“Leadership is not so much about technique and methods, as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.” ~ Lance Secretan
You and I are affected by great leadership. Our parents, grandparents, our siblings and children have all been impacted by many of the same people. How and why have their lives changed ours? By stimulating and nurturing our growth.
These men and women have profoundly shaped and directed our lives. Indirectly it might be the great political, military, spiritual, educational and cultural leaders through the ages. Those who have lived and accomplished noteworthy events and brought positive changes to our world. Directly and specifically it would be the parent, the teacher, the minister or rabbi, the coach or any one of a number of people who have in some way touched our lives by their words or deeds. They have served us and in that service we were enriched and rewarded. They planted a seed, nurtured an idea and helped us shape our thinking, choices and habits. We grew because they gave. Leaders grow people.
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
Our growth is not always a planned and calculated result of a leader’s effort. Many times it happens seemingly by accident. Yet there is always a principle of life involved in any true growth experience. True growth happens when the right conditions for growth exist. People do not normally grow under strained or austere conditions. They may survive and exist but they will not grow. Without the proper conditions, growth will not only be limited, it will be stifled altogether. Distrust fostered by broken promises or hypocritical actions and words is a growth killer.
Our Most Valuable Resource…People
The most valuable resource of our country is the people. The most valuable resource of any organization is the people. Often times that resource is being neglected and misused and in some cases abused. How are we going to tap this rich vein of productivity? What are the steps we need to take to utilize this resource?
One of the first and most important is to practice principle-based leadership. Principle-based leadership is focused first and foremost on doing the right thing with the people. When we learn to manage things and lead people we will tap the wealth and abundance of talent currently unused.
You manage things. You lead people… Today, more than ever we need leaders.
We also need to learn the difference between leadership and management. Cars are similar to trucks, but they aren’t the same. Cats are similar to dogs, but they aren’t the same. Likewise, there are similarities between leaders and managers but they aren’t the same. You manage things. You lead people.
“Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”— Peter F. Drucker
Leadership looks at the WHY and WHAT while management looks at the how and when. Leadership is concerned about PRINCIPLES and QUALITY while management concerns itself with productivity and quantity. Leadership involves itself with the VISION and DIRECTION. Management involves itself with the movement and activity. Leadership is focused on the issues of HEART while management is focused primarily on what comes out of the head and the hands.
Management fails when it takes its eye off the bottom line. Leadership fails when it forgets the top line…PEOPLE. If leaders fail, most often times it is due to insensitivity to people. Managers fail when the bottom drops out and there’s nothing left for the most valuable resource of all, the people.
“Management works in the system; Leadership works on the system.”~ Stephen R. Covey
Do we really need managers? Absolutely! But more than ever before the cry is being heard for those who can lead. The world markets are closing in on us at a rapid pace. The government and economy is in worse shape than ever before. Now is the time for a new breed of leadership.
Our culture suffers from drug problems, educational weaknesses, spiritual maladies and a host of others social illnesses too great to mention. Today, more than ever we need leaders. Men and women, who will serve, sacrifice and show those who are starving how to fish so they can feed themselves for a lifetime.
Leaders who are principle-based and people-oriented will rise to the top and build the hope and the future of our tomorrows. How are these leaders developed? It’s time for a new formula or a renewing of an old formula that has been forgotten. Understanding and applying the universal principles for growth will stimulate and cultivate the leaders that are needed for our current and future success.
“Dramatic growth wasn’t going to happen through doing more of what we’d done in the past.” – Gustavo Valle
George is a speaker, trainer and coach. Learn more about the instructor-led courses Brightwing offers. For a complete list of courses and detailed course outlines call 888-521-2478, ext. 317 or email Jenny.