Leadership is big on the management streets these days: Everybody is looking up to the charismatic leaders, heading global corporations and driving them to success based on an overall genius vision and strategy. The implementation of such a strategy is executed by managers, working in close relationship with these leaders. There are managers that are leaders but most leaders are disappointed when being called to be only a manager. Whats the difference you might ask? The difference lies within the focus.
A manager operates daily business, he or she takes care, that business is running, that the hairdresser is cutting hair in an efficient way, that the baker bakes bread that is sellable or similar things. A manager will not change a bakery to become a hair saloon nor an hair saloon into a bakery. That would require out of the box thinking and questioning everything that was there before. A manager is an organizer. A leader is not? A leader organizes things as well but it is not his main concern. The two words leader and ship are pointing us into the right direction. Leading a ship means telling where to go. In the big scale. Telling the whole ship where to go, not the individual seaman on the ship how to pull a specific trigger in order to get the boat to accelerate, stop, turn left or right. Leadership is going back to the port where the journey started or changing the port where the ship is headed. It might even be leaving the ship to sink and take a plane to achieve a better purpose. Leaders are not afraid of change, they live it. Change is frightening for those who prefer to stay in a world they know every detail of. Every corner, every rule. These people might bend the rule from time to time to be better, more efficient or faster but they will not make the laws behind the rules. Manager do not shape visions, they execute them. Leadership means having a vision and communicate it as a strategy. Detailing that strategy and getting an action plan out of it – that is than what mangers do. Steve Jobs once said something like
The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do.
Leaders know they can. They walk ahead and provide guidance for the rest to follow. Interestingly enough, leadership is something that one can learn. It may takes years and talent is – like always a plus.
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