The Trick to Leadership and Management

Forget what you learned in school or from some PowerPoint presentation at a conference you were forced to go to.

Taylor has summed up everything in one sentence:

People do not cooperate with those they do not trust.

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for leadership and management you have to add “AND respect”

You may trust somebody, but if you don’t respect them as well, you may not follow them. i.e., you may trust a dim-witted friend with your life/wife/kids/etc, but you may not follow their lead.

True that. And of course, the best way to command respect is…

tell them that you are their boss. Right?

That certainly seems to be the way it’s done @ my school.

So now I’m expected to get my wife to trust and respect me?

You can lead by fear or lead by respect.

One works in the short term, one works in the long term.

What would you rather have/be?

I’ve joined the dark side of management a long enough ago to learn that there are no absoluts in anything. It’s all about style, I’m a “trust and loyalty” kind of guy, which only works with trust AND respect. Then there are the “command and fear” guys, this can also be an effective leadership style, but not my cup of tea (both as a leader and as a follower). In reality, there is a sliding scale with the two styles at the extremes, you have to have a mix of both or risk being ineffective. The trick is to not gravitate all the way to one of the extremes without having a bit of the other.

Yes, and the best way to gain respect is to demand it… well maybe in Bush’s case.

I have found the a common trait in the good “bosses” I have had…humility.

And as my own boss these days, I have learned that I am not that great of a boss.

I think Billymac is on to something, but like he said, everything is situation dependent. He and I played on a rugby team together with the biggest jerk of a coach ever born–mean, arrogant, and spiteful.

But our mutual hatred of him brought us closer together as a team. And he instilled into us an attitude towards other teams that made us very successful–mean, arrogant, and spiteful.

We weren’t friends with him, and I doubt any of us have spoken to him since (or would). But we all appreciate the fact that he was able to get something out of us that no one else could.

And we damn sure respect him.

I don’t think his style of management is applicable in every situation, but it worked in that one. Maybe he’d been a completely different coach if he’d had players with fitness, skill, and mental aptitude? But he didn’t…he had us, and he did the best he could with us.

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