The first twitter I saw this morning led me to a very interesting article:
This post is written in reaction to: Forbes,The Biggest Mistake A Leader Can Make
Sandy Styer Sandy Styer, Contributor
I have no issue with the list of mistakes and I mostly agree that these top leaders speak the truth about what will cause your mission as a leader to crumble around your feet, but mostly the article reminded me of what I believe a true leader is.
I was attending a leadership conference once in Dallas, and the only thing I remember vividly is this distinction between a leader and a manager. The topic made for the best discussion of the conference.
A leader has a vision, a mission if you will. She knows where she’s headed, and what she wants to have accomplished when she arrives. She is going there whether anyone follows or not, in fact she might not remember to turn around and look back. The goal and the path ahead compel her to move forward and that compelling stance creates the followers who scramble to trail behind.
A manager puts the dot on the i and the cross on the t or directs someone else to do so. The daily tasks that make the wheel go round are the realm of the manager.
The two positions are almost mutually exclusive, although in our affiliate marketing world of “go it alone”, we often find ourselves trying to do it all.
My best advice: At minimum, separate the two roles and know which one you’re doing right now. It will help. For a greater benefit, determine which one is your true character and try to put your focus there. It will make all the difference in the world.
Now, back to my reaction to the article. While true, the 10 mistakes reflect the reality of some people we call “leaders”, but I don’t see it as a failure of the leadership qualities they may have possessed. I see those 10 mistakes listed as a failure of basic human character and personality more than a failure to see the goal ahead and stride purposely towards it.