Leadership, what is it really?

In our workbook, The Essence of Leadership, we start out by first defining what leadership is. It has been defined as “one to many” versus “one to one”, it has been said that you manage results and you lead people. In today’s world, many leaders are managers. That being true it behooves us to understand what it takes to be a good supervisor in the context of our organization so that becomes like basic training drills in sports, once you have them you have them and then you can focus on fine tuning your craft, leadership. This month our focus is on general leadership and we will be drawing from our own workbook as well as from some of our favorite quotes and authors.
 

Who is a leader and what is leadership?

 

Leading versus managing? and Leadership within the context of an organization.

 
As we embark on defining leadership it is important to understand that, although there may be different contexts such as positional leadership, leadership without authority, or project leadership, when we refer to leadership we are not referring to the supervision of subordinates. Having subordinates does not make you a leader although most of us find ourselves in leadership roles in organizations where we do have direct reports.
 
If you are a new supervisor seeking also to become a good leader it is important that you first understand and handle the basics, what we call “block and tackle” aspects of supervision and get good at them. This will allow you to devote some time to developing as a leader and developing others. By “block and tackle” we mean things like: Time and Attendance, Handling FMLA, PTO Management, Resource Utilization: Who is working on what, Recruitment, Onboarding, Progressive Discipline, and other essentials that just need to be done and done well if you are supervising direct reports. Once you learn those basics and they become second nature, then you can move to developing as a leader.