walking out front

“Leadership is doing the right thing, while management is doing things right.” — Warren Bennis

Leadership to me means the vision and drive to motivate others to move forward toward a worthwhile goal. I believe leaders should have the integrity to set goals that benefit many and the follow-through to complete those goals.

Managers take charge of the actual work and the workers. They make sure details are not overlooked and the job gets done well.

The details of management

For the last twenty years, I have been more of a manager than a leader. I manage my home and the raising of my children. At work, I am a special education paraprofessional. I make sure students learn and get their work done.

As a personal coach, I both lead and manage. Clients primarily come to me looking for assistance and understanding regarding their relationships. I lead them through a discussion to help them gain insight and grow. I also manage my website and social/financial accounts to maintain the company’s viability.

Ready for leadership?

As I get older and have more life experience, I see the chances for leadership increasing. My second marriage, allows me to lead or co-lead. As my children grow up, they require less management. Honestly, I am grateful for that. I have discovered that managing many details stresses me out. They say God is in the details. Well, I’ve probably missed out on some God time. Over the years, I believe I have become more efficient and have more skills regarding household and business tasks. Managing people still daunts me, but I’m willing to take on more of a leadership role in that area.

The pitfalls of leadership

As a leader, we give our team direction and we make decisions. Those are two challenging endeavors. Making sure the team heads in the right direction, takes due diligence and conviction. Being the decision maker means some people will be upset with you. It’s impossible to please everyone all the time.

I, We, It

In his book, Unbeatable Mind, for NAVY SEAL Mark Divine, says that leaders have integrity when their thoughts, words and actions align with their “I, We and It.” The “I” is our internal subjective self. It is our world view, beliefs and consciousness. The “We” is our inter-subjective space where we share experiences with a team, partner or community. The “It” sphere is the system or organization within which we work. “It” could be an office building, a school or the military, just to name a few examples.

Making decisions universal

Mark Divine also says that philosophers for centuries have said that universal laws bring goodness while relative laws lead to weakness or even evil. Universal laws translate across all cultures, for example do no harm unless in preservation. Beliefs based on relative law get their influence from families, religion and individual cultures. Strong leaders lead based on virtues and universal laws.

I appreciate these areas of guidance when it comes to leadership. Essentially, the best leaders have a desire to serve others. They do not solely lead for the power or prestige. Managing my household and its schedules is a way to serve my family. I look forward to leading and serving as well.

Which feels more comfortable, managing or leading or following? Has your perspective changed over time?



**If you would like to learn about creating connection, reducing relationship insecurity and the mysteries of introversion, check out my online courses at brendaknowles.teachable.com.

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