Mar 27 2008

Leadership vs Management

Published by at 4:39 pm
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I’ve been busy the last few months. This little bit of self reflection will give you some insight into what I’ve been going through with recently, particularly within the last few weeks.

My journey into leadership began many years ago when I was the sole IT manager and programmer at a small commercial real-estate management firm. I was coached by the President on ways to improve myself as a leader. I was challenged to find better ways of doing business and how to communicate those changes to others. This journey expanded when I was encourage to pick up the leadership torch as a volunteer leadership position in an online community of over 100 individuals. This expanded later when I left that community and again was pulled (almost reluctantly) into another organization which is now around those same numbers. Right now I hold a second volunteer position that involves leading communications and facilitating change goals for a community of thousands of people, compiling feedback, and delivering reports to key players in a much larger organization. Over the years people have described my leadership style as democratic, pragmatic, and visionary. How did I develop such strong leadership skills in such a small amount of time?

The key factor that has been advantageous to my journey has been RAPIDLY growing environments. The real-estate management firm was constantly in a state of change. During my time with them they grew to a handful of people to over 65 people. In all of my volunteer leadership positions, they have taken place in an even more rapidly changing environment growing from a handful of people to well over 100. My exposure to rapidly changing environments has allowed me to learn how to properly lead change. Furthermore, I’ve had the power to experiment with various techniques of leadership (learned through formal education as well as self study) with little to no fear of “ruining a good thing”, especially with my volunteer leadership positions.

The more I learn about leadership, the more I realize that the average person doesn’t understand the difference between management and leadership. The more I learn about leadership, the more I realize that this is a product of history and the way individuals in business were trained to manage, and how individuals have learned what “managers” are like. When two organizations come together, one who understands management and the other than understands leadership, a serious challenge presents itself. This challenge is one that we will face going forward. 

P.S. Yes, I fell off my wight loss plan. I’m still struggling with a lack of a real schedule in my life.

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