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Leadership vs. Management


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#41 Stosh

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:43 PM

New definition that circumvents the top down bottom up discussion: Leadership is management based on good character.

 

David Koresh, Adolph Hitler, and Jim Jones were all very charismatic leaders that effectively orchestrated horrendous outcomes.   I think that definition might not hold up very well if one considers all aspects.  Leadership is management based on character doesn't really say much either.

 

A leader can simultaneously look out for the needs of his people and tell them what to do.

 

But a leader can look out for the needs of his people and not tell them them anything or have them do anything either.  Why is everyone so insistent on telling others what to do all the time?  Bullies do that, military officers do that, parents do that, teachers do that, but it doesn't make them leaders.  And isn't it true they are the ones complaining that their kids don't listen, their students don't listen, etc.?  Telling people, persuading people, rewarding people, coercing people, threatening people, etc. are all management strategies and have nothing to do with leadership.

 

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.

 

A good manager doesn't need leadership to walk through the process described in that statement as long as the job gets done.  Nothing wrong with doing the job for all the right reasons, but it doesn't make the manager a good leader.  Basically it could be said that in order to CYA on the task one needs to get done, make sure it complies with the Oath and Law and you won't get in trouble.  And we're once again back to telling people what to do thinking it's leadership.

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.

 

But a leader leads even if there is no task needing to be done.   And just doing a good job of something doesn't make one a leader.  If something needs doing maybe the servant leadership just does it on his/her own and doesn't even need to tell anyone what to do.  Do a Good Turn daily.  Where's the management strategy in that?   The 2:00 am homesick boy attended to by a caring SM.  Maybe just the two of them sitting by the fire for an hour or two is all that is necessary.  What exactly IS the task necessary to be done at 2:00 am anyway?  Maybe just being there is all that is necessary for the person to do to be a good leader.  One can, however, quickly realize that the SM is showing excellent leadership by taking care of his boys at a time like that.  Even better if his PL were to get up and sit by the fire too.  What's he expected to do to lead?  What's the goal? What's to manage?.... Nothing really, just like the SM, just be there for him.

 

Why is it so hard to understand that when one is helping other people at all times, when the PL is taking care of his boys, when he's being trustworthy to his boys, loyal to them, helpful, friendly, courtesy, kind, is there a goal, a mission, a target or some need for throwing in management strategies and visions into the mix?  I'm saying a good leader may work well with very little management skills and do remarkably well in the process.  When one relies on management skills thinking they are teaching leadership I believe it is short-changing the boys in the long run and making their effectiveness as leaders questionable.  Like I said, I very seldom hear my PL's complaining that the boys won't listen, i.e. follow.  I do hear my leaders constantly asking their buddies, "What can I do to help!"  That to me is servant leadership and it accomplishes a lot more in a more effective way than management strategies because no one really has to tell anyone what to do, they don't have to persuade anyone and if the if someone says "What can I do to help?" who is the real leader?  If the Grubmaster is "running the show" and one of the boys asks, what can he do to help and the Grubmaster says, I need the water bucket filled (a task) and the boy grabs the bucket and heads for the pump, who's the real leader there?  Who's the one taking care of the boys when it comes time to do the dishes after supper?  The Grubmaster for providing the vision or the boy for providing the water?   I'm thinking the dishes did better in water.  Servant leadership gets the job done and no one has to tell anyone anything.  Persuasive strategies aren't even an option for a unit run on servant leadership.


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#42 walk in the woods

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 02:32 PM

Telling people, persuading people, rewarding people, coercing people, threatening people, etc. are all management strategies and have nothing to do with leadership.

 

I'll have to disagree and offer up three words in my defense: Apple Computer Incorporated.  Apple fired Jobs right after the release of the macintosh.  It wasn't a successful product based on sales but Jobs had a vision of what it could be.  After he was fired he formed a company called NeXt to keep working on his vision of macintosh.  Fast forward to 1997, Apple is largely bankrupt having been through multiple CEO managers (managers that meet your definition to a tee).  Jobs is hired back and in the next 10 years changes multiple industries.  He replace the Apple mac with the NeXt, changed music through not just the iPod but building a consumer platform for the iPod.  Add in the iPad and iPhone and Apple is now one of the largest companies by market capitalization in the world.  By most accounts I've read Mr. Jobs wasn't a cuddly kind of guy but rather driven.  He surrounded himself with people who bought into his vision of the future and he lead them to achieve their shared vision.  Through his leadership he created markets where they didn't exist.  By any measure they were wildly successful.  Now, I suppose one could argue that was all a management exercise but I'll disagree.  Sometimes a leader has to stop the boat and convince people to row in a different direction.  

 

To put in perspective how fast that all happened under his leadership, the first iPhone wasn't released until late June 2007.  Then Senator Obama had announced his candidacy for President a scant 4 months earlier.  If you owned a smart-phone back then it was either a Palm (U.S. Robotics/3Com) or a Blackberry.  If you owned a cell phone it was most likely a Motorola.  What do Palm, Blackberry and Motorola all have in common?  They're all dead or dying largely because of a lack of vision for the future.  They owned the portable phone market and saw it torn from their hands by Apple and later Google.  

 

We could have a similar conversation about Bezos and how he turned a small e-commerce retail operation into a retail/logistics/cloud platform provider business.  Mostly he used his powers of persuasion to drive change.  When other companies were guarding infrastructure as proprietary he was selling access to his infrastructure to his competitors!  That's vision. 

 

Finally, at least for this post, I have to chuckle a little.  In fact you Stosh are practicing visionary leadership.  You posited a vision of what leadership could/shoud be in your opening post.  In the posts that follow you've been working very hard to persuade us to buy into your vision :).  So, are you practicing leadership or management?


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#43 Stosh

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 04:38 PM

I'll have to disagree and offer up three words in my defense: Apple Computer Incorporated.  In a sense and using a limited definition of leadership, you are correct when you suggest that getting someplace first, you can proclaim yourself the leader.  Getting to the finish line first makes you the leader in contention for the overall championship.  Winners coming in first are lead-ers.  Given that argument, all followers must be losers.  This is why I have stayed away from using  leadership in the competitive setting.  Scouts are not using leadership in any sense of competition.  If it were, then all Eagles would be winners and if one doesn't get Eagle, then of course everyone can draw their own conclusion.  So, instead, let's try my definition of Leadership.  Apple fired Jobs right after the release of the macintosh.  It wasn't a successful product based on sales so it is obvious that Job's "vision" for the home computer didn't really take into consideration of the customer who was to buy it.  So he was by definition not only a poor at serving the public, he didn't do a good job of managing either  but Jobs had a vision of what it could be.  After he was fired he formed a company called NeXt to keep working on his vision of macintosh. Having a personal vision and driving oneself to go after that vision is at this point leading no one but himself.  For me, that is the classic example of what I define as a Paper Eagle, the guy who's in it for himself and his own little vision of what's important.  Are we getting to the "help OTHER PEOPLE" any time soon?  Fast forward to 1997, Apple is largely bankrupt having been through multiple CEO managers (managers that meet your definition to a tee).  Or it's just trying to make a company that provides what the customer doesn't want be successful.  Jobs is hired back and in the next 10 years changes multiple industries.  He replace the Apple mac with the NeXt, changed music through not just the iPod but building a consumer platform for the iPod.  Add in the iPad and iPhone and Apple is now one of the largest companies by market capitalization in the world. All by being there their first.   By most accounts I've read Mr. Jobs wasn't a cuddly kind of guy but rather driven.  He surrounded himself with people who bought into his vision of the future and he lead them to achieve their shared vision.  Or they saw where this cash cow was headed and they got in on the ride for financial gain.  Did you know that this is what put Forest City, Iowa on the map as the city with the most millionaires per capita in the United States? Through his leadership he created markets where they didn't exist.  By any measure they were wildly successful.  Now, I suppose one could argue that was all a management exercise but I'll disagree.  Yeah, well there is still something to be said by good Madison Avenue marketing, too.  :)  Sometimes a leader has to stop the boat and convince people to row in a different direction.  Or a good sales department can sell you a Ponzi Scheme and you, too, can be a millionaire for a while.

 

To put in perspective how fast that all happened under his leadership, the first iPhone wasn't released until late June 2007.  Then Senator Obama had announced his candidacy for President a scant 4 months earlier.  If you owned a smart-phone back then it was either a Palm (U.S. Robotics/3Com) or a Blackberry.  If you owned a cell phone it was most likely a Motorola.  What do Palm, Blackberry and Motorola all have in common?  They're all dead or dying largely because of a lack of vision for the future. Again we're back to getting to the market place first with the newer and better.  And how much of it has to do with what the customer needs?   They owned the portable phone market and saw it torn from their hands by Apple and later Google.  Henry Ford made a ton of money for Toyota.  Dale Carnegie sold a ton of books.  Winebago made a lot of RV's for the Mallard Company.  Alexander Grahm  Bell gave the world the cell phone.  Thomas Edison gave the world alternating current electricity along with obsolete light bulbs, phonographs, and film projectors.  These were all "leaders" because they were first.  They were successful because they figured out how to make a fortune on their personal visions.  They were inventors who figured out how to successfully market their ideas. 

 

We could have a similar conversation about Bezos and how he turned a small e-commerce retail operation into a retail/logistics/cloud platform provider business.  Mostly he used his powers of persuasion to drive change.  When other companies were guarding infrastructure as proprietary he was selling access to his infrastructure to his competitors!  That's vision. As long as the money is rolling in, who cares who's buying it.

 

Finally, at least for this post, I have to chuckle a little.  In fact you Stosh are practicing visionary leadership.  You posited a vision of what leadership could/shoud be in your opening post.  In the posts that follow you've been working very hard to persuade us to buy into your vision :).  So, are you practicing leadership or management?

 

Nope, I'm only putting out there the difference between what people think is leadership because they have mistakenly defined it as such using inaccurate descriptions.  Using the proposed definition in the post I don't hear any of this kind of leadership leading any people anywhere.  The US was at one time the leader in nuclear energy, so how many nuclear power plants are operational today? 61 plants with 99 reactors at last count.  There 437 reactors world wide and another 99 under construction.  The US is no longer the leader in this area and falling behind every minute.  Of course the US has 7304 power plants with 19,243 generators in operation as well.  In light of all the global warming issues. where's the leadership?  Or is this whole thing driven by the people?  Could it be people don't want expensive energy but are willing to only pay for the cheap stuff?  The model of competitive leadership has it's limits. Managerial business practices adjust accordingly.  Keep it in mind if it wasn't for Edison, Rockefeller, Ford, and others who were looking to cash in on their inventions we'd be riding horses and heating our houses with wood and lighting them with tallow.   So I ask, were these people interested in making the lives of others better or were they making their own lives better?  There's a lot of grey area in this argument with no real answers.  A scouting taking the initiative to help an elderly lady across the busy street, kinda speaks for itself.  But then that scout's vision is going to change the world for one person for just a couple of minutes, or however long it takes her to quit being appreciative of a kindly young man in uniform.  I wonder how many times, "helping other people at all times" floated through the mind of Steve Jobs over the years?  I wonder if it even ever was a part of his "vision".  IF you can understand that, then you might understand a bit of what I'm talking about.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#44 TAHAWK

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 11:47 AM

Given that words mean different things to different people, I try to focus more on what is actually going on.  "Boy-led" often means boys as the non-coms to the SM as platoon leader. ( "Joe, get your tents up." "Yes, SIr.")

 

Having said that, using "leadership" instead of "management" can focus more on leading vs. pushing/controlling/directing.  My employer started using "leadership" when it started giving leadership training planned by Blanchard @ Associates.  

 

Further, I would like to have BSA-Speak reserve "leader" for Scouts, with "Scouter" for adults  - just as a reminder.

 

If, as BSA says it should be, the Scouts primarily experience Scouting in the patrol setting, not in a troop setting, there are better odds that the leadership will be by Scouts.


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#45 Eagledad

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 12:35 PM

Given that words mean different things to different people, I try to focus more on what is actually going on.  "Boy-led" often means boys as the non-coms to the SM as platoon leader. ( "Joe, get your tents up." "Yes, SIr.")

 

Having said that, using "leadership" instead of "management" can focus more on leading vs. pushing/controlling/directing.  My employer started using "leadership" when it started giving leadership training planned by Blanchard @ Associates.  

 

Further, I would like to have BSA-Speak reserve "leader" for Scouts, with "Scouter" for adults  - just as a reminder.

 

If, as BSA says it should be, the Scouts primarily experience Scouting in the patrol setting, not in a troop setting, there are better odds that the leadership will be by Scouts.

From TAHAWK:

 

"The OA lodge in my oldest council was about dead.  One recent year, it had no - 0 - activities.  Then the lodge got a new Lodge Adviser and a very impressive Lodge Chief.  Like flipping a switch, the Lodge came to life.  Leadership is once more proved to be the "magic" ingredient."

 

Was that leadership or management in your opinion.

 

Barry


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#46 TAHAWK

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 06:56 PM

From TAHAWK:

 

"The OA lodge in my oldest council was about dead.  One recent year, it had no - 0 - activities.  Then the lodge got a new Lodge Adviser and a very impressive Lodge Chief.  Like flipping a switch, the Lodge came to life.  Leadership is once more proved to be the "magic" ingredient."

 

Was that leadership or management in your opinion.

 

Barry

 

It was a demonstration of the ability to convince others that they support a vision of an active service organization.  What you call it is not as important as what is going on.  I would prefer "leadership," but "pickles" would work as well IF the same behavior was displayed.


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#47 Eagledad

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 07:08 PM

Sadly we've come to the place where we are afraid to call leadership, leadership. Scouting is doomed.

Barry
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#48 Stosh

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 07:10 PM

There are a few scouters out there that would agree with that.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#49 Stosh

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:09 PM

From TAHAWK:

 

"The OA lodge in my oldest council was about dead.  One recent year, it had no - 0 - activities.  Then the lodge got a new Lodge Adviser and a very impressive Lodge Chief.  Like flipping a switch, the Lodge came to life.  Leadership is once more proved to be the "magic" ingredient."

 

Was that leadership or management in your opinion.

 

Barry

 

We had a restaurant go out of business in town, got a new owner and reopened.  Out of curiosity I went and tried out their food.  The interesting thing was, the food was pretty good but the service wasn't, the sign in the window said, "Under new management."  I'll probably not go back, I wasn't convinced it wasn't any better than the old place.  Maybe if the service was better I'd reconsider.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#50 fred johnson

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:27 PM

Too long a chain to read everything.  But I agree with the original post.  I think we need to create leaders who inspire the scouts to be better, achieve more and do more.  I've had my fill of MBA forms based scouting and worksheet merit badges.  At this point, I've reverted into thinking scouting is a very simple program.  Get out and have adventures.  Maybe it's a canoe trip or a simple hike to a fire tower.  By doing interesting things and our offering friendly coaching, support and a smile, the scouts will develop leadership as a natural part of completing the adventures.


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#51 Stosh

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:38 PM

Please explain what is meant by "develop leadership as a natural part of completing the adventures."  It seems to me that the scout will develop management skills as part of completing the tasks of adventures.  Organizing the activity, preparation and finally the doing of the actual task at hand.  I see people coming to these events more as self-entertainment rather than actually all that worried about leading anyone.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#52 fred johnson

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 01:00 PM

Please explain what is meant by "develop leadership as a natural part of completing the adventures."  It seems to me that the scout will develop management skills as part of completing the tasks of adventures.  Organizing the activity, preparation and finally the doing of the actual task at hand.  I see people coming to these events more as self-entertainment rather than actually all that worried about leading anyone.

 

What I meant is that by doing things and having adventures, certain scouts begin to stand out and learn the confidence to call others out on things or to inspire the group to do more or to get going or to move forward.  The "management" of the activity is the easy part.  Getting kids to stand up with strong character, do more than originally planned, helping each other and lifting the group to the next performance level.  

 

One of the proudest moments recently is when I was guiding / helping a few new scouts of another troop who were struggling at a district camp out.  The SPL from our troop popped over to let us know the troop was setup and asked if there was anything else right they could do.  I asked if he could find a couple of older scouts to help out these new scouts.  He grabbed a few more older scouts and helped these younger scouts and few others ... not even scouts from our troop.  Without him there to break the inertia of being done, I don't think the older scouts would have reached out to help these guys. 

 

IMHO, it's very much like some of the comments I took time to read above.  Leadership reflects authority that is given by those below.  Management is authority granted from above.  That SPL had earned his reputation and respect from the other older scouts.  When he said they'd help, the other scouts followed without argument. 

 

We had another SPL like that.  Very well respected and when he spoke, others followed.  No threats or warnings.  The scouts liked and respected him.


Edited by fred johnson, 04 February 2016 - 01:17 PM.

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#53 Stosh

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 04:34 PM

What I meant is that by doing things and having adventures, certain scouts begin to stand out and learn the confidence to call others out on things or to inspire the group to do more or to get going or to move forward.  The "management" of the activity is the easy part.  Getting kids to stand up with strong character, do more than originally planned, helping each other and lifting the group to the next performance level.  

 

One of the proudest moments recently is when I was guiding / helping a few new scouts of another troop who were struggling at a district camp out.  The SPL from our troop popped over to let us know the troop was setup and asked if there was anything else right they could do.  I asked if he could find a couple of older scouts to help out these new scouts.  He grabbed a few more older scouts and helped these younger scouts and few others ... not even scouts from our troop.  Without him there to break the inertia of being done, I don't think the older scouts would have reached out to help these guys. 

 

IMHO, it's very much like some of the comments I took time to read above.  Leadership reflects authority that is given by those below.  Management is authority granted from above.  That SPL had earned his reputation and respect from the other older scouts.  When he said they'd help, the other scouts followed without argument. 

 

We had another SPL like that.  Very well respected and when he spoke, others followed.  No threats or warnings.  The scouts liked and respected him.

 

Yes, but, Fred you have identified servant leadership.  Note the non-management highlights above, They all are clear indicators of servant leadership that makes it work for you and your boys.  If that process was cultured so as to infect the whole troop, you'd be out of a job and the boys would set the world on fire! 


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)





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