This morning, George Ambler, author of The Practice of Leadership (and someone in our Ho‘ohana Community you really should bookmark online) sent me into a management and leadership thinking frenzy with his pointer to an exceptional article written for Fortune magazine — you MUST read it, because I want you to get as fired up as I am right now.
Initially, George baited me with this question of his own:
Are you having powerful leadership experiences?
“Leadership experiences and one of the most important tools for leadership development. Are you consciously seeking out leadership experiences? Leadership experiences, are those that take you out your comfort zone, out of your everyday routine and cause you to embrace some risk. If you honestly evaluate your “leadership career”, do you have ten years of leadership experience…….or do you have a one year leadership experience repeated ten times?”
In my opinion, everyone with a calling for great management can be a leader, and that includes you (or you probably wouldn’t be reading Talking Story to begin with).
My company is called Say Leadership Coaching, however my book, and the heart and soul of my business, is called Managing with Aloha. I say I’m a management coach. Why?
I am pretty bullish in my insistence that an emerging leader, that is, the kind of leader I want to see succeed, must understand what great management is.
Even if he or she can’t do it themselves, they have to recognize it so they can hire it, and empower it.
When they lead other managers they must insist upon only great management — they must demand it.
It is my strong, and yes stubborn, unwavering belief that the best leaders have the most management-empathy, and they understand their managers are the glue that holds everything in a business together.
Coaching great managers to be great leaders is easy.
Coaching poor managers to be great leaders is impossible.
Related to this, so insightfully by John Keane here, is that great managers thrive in, and continue to drive human-healthy processes and systems in an organizational culture. This kind of organizational culture is the second thing that the kind of leaders we need today must demand.
And no, demand is not too strong a word. This is too important.
Here is your assignment from this management>then>leadership coach, and if you want to be a great leader today, ignore it at your own peril:
Then, high-tail it here for the article George refers to:
Catch a Rising Star by Geoffrey Colvin for Fortune via money.cnn.com
Then, let’s talk story. Let me hear from you. This Ho‘ohana Community of ours represents a wealth of knowledge; don’t just hold it in. Make your thoughts known.
For another clue to how critical I think it is we understand the implications of Colvin’s insights, take a look at all the categories below I’ve added this post to. I have also done a post this morning for the Blog Synergy on this subject, for I am hoping to stimulate more ideas on how we as thinking, blog-reading teams of passionate people can work on our practice of leadership, right here, right now.
I’ll be writing more on this for the MWA Jumpstart coaching program later: both George’s post and Colvin’s article deserve serious study.
How I love the work we do!