Hula story happened 40 years ago. It wasn’t right then and of course it is not right now to treat anyone as an object. I looked for an example that would engage a reader. Instead I found an example that enraged a reader. I am sorry. Thank you for pointing out my mistake.


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