In March of 2001 Tom Peters, of In Search of Excellence fame, wrote an article for Fast Company that even today is a must read. You can find it here. Over the next several weeks we are going to comment on and where possible offer practical advice on how to bring his 50 laws of leadership to life.The article spelled out 50 important wise rules that taken in context would help anyone understand what leadership is about, why it sometimes seems so mysterious and how to recognize it when you see it. So in each post we will take one of the 50 and offer our perspective on what it means and how you can apply it in your leadership development.
Here we go1. Leaders on snorting steeds ( the visionary greats! ) are important.
Yes leaders are important without them most organizations could only aspire to being highly efficient buggy whip factories. Translation we must look beyond the incremental marginal improvements that often come forward in stable mature systems. Sometimes you have to take risks. Sometimes you have to break the system in order to identify and realize breakthrough (pun intended) improvements.Let’s not forget the importance of management Peters argues. Yes let’s not. A healthy mix of management and leadership is always necessary for a healthy thriving organization. We just need to realize that often their purposes are at odds and this is a good thing. I love the fact that Peters references what I consider to be one of the best management books in this law. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. This is a great book that I highly recommend. I credit it with allowing me, a leadership junkie, to actually develop into a proficient manager as well.
So yes leaders are important and managers are important. What are you doing to develop yourself in BOTH areas?
Challenge: Go and interview a leader in some capacity. Ask them how they got there and how they developed their leadership ability.