Are You A Leader or a Lumberg?

I finished reading the latest book from Seth Godin titled, Tribes. Near the beginning of the book he covers the difference between managers and leaders.

Management is about manipulating resources to get a known job done. Burger King franchises hire managers. Managers manage a process they’ve seen before and react to the outside world striving to make that process as fast and as cheap as possible.

Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change.

Leaders have followers. Managers have employees.

Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.

When I read the passage above I stopped. Then I went back and read it several times, and it’s been on my mind ever since.

officespace 
“That would be great”

I think all but one position I’ve held since graduating from college 14 years ago has included “manager” in the title including my first job as retail store manager.

But only in my current job am I encouraged to be a leader. Sure I still have to manage a number of processes and resource, but we have people on staff who are better at those tasks.

I think back to that first job I had as a store manager and realize what a poor leader I was. I assumed that everyone would follow me in step since I was the manager. I figured the titled carried all the clout I needed.

But it doesn’t work that way, and I realized my assistant manager was the person everyone followed.

From my experience it’s easier to be a leader if you work for one.

Managers are a lot easier to find.

Comments

  1. I love the way Seth said this. Makes me think I have a long ways to go.

  2. One of the things I try to do as a manager…I mean leader is mentor my employees. Also I think it’s important to encourage employees to explore new ways to do things. I throw out ideas and ask them to see if it’s achievable. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

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  1. […] a tough day I need a blog that will make me laugh so hard (rotflmao) that I laugh myself to tears Are You A Leader or a Lumberg? – blog.nordquist.org 12/29/2008 I finished reading the latest book from Seth Godin titled, Tribes […]

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