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Leadership vs. Management


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#21 Sentinel947

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 11:25 AM

I think the whole boy-led verbiage is a distraction too. If a Troop is really running the Patrol method properly, they are a boy-led unit. To do anything else is utilizing patrols, but not the Patrol Method. 

 

I don't believe in leaders being "born" Leadership is a mindset, and that mindset and the skills that go with it can be taught. 

That's one of my favorite SM's minutes I've given. "Do you serve others, or do others serve you?"


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#22 Stosh

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 11:41 AM

Okay, @Eagledad, here is where we differ in our definitions of leadership and how the flow of authority in your model is different than mine.

 

My daughter and son-in-law are currently in a program of leadership development based on the model you have described.  "Leadership is simply the act of persuading others toward change."  I think that a lot of people, especially in our culture buy into this model.  The flow of authority is top down and it's the leader's vision that is sought as the goal.   It's up to the leader then to persuade others to get on board with his vision. I'm thinking the BSA might be using this model because it goes hand-in-hand with and doesn't conflict with management tactics.  Both authority and responsibility flow from vision originating "at the top".  Marketing is the classic example of this in the business environment.  I have a product and it is up to me to persuade you to see what I see as to how good it would be for you to buy it.  So according to the definition you provided, the a act of persuading others towards change, but my question always comes up as to change to what?  That which benefits the leader or that which the leader believes benefits those being persuaded?  Visionary leaders?  Who's vision are we talking about here?  With the examples of Alexander, Hitler, et al, I'm thinking it's the leader's vision that overrides and controls the persuasion.

 

So, as one who has been accused of being the BSA Gnostic heretic :),  I see leadership totally different.  I order to facilitate my kind of leadership I have turned the BSA business model organizational chart upside down and that causes the flow of authority and responsibility to flow the opposite direction.  It is at that point people plug their ears and start saying,  "Na, na, na, na,.." over and over again.

 

Let's assume that all authority and responsibility at the top of the chart.  BSA model puts that with the adults, with SPL slipped in as the top dog of the lower boy end of the spectrum.  It's up to th adults to persuade the SPL to buy into their vision, and then SPL persuades the PL's to buy into that vision, and the PL's are then responsible to persuade the members of his patrol. I may be a bit off, but this is what I'm understanding of how you define leadership.  Please clarify if I'm off base.

 

Well, what happens if the members of the patrol don't like that vision?  What if the members just want adventure and fun?  Maybe they just want to go of in the woods and goof off with their buddies?  What if it doesn't fit into the adult vision that I get to stay with my pals that I came here to have fun with?  What happens if there is ANY disconnect between the vision prescribed by the adults and what I as a paying member of the group wants?

 

This leads to my upside-down definition.  What if all the authority and responsibility flowed from the paying customer, the individual scout?  He walks through the door with the vision of fun and adventure with his buddies.  Okay a boy walks up to the little group of buddies and simply asks, "So, guys, what do you want to do?"  To which he gets the answer, "Well, this brochure says this is where the fun and adventure is supposed to happen."  So the scout say, "Who's going to be your leader?" And the boys all laugh and say, "You are because we came to have fun and adventure and if there's any work to be done, you get to do it."  To which the boy says, "Great, I can make that happen for you." 

 

So now the PL knows the vision of his members, and they have given him full authority to fulfill that vision of theirs.  He has to persuade no one to do anything beyond his control, because he only needs to control himself.  He has sworn an oath that he's going to do his best to do his duty to God and Country and to help other people at all times.  Well, here's his chance to help these 7 boys fulfill their vision.

 

So in terms of retention, who's got the better chance of keeping new boys in the program, the one who has to rely on persuasive skills to win over everyone, or the boy who only has to take care of them getting the vision they have asked for?

 

So as time passes, the boys realize that in order to stay with this program I have to start doing a lot of things that weren't in the brochure that are popping up all over the place.  Hoops I have to jump through to get credit for things just like in school.  Forget it, I signed on for my dream, not some one else's.  But the other boys begin to realize that now I have someone that's going to take care of me while I have fun.  It's a lot more fun to sleep outdoors in a tent, and my leader made sure we all had tents, and he made sure we all got fed, and he worked hard on making sure we all had fun.... and he's a really nice guy for doing all those things.  He made MY vision work for me.  That was neat how he did it and he seemed to really have fun doing it too.  What does he know that I don't know about having fun?  I wonder what his vision is in all this, maybe we ought to ask.

 

I guess over the past 40 years, that model has worked well for me.  Far less complicated, far less training needed, and the satisfaction level (fulfillment of vision) is easier to obtain.  It is a concept easily understood by boys without any fancy persuasive techniques and strategies they have to learn. 

 

The only management skills a boy would need to know under my definition of leadership is what it would take to make ti work for the boys he is leading.

 

I'm thinking this difference in definitions is the root of where we are coming from when talking about the boy led, patrol method stuff.  Knowing your definition really helps in understanding where you're coming from.  Thanks for the clarity.


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#23 Eagledad

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:08 PM

I think the whole boy-led verbiage is a distraction too. If a Troop is really running the Patrol method properly, they are a boy-led unit. To do anything else is utilizing patrols, but not the Patrol Method. 

 

I don't believe in leaders being "born" Leadership is a mindset, and that mindset and the skills that go with it can be taught. 

That's one of my favorite SM's minutes I've given. "Do you serve others, or do others serve you?"

Servant leadership is one style of leadership, it is not the definition of leadership. Of course we in scouting teach servant leadership as the preferred method because it fits within the boundaries of the Scout Oath and Law. Living the Scout Oath and Law is living as a servant because the action of the Law are outward actions toward others. That is why I describe scouting as boy run, not boy led. You don't have to lead to live the servant lifestyle of the Scout Law.

 

As I said, leadership is simply the actions to persuade others to follow change. It is that simple. That can be done a number of different ways other than servant leadership. The military used a directive style of leadership because they require an instant response of obediance to perform efficiently.

 

But we tend to make leadership a high level of importance because it is at the top of the stature of recognition. We all know that most big accomplishments can't be met without a whole team. Yet, the "Leader" is given credit for one of the skills in that team. Why? Because since the beginning of time, stature is how adults rank themselves among their peers. But I believe good followship requires greater skills than leadership. The bible say pride is the main cause of folly. Humility is the cure. Leadership within the bounds of the Scout Law is expression of humility.

 

I can't change your mind about natural leaders, but I will say that you likely haven't met one. My sister and I had the same discussion once and my answer to her was not believing in natural leaders is like not believing in natural athletes and everyone should be able to run a 4 minute mile for 27 miles. Call them freaks of nature if you want, but they are out there. A natural leader scout can teach adults a lot because they push adults pride to their limits. I can honestly say I was a better SM with the natural leader in our troop. I failed him and I changed as a result.

 

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#24 Eagledad

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:45 PM

I didn't say anything about authority stosh. I said persuaded change. Don't pull in all these other stipulations to define a simple outward act. Throwing a ball is one simple act. Making a decision is one simple act. influencing others to follow change is just one simple act. Some can do  it, some can't. I don't know why, but I can't throw a ball. But I have vision and sway change as a result.

 

Authority can influence change simply by having authority, but influencing change doesn't require authority. Gandhi or Hitler did not start out with authority. An example with a Scout: At summer camp in Colorado a scout caught a trout and took it back alive to his patrol. Another member of the patrol said lets eat it. The camp is a mess hall style camp and we where due to eat supper in one hour. That one scout led the patrol to process the trout, find cooking equipment, find oil, and whatever else they needed to cook the trout and had it eaten in 45 minutes. He never acted as the leader, never asked if anyone like the idea, he just took off and got everyone working together to cook and eat that trout. Not one of those patrol members had ever cleaned or cooked a fish before. That is the simple act of persuading others to follow.

 

Another way I stumbled on finding leaders of the group is high intensity patrol competition. Before the restrictions, our troop played laser tag. Each battle is something like 5 minutes in a small room with obsticles, so the team has to come up with a plan quick for the team to survive and wine. Two styles of leadership (persuasion) instantly appear, the member with experience and the member with a vision or plan. Exciting to watch.

 

We try to achieve the same thing with patrol competitions in scouting activities, but the results are much slower because the time for  performance is much slower. Personally the next fastest way to see leaders pop out of groups are High Adventure treks. Time is one motivator of leadership, stress is another. High adventure treks push the comfort zones of most participants and that is when the leaders of persuasion pop out. That is not always good, sometimes the team is too humble and follow the wrong direction.

 

Getting back to your authority influence on persuasion, the main problem adults have with boy run is that boys automatically assume the authority of adult stature. Adults have been the persuader all of a boy's personal life, it is hard for them to change that idea in their head. It's a hard concept to change even when the adults are willing.

 

Barry


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#25 Stosh

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:53 PM

A natural leader (yes, I have run into many of them over the years) is one who has figured out how leadership works before they are taught.  It appears they have been born that way, but in fact learn it at an early age by parents and teachers who are in fact leaders themselves.  Once they emulate these people and receive the desired results of their efforts, they simply tend to repeat the process learned.

 

Once one gets beyond the lip service and negativity of it's improper implementation, one can appreciate that it is far more than just one of many leadership styles.

 

Leadership as been described as those receiving the top accolades and being at the top, winning, setting the example is also a recognition of power, another form of self-acquired importance and narcissism  Hitler, and a few of the Caesars fell prey to such "leadership" and were. for the welfare of others, ultimately destroyed for it.  They surely weren't in it for the welfare of others, just themselves.

 

True leadership is a result of people willingly giving up authority and responsibility to another.  They don't do it because they will be punished if they don't (military, employment).  They don't do it because they have been fooled, conned or persuaded (power).  They do it because they believe in and trust the person as someone who they have concluded on their own as worth it.

 

True leadership is given by the people following.  If the military general all of a sudden realizes his army has abandoned him, he hasn't been much of a leader.  If the people conned/persuaded change their minds, the person hasn't been much of a leader.  But who's going to quit following someone who's there to take care of them and make them successful in life?  That person might not be "defined" by society as a leader, but it's the person everyone wants to follow anyway

 

It was mentioned that the military uses the directive style of leadership but if one were to break it down precisely into it's individual components, one will quickly discover it is really just highly refined and extremely rigid management objectives.  The military has a target and all subordinates are forced under penalty of punishment to acquire it's objective/goal.  At it's best it is super-refined following, not leadership.  One deviates from the directive order, that person will be held accountable and punished if the goal is jeopardized.  I see no real leadership where people follow leaders, they only follow orders.

 

So does one follow those they have been told to follow, ordered to follow, conned to follow or do they genuinely follow those they want to follow.    I'm going with genuinely want to follow as the best guess.


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#26 Stosh

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:12 PM

Sorry about the confusion on the responsibility/authority issue.  They go hand in hand and is one of the major problems in a lot of troops that hold back the boy-led, patrol-method processes.

 

First of all you have been tasked with responsibility to driving a load of straw over the bridge to a farmer on the other side of the river.  That's all well and good, but what if you don't have the authority to drive, or authority to use the truck or authority to cross the river?  Pretty much screwed right from the git-go.

 

If the authority resides in adults as you allude to, or at least assumed by the boys do so, it's going to be pretty difficult for any youth to do anything.  But if the adults give total authority to the boys to fulfill their responsibility, then we're talking a whole new foreign concept to the boys that opens up any and all opportunities for them to work with.  This is the big stumbling block for a lot of units that tend to think they are boy led, but with no authority, they can't lead anything at all.  I have difficulty with my boys at the beginning because of this assumption that the authority lies with the SM.  Once I make it clear that they have the authority and responsibility to run the unit, things change quickly as long as I don't ruin their trust in me by puling the rug out from under them.


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Stosh

 

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#27 Eagledad

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:36 PM

A natural leader (yes, I have run into many of them over the years) is one who has figured out how leadership works before they are taught.  It appears they have been born that way, but in fact learn it at an early age by parents and teachers who are in fact leaders themselves.  Once they emulate these people and receive the desired results of their efforts, they simply tend to repeat the process learned.

 

No, if that is what you think of natural leadership, then you haven't met one. Don't confuse expertly using learned skills with being born with the skill. Many times natural leaders don't even know they do it.

 

I'm not sure why some folks can't accept the idea that a person can be born with natural skills of persuasion. As I told my sister, we accept that idea and an Olympic athlete was born with an unusual skill or that a person can have a genius level of intelligence. Is a natural leader really a reach. And what does it matter, it doesn't change the concepts of leadership. And hey, it's not a theory, I learned it in professional leadership training courses from real experts. 

 

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#28 MattR

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:52 PM

Talking about what a leader is or does still seems a bit murky.

 

I've seen scouts with lots of charisma (other scouts just want to be with them) but their only vision is to get scouts to follow them in a social setting. I've kept in touch with a few and they still haven't grown up. I tried hard to get them to use their talents for doing something besides screwing around but it didn't work. What I have also seen are people with a passion for something. Some scouts want to organize fun campouts or campfires. That leads to confidence, and people tend to follow. I have a scout in my troop that has some minor speech impediment. He's shy about it but he tries hard enough that everyone respects him and follows him. It has nothing to do with charisma but everything to do with desire and humility.

 

I still disagree with the idea that a leader should only do as told from below. One example is the SM that's trying to change his troop to be more boy led. Some parents and scouts won't like change no matter what. Does that mean the SM should never change anything? Waiting for everyone to come to complete agreement is called design by committee. Maybe that's why the BSA can't get behind boy lead, there are too many bubbles in Texas that can't agree on it. I agree that going it alone is risky and getting enough people to agree is important, but it's rarely the case that everyone agrees on everything. With a vision and a passion for getting something done, real leaders make things happen and disagreements are part of it.


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#29 Sentinel947

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:12 PM

@Stosh

 

In the case of my unit. Moving towards the Patrol method. I had to persuade the Scouts, and the other adults. I had a vision of what the Troop should be like. There was no clamor of change from the Scouts. But I knew it was the right direction, and while there was skepticism from those above and below me on the organizational chart. I continued to make the case. As a 20 year old ASM at the time, the only power I had was the power to to persuade. 

@Eagledad, I agree some people have higher emotional intelligence than others, and that makes them more effective at persuasion. There are a lot more traits and skills a leader must have besides the ability to persuade others. Also, I didn't mention servant leadership in my post. I'm not sure if I'd agree that it's a leadership style. It's more of a mindset. A set of parameters that a leader judges their decisions against. A leadership style is more personality based. At least from my understanding, but it's been a couple of years since I took the leadership psychology classes in college. 

 

All: I think authority and influence flow from a variety of sources. It's a little too simplistic to say it flows top down, or bottom up, because these things depend on the situation. 

Leaders can have tons of authority, and no influence, and be utterly ineffective because nobody will follow them. Leaders can have very little authority, and very strong influence, and still be constrained by the system they are operating in. (the thing they want to do is not allowed.)

Just my rambling thoughts.

 

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#30 Eagledad

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:25 PM

I pretty much agree with your whole post Matt. We spend a lot of time on leadership and almost none on vision. A team without vision is like a ship without a rudder. I'm one of a few who liked 21st Centry Woodbadge because it taught setting a vision followed building a team to reach the vision. I think vision is where adults have to start and most have none.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean waiting for permission from bellow. That wasn't my style, so I don't have much experience there.

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#31 Stosh

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 08:33 PM

No, if that is what you think of natural leadership, then you haven't met one. Don't confuse expertly using learned skills with being born with the skill. Many times natural leaders don't even know they do it.

 

Over the past 45 years I have been exposed to thousands of kids of all kinds.  With an average of 3% natural leaders, that leaves quite a few I have met.  And in order to understand, one needs to look at their parentage and upbringing, their environment, their opportunities in life, even their handicaps to understand that natural leaders are not freaks of nature, anymore than some young boy's love of baseball might lead him to a professional career in the sport.  So he can't bat worth a darn, but he might make a passionate coach or intuitive talent scout.  They don't have to fit into a "natural born" mold to be one.

 

I'm not sure why some folks can't accept the idea that a person can be born with natural skills of persuasion.

 

Some people have a more logical mind and reason out things easier than others.  It doesn't make them a leader.

 

Persuade

cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument. - "it wasn't easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing"

synonyms: prevail on, coax, convince, get, induce, win over, bring around, coerce, influence, sway, inveigle, entice, tempt, lure, cajole, wheedle; More
informalsweet-talk, twist someone's arm;
"he tried to persuade her to come with him"
antonyms: dissuade, deter
  • cause (someone) to believe something, especially after a sustained effort; convince.
    "they must often be persuaded of the potential severity of their drinking problems"
  • (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something.
    "the cost of the manor's restoration persuaded them to take in guests"
    synonyms:

    cause, lead, move, dispose, incline

The ability to persuade people is a managerial skill not a leadership skill.  I have a job to be done and persuading people to help is part of getting that job done.  Persuading them by giving them money to do the job is not leadership, it's just human manipulation.

 

As I told my sister, we accept that idea and an Olympic athlete was born with an unusual skill or that a person can have a genius level of intelligence. Is a natural leader really a reach. And what does it matter, it doesn't change the concepts of leadership. And hey, it's not a theory, I learned it in professional leadership training courses from real experts. 

 

Barry

Here's were I see the process moving away from leadership, i.e. leading people towards management, i.e. accomplishing a task.  I'm thinking persuading people to act to accomplish a task is just good management and what I'm seeing as what's being a "natural leader" is just a logically organized mindset that can present a logical argument.  Just not seeing it as leading people.  Charisma and the desire for people to be around another person is just that, they just desire to be around the other person, there's no task involved and nothing has to be accomplished and no persuasion involved.  They just feel drawn to that person.  To me that is a "natural Leader" because people want to be around them.  A charismatic person really doesn't need to persuade a person to do anything, they react to the situation differently for that person.  A manager expects people to do something. a task, a leader only expects the people to follow them for reasons only known to the follower.

 

Talking about what a leader is or does still seems a bit murky.

 

I've seen scouts with lots of charisma (other scouts just want to be with them) but their only vision is to get scouts to follow them in a social setting. I've kept in touch with a few and they still haven't grown up. I tried hard to get them to use their talents for doing something besides screwing around but it didn't work.

A leader doesn't aways require a positive need being met.  A street gang might have a leader that meets the needs of his membership with drugs and money.  Doesn't mean he's any less of a leader.  Same for a screwup, that seems to get everyone around him in trouble along with him.  Doesn't mean that person isn't a very effective leader.  People are following him, that's what makes him a leader.  Here's where the word game gets muddled.  A good leader (effective leader) can lead towards socially good, acceptable needs being met.  But a good leader (effective leader) can lead towards socially bad, unacceptable (criminal) needs being met.  Both are good leaders.

 

What I have also seen are people with a passion for something. Some scouts want to organize fun campouts or campfires. Organizing THINGS is a trait of management.  A campfire program is not a person.  That leads to confidence, or they can simply be OCD and they like things the way they want them to be. and people tend to follow. Most of the campfires and campouts require a ton of organizatonal skill and very little leadership.  I have a scout in my troop that has some minor speech impediment. He's shy about it but he tries hard enough that everyone respects him and follows him. It has nothing to do with charisma but everything to do with desire and humility. And exactly what is it this scout is DOING FOR THEM that he is passionate about?  That will clue you in on his leadership.

 

I still disagree with the idea that a leader should only do as told from below. It's not that anything is being dictated from "below".  It is nothing more than the leader recognizing what the others want/need and will work on that person's behalf to get it for them.  He's taking care of his people. One example is the SM that's trying to change his troop to be more boy led. And at this point the SM is functioning as a manager trying to change the program.  Has nothing to do with leading people.  Some parents and scouts won't like change no matter what. People don't like changes in a system they are comfortable with.  A leader recognizes this and helps the people through the change, a manager's prime objective is to make the changes. Does that mean the SM should never change anything? Waiting for everyone to come to complete agreement is called design by committee. If he cares about his people and none of them want to change, why is he doing it?  Maybe that's why the BSA can't get behind boy lead, there are too many bubbles in Texas that can't agree on it. I agree that going it alone is risky and getting enough people to agree is important, but it's rarely the case that everyone agrees on everything. With a vision and a passion for getting something done, THAT is what managers do, not leaders real leaders make things happen and disagreements are part of it. One must lead all the people. Leaders take into consideration people's concerns and needs.  Managers are only interested in getting things done.

 

 

@Stosh

 

In the case of my unit. Moving towards the Patrol method. I had to persuade the Scouts, and the other adults. Correct, you are managing a structural change in the system of the unit.  I had a vision of what the Troop should be like. Yes, there should always be a clear managerial goal/task outlined so everyone knows when the task as been completed and whether or not the action was successful usually determined by measurable indicators.There was no clamor of change from the Scouts. But I knew it was the right direction, and while there was skepticism from those above and below me on the organizational chart. I continued to make the case. As a 20 year old ASM at the time, the only power I had was the power to to persuade. From the onset the vision was entirely just your vision.  No one was interested in following you, your description clearly indicates.  You needed to implement management skills to manipulate people to agree with you because without such manipulation, no one is going to follow.  If you are able to successfully justify the changes others may assist you in the process, but one has taken the long way around trying to change enough minds that the changes are good for them in the long run.  Once accomplished, how long do you think the changes will last?  If you leave the reason for the changes do as well and the old system will be reinstated rather quickly, a lot faster than it took to make the change in the first place.  One can see this quite vividly whenever there is a change in the SM position in a troop.  New guy has new ideas, old guy's ideas are out the window.  This is not leadership this is managerial manipulation.  New boss, new system.  People simply resolve themselves to it over time.

@Eagledad, I agree some people have higher emotional intelligence than others, and that makes them more effective at persuasion. There are a lot more traits and skills a leader must have besides the ability to persuade others. Also, I didn't mention servant leadership in my post. I'm not sure if I'd agree that it's a leadership style. It's more of a mindset. No, it's a difference in the origin of motivation.  A manager relies on his logical mental acumen to devise persuasion.  A leader relies on his compassion for people  and his caring for their needs.  A set of parameters that a leader judges their decisions against. Managerial goals to accomplish tasks. A leadership style is more personality no, people based. At least from my understanding, but it's been a couple of years since I took the leadership psychology classes in college. 

 

All: I think authority and influence flow from a variety of sources. It's a little too simplistic to say it flows top down, or bottom up, because these things depend on the situation.   Of course it does.  It flows from the top down so that the managerial tasks can get accomplished.  If a person is given the responsibility to do a job, they had better be given the authority to do it.  It has nothing to do with leadership.  However, if people all give up their personal authority to another so that person can take care of them, they will of course follow that person.  It's all based on personal relationships, not just on getting the job done.

Leaders can have tons of authority, and no influence, and be utterly ineffective because nobody will follow them. Authority goes with responsibility not influence.  Influence is a skill of managers.  They persuade people in a variety of different ways to get the job done.  Theory X and Theory Y are the two classic examples of managerial persuasion on a classical textbook level.  Leaders can have very little authority, and very strong influence, and still be constrained by the system they are operating in. (the thing they want to do is not allowed.)  That is management again.  Things are not people.

Just my rambling thoughts.

 

Sentinel947 
 

 

 

I pretty much agree with your whole post Matt. We spend a lot of time on leadership and almost none on vision. A team without vision is like a ship without a rudder. I'm one of a few who liked 21st Centry Woodbadge because it taught setting a vision followed building a team to reach the vision. I think vision is where adults have to start and most have none.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean waiting for permission from bellow. That wasn't my style, so I don't have much experience there.

 

It means getting one's vision from those who are paying for the product.  If the customer wants a white car, you build a white car or it won't sell.  If one does not meet the needs of the customer, they will go out of business.

Barry


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#32 Sentinel947

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 08:47 PM

@Stosh by your definition I suppose I have never led anything in my life, only managed it. I suppose I can live with that.
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#33 Stosh

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:02 PM

@Stosh by your definition I suppose I have never led anything in my life, only managed it. I suppose I can live with that.

Look around you, are there people there looking to you for guidance? Inspiration? help? attention?  When they are hurting do they seek you out?  when they're frustrated and bummed out do they want to sit next to you and just be close by?  Do they need someone to laugh with? Cry with? celebrate with? 

 

How many of those things require visions and measurable goals?  NONE because each one of those dynamics are leadership.  Sure, some things require management.  In caring for others, there are organizational things that need to be done, but they aren't as important as why you might be doing it for another person in the first place.

 

In terms of scouting, do you help the old lady across the street because it's a task you need to do as a good turn to be a scout, or do you see someone in need and you take are of it? 

 

The sad part of this whole discussion is that there are a lot of people so hung up on it, they miss the beauty of servant leadership and the impact it makes on the lives of both the leader and the person being served.  It's not counting coup, it's not keeping score, it's not measuring success, it's simply the joy of helping other people and the smile on their face when they see and trust you as their leader.

 

The real strength in leadership, especially servant leadership is it's perceived weakness.  It's not weak at all. 


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#34 walk in the woods

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:17 AM

I'm not going to copy the entire other thread of my examples, but, for the record I work in IT Ops so weekends, nights and holidays are required because that's when we get systems.  I argue for my guys raises because in my organization the raise pool is fixed so it's a zero-sum game.    I asked the questions I did because I don't think you can split leadership from management.  Good leaders sometimes have to manage, good managers sometimes have to lead.

 

I worked for a small IT contracting house early in my career.  The man who started the company was fond of saying managers are the guys directing the troops who are cutting their way through the jungle; leaders are the guys above the treeline deciding where to go.  The point he was trying to get at, and one that I tend to agree with, is leaders should generally be strategic thinkers while managers are generally tactical thinkers.  This generally fits Stosh's model but it's broader and allows for different leadership styles (servant, autocrat, salesman) and flexibility for situational awareness.  


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#35 Stosh

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 09:05 AM

Servant leadership is one style of leadership, it is not the definition of leadership. Of course we in scouting teach servant leadership as the preferred method because it fits within the boundaries of the Scout Oath and Law. Living the Scout Oath and Law is living as a servant because the action of the Law are outward actions toward others. That is why I describe scouting as boy run, not boy led. You don't have to lead to live the servant lifestyle of the Scout Law.

 

As I said, leadership is simply the actions to persuade others to follow change. It is that simple. That can be done a number of different ways other than servant leadership. The military used a directive style of leadership because they require an instant response of obediance to perform efficiently.

 

But we tend to make leadership a high level of importance because it is at the top of the stature of recognition. We all know that most big accomplishments can't be met without a whole team. Yet, the "Leader" is given credit for one of the skills in that team. Why? Because since the beginning of time, stature is how adults rank themselves among their peers. But I believe good followship requires greater skills than leadership. The bible say pride is the main cause of folly. Humility is the cure. Leadership within the bounds of the Scout Law is expression of humility.

 

I can't change your mind about natural leaders, but I will say that you likely haven't met one. My sister and I had the same discussion once and my answer to her was not believing in natural leaders is like not believing in natural athletes and everyone should be able to run a 4 minute mile for 27 miles. Call them freaks of nature if you want, but they are out there. A natural leader scout can teach adults a lot because they push adults pride to their limits. I can honestly say I was a better SM with the natural leader in our troop. I failed him and I changed as a result.

 

Barry

 

I'm not going to copy the entire other thread of my examples, but, for the record I work in IT Ops so weekends, nights and holidays are required because that's when we get systems.  I argue for my guys raises because in my organization the raise pool is fixed so it's a zero-sum game.    I asked the questions I did because I don't think you can split leadership from management.  Good leaders sometimes have to manage, good managers sometimes have to lead.

 

Yes, you are totally correct, but by simply making that statement one can only conclude there is a difference between leadership and management.  Leaders can manage and managers can lead.  But what leaders do to manage is not the same as what managers do to lead.  That's the whole point I'm trying to make.  What is often done is to think that when people manage a task they are leading.  But if the task can be done by oneself, who's there that makes it necessary to lead?  If a leader is doing a task and there's no one to lead, where's the leadership?

 

I worked for a small IT contracting house early in my career.  The man who started the company was fond of saying managers are the guys directing the troops who are cutting their way through the jungle; leaders are the guys above the treeline deciding where to go.  

 

Nope, totally disagree with this gentleman.  I'm sure that if he didn't have customers with needs, he'd be out of business in a heartbeat.  Servant leadership serves the customer.  The Ivory tower can make all the plans it wants, budget finances, strategize marketing, until they are blue in the face, but if they don't provide what the customer needs their efforts are wasted.

 

The point he was trying to get at, and one that I tend to agree with, is leaders should generally be strategic thinkers while managers are generally tactical thinkers.  

 

Top level managers are no different than middle managers who are no different than low level managers.  In actuality the only one that is not a manager is the guy at the bottom who is in fact the only one that has the contact with the customer by providing the product they want.  Notice it is not the manager that takes care of the customer it is the only one in the operation that is NOT a manager. 

 

This generally fits Stosh's model but it's broader and allows for different leadership styles (servant, autocrat, salesman) and flexibility for situational awareness.  

 

Servant leadership is not a style, it is leadership by definition.  Autocrat is management and persuasive salesmanship is managment.  One does not TELL the customer what he wants, but an autocratic manager does.  One does not need to convince the customer that his product is what they need, but a persuasive salesperson might try some tactics to trick them into it.  Madison Avenue has persuaded people to buy junk they don't need but think they want for years.  A lot of people have gotten rich conning people out of their money by persuasion.  They are really good at it, but they aren't leaders.

 

Servant leadership takes it's cue on what it is to do from the customer, the person needing to be cared for or tended to.  They have a need.  That is what dictates the actions of the servant leader.  They do not get their marching orders from on top from an autocratic manager.  They do not devise schemes and tactics as to how to gain from persuading others into thinking that what they have is what the other wants and/or needs.  Servant leadership takes it's directive from the customer.  Management takes it's directive from others who are telling the customer what they want to think.  Persuasion has no place in the operation of a servant leader.  But we have seen "leaders" who through persuasion done a lot of manipulation to coerce people into doing and acting in ways they normally wouldn't, mostly to avoid punishment and pain. 

 

It can't be emphasized enough that management's priority is to accomplish a task.  People are used, coerced, paid, manipulated, catered to, rewarded, etc. to "get the job done" or complete the goal or task.  These tasks are strategized by thinkers who are motivated by any number of different dynamics.  Narcissism, altruism, fear, reward, etc. and hundreds of other reasons.  They are taking their directive from what they think is best.  

 

On the other hand leadership's priority is to take care of other people.  There is no using people, no coercion, no one's getting paid, manipulated, catered to or even rewarded.  The actions of a leader set priorities based on people and their needs and wants.  They are motivated by the people they serve, they take their directives from the people they serve which is ultimately the customer.

 

Do I owe allegiance to or any sense of connection or loyalty to the people who sold me a car?  Maybe not, but if they service my car at a fair price, make sure I get to where I need to be and basically take care of my transportation needs while I have that car, I have developed a loyalty to them, not because of what they do, but because of who they are.  Anybody can fix my car that is trained, but the guy that takes care of my needs by fixing the car will stand out.  Is he persuading me to come back for service?  Nope, at any time I can go someplace else I feel does a better job of attending to my needs.

 

It's servant leadership that makes a business manager a leader because a leader is worried about more than just getting the job done or even done right.  To the leader, people take president over the "job" (task).

 

If one can't separate that out, they will never be able to understand how doing one's duty to God and Country is part of their life.  They will never understand why it is important to help other people at all times (the core and impetus of servant leadership), being trustworthy to the task or to people?  Loyal to the task or to people? Helpful to the task or people? 

 

So if all we do as scouters is to teach our boys how to finish the task at hand and strategize program, manage duty requirements and get Eagle, they have missed out on learning what it means to do one's duty to God and Country and to help other people at all times.  For me a paper Eagle can get the job done, but a real Eagle is the one that servers God and Country and helps other people at all times.  Those are servant leadership words, not management words.


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#36 MattR

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:29 PM

So,sticking with leaders work on people while managers work on tasks, let's look back at history. Lincoln had a vision of abolishing slavery. He then had to manage the task of making that happen. Yet, he was looking out for his people. Not all of his people agreed with him. What people want is not always what they need. Before you say it, I agree that sometimes people are wrong deciding what others need, but anyone that has been involved in educating a child or student knows that what a student says he wants is not always in his best interest.

Similar situations for our founding fathers and FDR and lots more. These people were not considered great managers. They had to deal with the problems at hand. If you'd like to call that management that's fine even though I disagree. They also dealt with people. They had to get the people to work on the problem at hand. They had to understand the people, their strengths and weaknesses, listen and learn from them, trust them to do their part, help them when they needed support, motivate them when they were down, and yes, even fire them when they were in over their heads. In short, take care of them so the problem at hand could be solved. Most people would call that leadership.

Groups of people usually have problems to solve and they have to work together to accomplish that. If leadership can never include solving group problems, or tasks, then there isn't much room for leadership.
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#37 Stosh

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:35 PM

So,sticking with leaders work on people They take their cue/vision from the needs of the people.  Obvious if one is to lead, leading people is the goal.while managers work on tasks, or goals, or visions, things that basically don't need people to follow, but if people are involved, they are basically like any other resource needed to accomplish the goal. let's look back at history. Lincoln had a vision of abolishing slavery. Not according to the record of history.  He specifically said that because South Carolina attacked attacked a federal fort, his only concern was to save the Union.  His "mission" had nothing to do with slavery.  Two years into the war he issued an Emancipation Proclamation freeing only the slaves in federally held territory in order to impose economic hardship on the Confederacy's ability to wage war.  His solution to the slavery issue was to send them all back to Africa.  He then had to manage the task of making that happen. Yes, he held the Union together.  Yet, he was looking out for his people. Not all of his people agreed with him. What people want is not always what they need. Before you say it, I agree that sometimes people are wrong deciding what others need, but anyone that has been involved in educating a child or student knows that what a student says he wants is not always in his best interest.  I'm in total agreement that what people want and what they need are worlds apart.

Similar situations for our founding fathers and FDR and lots more. These people were not considered great managers. George Washington was able to organize a citizen army of untrained civilians and defeat one of the greatest military powers of his era.  I'd say that took a manager of great skill to pull off.  Keep it in mind that not all of the people of that time wanted freedom, they were loyal British colonists,  Washington didn't lead on their behalf, he led only those that wanted independence.  They had to deal with the problems at hand. If you'd like to call that management that's fine even though I disagree. They also dealt with people. They had to get the people to work on the problem at hand. Lincoln put out a call for 75,000 volunteers at the opening of the Civil War, they came in by droves, volunteers, they didn't have to, they came in response to Lincoln's call.  They had no idea what was in store for them, they simply heeded Lincoln's request.  They had to understand the people, not really, these were people from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different ethnic ties their strengths and weaknesses, nope, these were citizen soldiers with very little if any training and no experience whatsoever listen and learn from them, I don't think it worked that way in the army.  trust them to do their part, everyone that signed up was willing to do their part help them when they needed support, he instilled martial law when and where necessary motivate them when they were down, he only steeled his resolve when the horrendous casualty reports came in and yes, even fire them when they were in over their heads, Yep, Little Mac was fired because he wouldn't fight the army he raised and hire Grant who did what was necessary to win the war.  A lot of people died because of the TASK AT HAND OF WINNING THE WAR In short, take care of them so the problem at hand could be solved. Most people would call that leadership.  At the end the task of saving the Union was completed.  It wasn't until years later when the 14th Amendment was ratified that the slaves were set free.  Lincoln could say anything he wanted, it didn't make it law until well after the war.  Legally Lincoln freed no slaves.  But as far as winning the war, he got the job done.

Groups of people usually have problems to solve and they have to work together to accomplish that. If leadership can never include solving group problems, or tasks, then there isn't much room for leadership.  Never claimed a good leader can't use management and never said a good manager isn't a good leader.  I said, a manager whose goal it is to accomplish a task doesn't need leadership if all he's going to do is persuade, threaten, and force people to do help with the job.  It's a lot easier to accomplish the task using leadership where people willingly help out because they see the benefit for themselves in the effort.    I also never claimed that a leader couldn't also be a good manager.  Washington built an army (management) and used it to defeat the British.  McClellan built Lincoln's army but had no leadership ability  to lead the men in battle. 

 

The only claim I have made is don't confuse the two.  One may be teaching the boys leadership and the boys can't figure out why no one ever listens to them (a common complaint among the boys.  Maybe they are good manager but lousy leaders.  If the boys are expressing this complaint, maybe a lesson in leadership is necessary, but if all one is going to do is teach the boys to manipulate, persuade and coerce the "followers" it may not work out very well.  This is why I draw the distinction between leadership and management.  I cure the right disease knowing which illness I'm dealing with.  If the boys need management lessons they get management lessons.  If they need leadership lessons, they get leadership lessons.  Far too often boys need leadership lessons and all they get is management lessons in strategy, goal setting, people persuasion and then can't figure out why the boys still don't listen to them.  I can see why this happens, but I know of  a lot of people who don't.

 

 


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#38 qwazse

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:47 PM

I think historical abstraction gets us removed from the concepts we are trying to handle. It took countless leaders at every level to turn the nation from imperial colonialism and a slave trade economy.

Management is where you might see leadership come to the fore. However,
You could say the same for service, worship, patriotism, friendship, and nearly any other aspect of the scout law.

When I ask a youth to take leadership on something, I'm not asking that he or she assign people a series of tasks (although that may be what is in store). I'm asking primarily for him or her to accomplish something in a way that everyone involved will attain a sense of fellowship an comraderie that would not otherwise be shared.

If youth stick with me, after a while, they realize that I'm looking for the shy kid being cared for, the ranger at a run down camp getting a phone call about camping/service weekends, the fire attracting so many venturers that the builders drift into the background. And (sometimes) the tired old ASM getting some weight redistributed from his pack.
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#39 Stosh

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 01:38 PM

I think historical abstraction gets us removed from the concepts we are trying to handle. It took countless leaders at every level to turn the nation from imperial colonialism and a slave trade economy.

Management is where you might see leadership come to the fore. However,
You could say the same for service, worship, patriotism, friendship, and nearly any other aspect of the scout law.

When I ask a youth to take leadership on something, I'm not asking that he or she assign people a series of tasks (although that may be what is in store). I'm asking primarily for him or her to accomplish something in a way that everyone involved will attain a sense of fellowship an comraderie that would not otherwise be shared.

 

You're getting warmer.  :)  ...accomplished in a way that those affected have a sense of affinity to you as a leader.  Once they realize that such leadership is an attractive quality to have for oneself, they will follow that person and develop leadership a leadership for themselves as well.  Once everyone figures this out, it is then when esprit-de-corpse, camaraderie, and fellowship kick in.  With everyone taking care of everyone else, management and management skills are pretty much a back-burner item anymore, they are almost unnoticeable.  :)   This is where the patrol goes off camping and no one ever even thinks about having a duty roster and if it became mandatory to have, someone would post one for cosmetic purposes and then everyone would promptly forget about it.

If youth stick with me, after a while, they realize that I'm looking for the shy kid being cared for, the ranger at a run down camp getting a phone call about camping/service weekends, the fire attracting so many venturers that the builders drift into the background. And (sometimes) the tired old ASM getting some weight redistributed from his pack.

 

And so how does one help people "see" this kind of service, taking care, aware of others and their needs kind of leadership?  How difficult would it be for me as SM to always have to persuade my SPL and PL's to be on the look out for shy kids and their needs?  Persuade them to contact the ranger who is in need of help, persuade them to help out the tired old ASM with his pack?  If one has to constantly persuade others to do these things, then one needs to reassess their own leadership because in my opinion the scouting fundamentals of leadership aren't getting through to the boys.


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#40 MattR

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:15 PM

New definition that circumvents the top down bottom up discussion: Leadership is management based on good character. A leader can simultaneously look out for the needs of his people and tell them what to do. I tell the scout leaders in my troop that every decision they make has to be checked against the Oath and Law. If he puts the good of his patrol before himself then there's nothing wrong with him telling a scout what to do.

This is what good presidents, generals, parents, mid level managers at big companies, and any other good leader does. I agree there's a difference between handling tasks and handling people but real leaders have to do both.
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