An estimated 78% of
professional football players are bankrupt or under financial
stress within 2 years of retirement, and 60% percent of
professional basketball players are broke within 5 years of
She’s been the GM of a printing plant in
St. Louis for five years.
During that time, the plant has
been extremely profitable.
Employee turnover has been nearly
non-existent, and morale is extremely high.
The plant is
running like a well-oiled machine, and has no major problems.
How would you rate her as a leader?
It’s a trick question. You can’t evaluate her leadership
skills, because this description has nothing to do
with her leadership.
It has to do with her management
To be a true leader, you must lead people to do things they
would not have done without your leadership.
printing plant was already running smoothly before Susan
arrived, her job was basically not to screw up what
was already working.
If the plant had been losing money,
couldn’t keep employees, and had all kinds of problems before
she came, that'd be a different story. Taking a business
from failing to succeeding requires strong management
AND leadership skills. In this scenario, she would have
changed a few (or a lot of) things to lead the plant to
profitability and save everyone’s job.
It’s said that the
definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over
again, and expecting a different result.
This is why
being an "Agent of Change" is one of the hallmarks of highly
Change is a way of life for them.
They understand that in order to accomplish what hasn’t been accomplished before, you
must do things that haven’t been done before.
don't let fear of failure hold them back from trying new things and taking risks.
greatest modern example of this was Steve Jobs.
not a very good manager, at least not in his younger years. Apple employees would avoid getting in the elevator
with him, out of fear they’d be fired by the time they got out.
He was emotionally immature and impetuous, and not the kind
of manager people want to work for.
But he was a very
effective leader. Over and over again, he led people to do
things no one thought was possible, like creating a device small
enough to hold 1,000 songs in your pocket (iPods). Or getting
people to pay for songs on iTunes when they were illegally
downloading them for nothing on Napster.
are not always good leaders, and good leaders are not always
But the best managers are great managers,
and great leaders.
If you want to learn more about leadership, I highly
recommend reading “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by Dr.
John C. Maxwell.
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