Posts Tagged ‘future’

The word “leadership” is mysterious, powerful, and generally misunderstood as to how it applies to life. It is often used as a catch-all title to denote being in charge of a collective of things, people, and resources. And that is the first detour from the truth of what leadership – and quintessential leadership is.

I’ll break it down simply. We manage things. People manage themselves. Leaders have the gift of knowing how to properly manage things – time, money, resources – and give their teams the parameters, tools, and opportunities that will naturally invest them in the activities of the company, division, or department so that they manage themselves in a way that positively contributes to the continued success of the unit. Quintessential leaders go a step further. Not only are they successful managers and skilled guides within their direct areas of responsibility, but they are also in tune with the larger organizational vision and work successfully with other business units to ensure that vision is attained.

Leaders are always managers, but managers are not always leaders. In fact, most people who have the title of “Manager of” today are not leaders and have no idea how to be. This is because promotion to management positions has been the traditional way of recognizing an individual’s competency in his or field or rewarding an employee for achievement. Most employees promoted to management positions eventually fail because they don’t understand nor do they have the soft skills (interpersonal especially) of leadership needed to succeed. A team that doesn’t buy into to a “manager” will ensure that he/she is kicked to the curb sooner rather than later. The usual complaint heard is about a lack of people/interpersonal/relationship skills.

There are good leaders who are good managers. They are rare. Even rarer is the quintessential leader who is also a quintessential manager. How do you recognize one? How do you become one?

This blog will show examples of excellent leadership and the total absence of leadership and the results of both, with a thoughtful and straightforward look at the components that led to success and the components that led to failure. This blog invites each reader to change, to grow, perhaps to fine-tune. It also should deepen your analytical skills when assessing the big picture when things are working well and when they are not. It should give you the courage to put the brakes on to prevent probable train wrecks within areas you oversee.

It will require discernment, honesty, and the ability to look within and without without fear. It will require a willingness to do something radically different from the status quo and it will require thinking outside of the box. It is not for the faint-hearted, but the courageous will take these balls and run with them and see dramatic successes take the place of impending disasters.

Remember, the process starts with you, and the example – leadership – you exhibit will be the greatest force for change around you. Words are just words, but actions reveal the truth about you. Make sure that your actions and your words match because no one will pay attention if they don’t. It’s not enough to say you are a leader; everything you do must confirm that you are.

Let’s see what a leader looks like.

The Quintessential Leader is the definitive guide to successful leadership, which is what excellent management incorporates. Leadership and management are twin branches on the same tree and are inextricably tied together. So the degree to which management is good or great will be proportional to the degree to which good or great leadership also exists. And the degree to which management is poor will be proportional to the degree to which no or poor management exits. They simply cannot be separated from each other.

So, what’s the difference between management and leadership?

The Quintessential Leader will include discussions on what quintessential leadership is, as well as what it is not. It will also include steps to create legacy quintessential leadership, steps to build highly successful and efficient teams and processes, and how to use performance planning and evaluation as a positive tool, instead of the hammer that hovers over most employees heads because it’s tied to money instead of improvement.

The Quintessential Leader will include real-world examples of management and leadership that succeed as well as real-world examples of poor management and lack of leadership that fail. There will be an in-depth analysis of each of these that will outline what is right (and how to use that as a springboard for greater gains) if it is successful, and what is wrong (and how to correct it) if it is a failure.

Quintessential leaders have traits and personality types, as well as experience (conscious or unconscious) that defines them. Many of these may surprise you because they are not necessarily the things that leap to mind when you think of a leader. I will not use the word “boss” except to point out its difference from a quintessential leader because that’s actually what most people who end up being promoted to leadership positions become and it’s more of a functional title that is synonymous for baby-sitting (supervision) or control (a heavy hand and a short leash). These are the people we all have, at some point, had to endure – or are currently enduring.

If you’re currently a boss and want to transition to a quintessential leader, then this blog is for you because these traits and tools and techniques can be learned, and if practiced and applied correctly, can drastically and positively transform you, your team, your department, your division, your corporation.

If you’ve been promoted to a leadership position as a reward for a particular skill you succeeded in somewhere down the ladder in your company and feel like a fish out of water with all this “people stuff,” this blog is for you. You will learn what you’re leading and what you’re managing and how to do them both effectively, efficiently, and productively.

If you’re an M.B.A. that ended up in a leadership job after you did your post-graduate work and realize there’s a total disconnect between the classes you took and the real world, this blog is also for you. Remember that most of the people who taught where you got your M.B.A. have never actually worked in the real world, instead preferring the safe bastions of tenured professorship, so what you got in your classes was theory – mostly unproven – not practical application. This is the place to get the hands-on education you need to succeed in becoming a quintessential leader.

Thank you for visiting The Quintessential Leader.

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Additionally, please feel free to leave comments (all comments are moderated for approval) or email me with questions or situations you’re dealing with that you’d like guidance on. I’ll use them here to answer you and to provide everyone else with working examples of quintessential leadership in action.

Part of my intent with this blog is to mentor and to provide expertise based on proven experience to anyone who wants or needs it. Your responsibility will be to pay it forward to someone else. Perhaps one day, then, there will only be quintessential leaders.