How To Grow Leaders In Your Organisation

What is leadership?

Everyone recognises a good leader when they see one, but no one agrees on a common definition.

My favourite definition comes from John Quincy Adams:

It is not easy to be a leader.

My experience tells me that in many organisations we have lots of managers – but very few leaders.

We often find leaders – with leadership titles – many of whom think they lead.

In reality, they don’t – they manage.

So what’s the problem?

Many leaders fail to grasp the distinction between being a manager and being a leader.

Managers are always busy – planning, organising, directing, controlling.

Day to day they go to meetings, deal with crises, get fed up with email and often work long hours.

Leaders, too, have to deal with these same day-to-day battles – but with one big difference.

Leaders go over and beyond the nitty gritty day-to-day management stuff of systems and processes.

Leaders have ideas.

Ideas that create a future for the organisation that is different and better.

And good leaders make their ideas happen – through other people.

Motivating and inspiring.

Taking people where they would not have got by themselves.

In summary:

Managers maintain (and sometimes) gradually improve the status quo.

Leaders make a difference. 

Leaders do more than just manage.

Instead of merely sustaining a legacy from the past, the true leader creates a legacy for the future.