People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led. Whoever heard of a world manager? World leader, yes. Educational leader. Political leader. Religious leader. Community leader. Labor leader. Business leader. They lead. They don’t manage. The carrot always wins over the stick. Ask your horse. You can lead your horse to water but you can’t manage him to drink. If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you’ll be read to stop managing. And start leading.
Printed by United Technologies Corporation in the Wall Street Journal
When I read this, it rings true to me. I know I don’t want to be managed. I want to lead and be led. I know my husband and kids don’t want to be managed. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who wants to be managed, unless of course they have subjugated that role to others.
Let’s say we agree with this, that people don’t want to be managed. Then what is management for? Why do so many seek to manage and why have we spent so many millions of dollars on the management sciences? And why is leadership such a hot topic today inspiring untold numbers of articles, blogs, movements such as Lead Change Group, etc. Maybe just maybe we got off course somewhere and all bought the idea that we could manage people.
I’d like to join United Technologies Corporation’s movement to get rid of management, at least management in the sense of managing people. Let’s leave management to manage things. We still need management, because we will always need controls, oversight, compliance, and so on. We will always need to manage our resources of time, money and materials. That doesn’t go away.
When it comes to people, let’s lead ourselves first, and when we have mastered that, we are ready to lead others. And when we lead others, let’s use that term in the same way we would use the term serve. Let’s be empowering leaders, who trust and believe in people and want to inspire them to grow and become the best they can be. Let’s cast a vision, rally people behind it, showing them what they have to gain personally and professionally in achieving it.