Tuesday Insight: The Leadership Shuffle

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We’ve been talking a lot about leadership in the office recently, in part because we’ve been reviewing and updating the great module, Leadership Identikit, which examines the difference between leadership and management.

I was thinking about those conversations again at the weekend when, for the first time in my life, I joined a protest march, becoming one of the huge mass of people who marched through London in support of a People’s Vote on Brexit. (I know - contentious subject, but bear with me!)

I say march; the crowd was so huge that it was more a sort of collective shuffle. My partner and I shuffled for four hours with men and women of all ages, from all corners of the UK. Many had brought their children – some had even brought their dogs and there was an extraordinary carnival atmosphere. It was entirely peaceful.

Not all of you will agree with the march, or its cause – I respect that. Many will be wishing the whole topic of Brexit would just go away – and I can definitely empathise with that!

But, it's estimated that over one million people did attend, and in some cases, went to extraordinary lengths to get there.

So, why were so many people motivated to do something that, perhaps like me, they’d never done before?

It was this question that brought me back to the discussions we’ve been having about leadership and management. Managers:

•    Rely on legitimate power to achieve results.
•    Ensure the stability of the system.
•    Control conditions and others.
•    Implement changes in reaction to events.

Whilst leaders:

•    Create a sense of energy and momentum.
•    Inspire people with a vision and a sense of purpose.
•    Motivate and empower others to achieve results.
•    Proactively create change.

These latter four are the reasons I was there, and I suspect the same is true of others. And indeed, the same is probably true of those marching at Nigel Farage’s behest from Sunderland to London.

Managers can of course, be leaders, but leadership has nothing to do with status. Leadership is about an ability to communicate authentically and articulate a vision in a way that makes it accessible to others. On Saturday, people were marching because of well-known leaders like Chuka Umunna, Sadiq Kahn and Nicola Sturgeon. But many were there because of lesser-known leaders, like Jack Dart.

My final thought for today is this:

People follow leaders, and in the absence of leadership from the top, others will always step in to fill that void, whether that’s a team, organisation, or, indeed, a country.

Until next time...

p.s., Our newly updated course module, The Leadership Identikit in Trainers' Library, encourages participants to explore in greater depth the differences between Leadership and Management - and could be a vital component in your Leadership Development Programmes!

About Rod Webb

Rod Webb

Rod is co-founder and Commercial Director at Glasstap® (www.glasstap.com), the company behind  Trainers' Library® (www.trainerslibrary.com) and Managers' Library (www.managerslibrary.com).

Rod has overall responsibility for the Glasstap brand and the day to day operations of the business.

Through its innovative Trainers' Library® service, Glasstap® provides trainers with easy access to its unique range of innovative, experiential learning materials, including detailed trainer's notes, handouts, participant briefs etc. The service is used by professional trainers in over 50 countries.

The recently launched Managers' LIbrary aims to help line managers become better at fulfilling their part in the leraning and development cycle providing loads of short training activities that can be used in team meetings and lots of self-development tools for the managers themselves.

Rod is the author of an extensive catalogue of experiental training materials, available through Trainers' Library®, which includes teambuilding games like Murder at Glasstap Grange and Jack Fruggle's Treasure. He now works with a team of authors who continue to develop new material for Trainers' Library and Managers' Library.

In his spare time, Rod enjoys creative writing, reading, walking, cycling and spending time with his horses and dogs. He's currently creating a new board game.

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28th Mar 2019 10:19

Fascinating article! I'm having trouble with finding leadership skills in myself.

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