Are we Leaders or just Managers? Great question that many people ask of themselves and those above them in the hierarchy of their business. If you walk into any bookseller or shop online in Ibooks or the Kindle store you can find literally hundreds if not thousands of titles that address this. When you read and truly study this you will find there is a huge disparity between the two. I strive to be a leader in my organization.
I do not have a fancy title(Technical Consultant 3), I do not have a huge pay grade or unlimited expense account. What I do have is the ability to affect positive change and understanding in an industry that has provided well for my family and has given me the opportunity for personal growth. I do all that I can to pay it forward.
In "You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader" Mark Sanborn shares great insight into how attitude separates Mangers from true Leaders. "The Way of The Shepherd" breaks down philosophies to best look out for your team and the skills one needs to be an effective Leader. These books were recommended to me by a leader who I consider to be a great mentor, friend and yes he is my “manager”.
John C. Maxwell shared a humorous story that I have shared below in his book "Developing the Leader Within You". After reading it I thought back to my saturday morning sales meetings at my hometown Ford store. I have adjusted it slightly:
During a Saturday morning sales meeting at the local dealership, the General Sales Manager was berating the sales staff for their dismally low sales for the month. “I’ve had just about enough of poor performance and excuses,” he said. “If you can’t do the job, perhaps there are other sales people who would jump at the chance to sell cars here.” Then, pointing to a newly recruited, retired pro-football player, he said. “If a football team isn’t winning, what happens? The players are replaced right?”
The question hung heavy for a few seconds; then the ex-football player answered, “Actually, sir, if the whole team was having trouble, we usually got a new coach”
So the question remains, Are we leaders or managers?