Saturday, 3 February 2018

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion

Key points

"Management is doing things right, leadership is about doing the right things." Peter Drucker defines the differential aspects of management (doing things right) versus leadership (doing the right things). All leaders must manage others, but not all managers are leaders. Understand the difference and equip your direct reports to manage the process and simultaneously do the right things for the organization.

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." Alexander the Great employs the concept of "Moira" a term used by ancient Greeks regarding a person's fate or destiny.

Nations are not fearful of lions being led by a sheep, but rather an army of sheep led by lions. It is the personification of leadership, the strong lead and the weak follow. Strong leadership can turn sheep into lions.

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu implores us to lead by example and being present but empowering others to achieve the goals and mission of the organization. Good leaders give credit to the team and take the blame when things go wrong.

"Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?" Ray Kroc took an underdeveloped hamburger restaurant to a global empire. The adage of green and growing compared to ripe and rotting carries a significant metaphor for leaders. Leaders must engage, grow, evolve, adapt and apply to be successful leaders.

It is when leaders quit learning and think they have evolved to their highest capacity in the organization that they begin to become ripe and rotten. If plants need to be nurtured, so do employees. Nurture others and evolve to be of service to others and watch your leadership domain prosper.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." Steve Jobs argues that innovators are leaders and not followers. Jobs takes this to the next leadership level in that innovators are ones that continually explore, seek new adventures, and have foresight for the next iteration of the organization. As thought leaders continue to innovate and explore new opportunities to make your organization soar to new heights.

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