Throughout the year I speak at youth conferences for organizations like FBLA, FCCLA, DECA, NASC, SkillsUSA, and others. However, in August and September I stay pretty busy speaking at education conferences.
No matter where I speak, I share a lot of ideas on leadership. However, at education conferences, I share one key to success for leadership that is extremely important for organizational leaders. It’s the importance of not getting stuck on what I call the “management water slide ride.”
There are dozens of keys to success for leadership such as vision, integrity, attitude, and empowering others. Yet there is one key to success for leadership that, if missing, zaps a leader’s energy like nothing else. To use a Covey-ism, it’s keeping first things first. It’s making sure that leadership is primary and management is secondary.
This does not mean management is not important or necessarily. Instead, it means that for management to accomplish what it is suppose to accomplish, leadership must come first. In other words…mission, vision, and direction must be determined before implementation can begin.
However, what often happens in organizations is management slowly crowds out leadership. Before we know it, the entire focus of an organization is on management issues like administration and procedure. When this happens, evaluating the effectiveness of mission and vision gets crowded out by the evaluation of whether or not policies are efficient. Even more, leaders lose sight of the reasons they got involved in leadership in the first place…to make a positive difference in something significant.
Bottom line, a major key to success for leadership is learning to jump off the management water slide ride and recapture our passion and focus for leadership!
Question: Have you ever been stuck on the management water slide ride? What did you do to jump off and recapture your passion and focus for leadership?
Here is a video of me speaking at an education conference. The clip is 8:33 long, but it’s worth your time since it creatively demonstrates the importance of jumping off the management water slide ride in order to recapture your passion and focus for leadership.