To reiterate last week’s discussion [See
January 30th issue] ... there is a great deal of talk these
days about leadership. It is a big concept that is thrown around
in national and international politics and corporate America.
Today, the concept of leadership from politics and economics has
been rationalized down to the level of the small business.
This process has led to ambiguity, distortion, and confusion over
how it should or should not apply. These detriments not only confuse
the office staff who pines for a great leader on horseback, but
also is distorted by the business owners who perceive themselves
to be more responsible than they really are or need to be.
This week's column is a continuing discussion of the difference
between leadership and management. For the sake of clarity,
I believe that all business owners must be managers first and leaders
second. The reason for this definition is that the goal of the office
practice is simply to carry out the product and services as promised,
effectively and efficiently. The typical office practice is not
challenged with the responsibility of guiding millions of people
and billions of dollars. Ours is a very simple challenge: make
money and enjoy the day.
Regardless of the business that you choose to be in, regardless
of your position within any business, one of the challenges that
everyone faces is the ability to perform the daily routine
over and over again. The challenge comes from maintaining
an attitude and an outlook that is positive for the business and
sufficiently stimulating to maintain your ability to pay attention
to all the details.
is a natural response of the brain to become so familiar with the
daily routine that it will begin to perform the tasks automatically.
That is right. Your brain can perform your daily routine
automatically. It is like flying on autopilot in an airplane
or speed control in your car. The brain goes on autopilot when it
senses a repetitive routine in order to conserve energy and to keep
your attention-capacity ready for something new or different to
come along which demands your full attention.
how the brain reacts to the daily routine is important when anticipating
exactly what you want to receive from your career. The career of
a manager is about taking the daily routine, successfully
implementing that routine, and supporting the efforts of
the team members to carry out the day’s repetition.
repetition can become very boring and it is for this reason that
managers fulfill their job description when they create interest
for their team to help them cope with the natural tendency for a
decrease in the level of attention to the details of their daily
work routine. The responsibility of the manager is to create
interest in the daily routine such that business continues
Every daily routine was at one time, not a routine at all, but a
moment of innovation. There was a time in the beginning when a specific
office procedure was introduced to the office team as a source of
improvement in the production or efficiency of the business. At
that time, the introduction of a new procedure was an innovation
and it was introduced by the leader of the business.
leader of the business is responsible for introducing the routine,
the daily business routine, to the staff, and they are also responsible
for introducing new components of the office routine in the interest
of continuing to make money, and provide a product and service,
which is the pride of the team and the business owner.
Recognizing that it is the business owner’s obligation
to introduce innovation and it is the manager's responsibility to
support and maintain the business owner’s routine clarifies
everyone's role and responsibility. Managers who object to innovative
ideas, and business owners who try to change things too frequently,
are working against the natural inclination of their job titles.
Managers must accept innovation and leaders must accept routine,
if the office is to flourish emotionally and financially.
care of the House
Whose house is it? Every successful business is a testimonial to
the collective efforts of the team. The success of the business
is the success of the team, and they cannot be separated. Because
they cannot be separated, the question of who is really
running things is an important question to understand,
to ask, and then to answer.
idea for the house began with the education and licensing of the
leader. It is reasonable to conclude that this must be his house,
since there would be no house without the education and license.
However, if you examine the logic, you can see that, while it makes
sense, it is not completely accurate, because without the
team there is no service. Without the service, you cannot
deliver the product.
Thus, the provider of the product cannot make a claim to the house,
because there is no house without the provider of the service. It
is for this reason that the responsibility for sustaining the business
falls on both the team and the leaders of the team.
Yes, this is perhaps not a new insight for you, but it is essential
in order to help your brain justify each role as an individual component
to the whole.
role of the manager is to maintain the house, to keep everything
in order, to be certain that everything is in its place, and available
to be used in the interest of the business. The role of the leader
continues to be the provider of a product and to decide what products
are going to be offered and to whom. The leader is responsible for
implementing a process, to develop a direction,
to create a system that not only works for the client, but also
is workable for the team.
is essential that the leader develop programs and daily routines
that are doable and fulfill the functions that the house was constructed
for. The manager is responsible for maintaining that function
by addressing all the details of the program that was conceived
by the leader. These role distinctions are critical.
Good managers take great pride in the maintenance of their house
of business. They take great pride in paying attention to all of
the details such that their daily operation proceeds efficiently.
Good leaders take great pride in the system of procedures
that they have initiated, which form the rooms and the layout of
the business house. There is great pride in the design, as well
as the selection of team members who make the house functional and
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