Impacting EVERY Organization

authentic leadership authority boss buy-in common leadership issues employee engagement engagement ethical influence influence leadership leadership in management leadership misconceptions leadership myths management supervision Nov 22, 2023
common leadership issues

I see or hear something every couple of months that gets me all riled up and on a soapbox calling attention to the stark differences between managing a group of people and actually leading a team. One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve seen is that those two words, leading and managing, can be used interchangeably. I have plenty of firsthand experience watching managers who were responsible for huge facilities with hundreds of employees and hundreds of millions in revenue who couldn’t lead silent prayer. The majority of those employees only complied with these managers to keep a paycheck. And when they found a comparable paycheck somewhere else, they took it! On the opposite end of that spectrum, I’ve had the privilege of being around some incredibly effective leaders who were able to achieve tremendous results through large teams of people with no positional authority whatsoever!

If we compare the day to day results my pastor friend needs to achieve with his congregation, it can indeed be a little difficult to draw a straight line to what most of us are required to produce in a more traditional business setting. But when we look at both scenarios at a very high level, as well as any other nonprofit or civic organization, the fact remains that any of these entities need the people involved to have at least a fair amount of buy-in and engagement to reach the organization’s stated goal or purpose. To that end, each type of organization really is just a different verse of the same song!

While those folks I’ve seen working for managers who ran their organizations with an iron fist usually stuck around until they identified a better option for putting food on their tables, I can’t imagine many people showing up on a Sunday morning if my pastor friend took that same approach! Let’s be honest though, this doesn’t just apply to him and his church. I nearly threw a fat guy out of a third story window a few years ago for giving me a tongue lashing about something I had volunteered to do for a civic organization. And the same thing applies in most nonprofits and public safety roles where the employees have chosen those fields out of a passion for serving - in spite of the meager wages that come with it…

The reality in each of these scenarios, especially the ones where the participants are showing up for little or no wage, is that better results WILL be achieved when there’s effective leadership instead of someone just filling a role where they’re barking commands. That effective leadership can reduce, and often even eliminate, some of the most common issues that impact EVERY organization. I nearly always frame this in terms of productivity and profitability but I realize that’s not necessarily to focus in many sectors so we’ll connect those dots next time!