Bestselling author Seth Godin says:
Management and leadership are totally different things. You think you are being a leader, but you are probably being a manager. Managers figure out what they want done and get people to do it. Managers try to get people to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper with a few less defects. But this is not leadership.
Leadership is about finding the right people, agreeing where you want to go, and getting out of the way. Leadership means embracing the failure of your people if it will lead to growth. Leadership means not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, just knowing its going to take you where you want to go.
Godin obviously has his preferred explanation of leadership and management based on his successes in life. He didn’t go bankrupt although he almost did. But more startups fail than succeed, so his rosy “Leadership means not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, just knowing its going to take you where you want to go” is foolish apart from a trust in God’s sovereignty and plan. Perhaps a better philosophy is: Leadership doesn’t meant you know what is going to happen tomorrow, but it does mean you are confident it will take you where God wants you to go.
There are good insights in this video. He actually covers many topics with a common theme of modern leadership.
- Management and leadership.
- Being willing to lead through the hard decision to fire unprofitable customers. In my leadership in a non-profit mission organization, I translate this into making the hard decisions to cancel a project or terminate an agreement that has become a barrier to moving ahead with our strategic plan.
- Do remarkable work that people cannot live without. Don’t settle for being a little cheaper or better than the next guy.
- Don’t wait for improved conditions, rather ship now, deliver results now.
- Put your work out there and allow a tribe to gather around who like what you do rather than going after those who don’t like what you do.