Leadership is distinct from management because leadership is about transformation—personal and organizational transformation. While management, like stewardship, cares for what is, leadership is about what can be or what must become for an organization to fulfill its reason for being. To that end, let me offer three leadership truths that shape my work in leadership development (mostly in church and nonprofit circles).
First: Leadership is Essential:
By leadership, I don’t mean titles or authority necessarily. (Both are helpful, but not essential to leadership.) Leadership is not measured by corner offices or heavy furniture, higher salaries or august job descriptions. Leadership is a way of being in an organization, family, team, company, church, business, nation (or any other “system”) that, in the words of Ronald Heifetz, “enables a group to grow so they can face their toughest challenges.” Since leadership is about transformation, and because we are hard-wired to resist change, every living system requires someone in it to live into and lead into the new future we are resisting. If someone is not functioning as a leader, the system will always default to the status quo.
Which hints at the second truth: [Read more…]