I am thinking about helping the local Jefferson Award winner's Leadership program next year. He revived a program that talks about leadership with High school Juniors in a camp like setting for a week. This causes me to think about the difference between Military Leadership and Management in the real world. I have seen both good and bad leadership and most of the management styles in process.
The one thing that hits me is first and foremost is that people try to Manage People and not lead them. True leadership helps the people understand why they are doing things and gets them to do what is needed while they think it was their idea. Screaming and yelling is not needed in most cases.
There is an old adage that says a plan lives about as long as it took to put the plan together. If you spend a long time making everyone understand and coordinate the plan well it will survive for a longer period. Leaders understand that things change once the bullets start flying and encourage subordinates to learn how to change and adapt. These managers that cling to a plan and operating procedure in spite of the failure are the one's moist likely to fail in the long run. This is the biggest failing in Total Quality Management as it stressed adherance to the process and is way too cumbersome to make changes.
I am thinking about having the leadership training as a symposium and developing talking points or discussion points using some of the great leaders as the place to start. Here are some points:
  • Leaders Lead People and Managers manage things. (Dennis Petty)
  • Management isn't a bad thing.
  • A Journey of a 1000 miles is best taken by the enemy. Let the battle come to you rather than go there to fight on his ground.
  • Attack the enemy where he isn't the strongest.
  • Praise in Public and Punish in private.
These are just a few and there are a lot of important things to discuss. This spins off in the direction of Leadership and the art of motivation. From there there is the contrast of motivation vs dis-satisfiers. The example there is you don't motivate soldiers with great meals. You can surely dis-satisfy them with poor meals. Is pay a motivator? What is recognition of fine performance. Can your praise of one person cause hurt and dis-satisfaction in others?
More on this in later posts. Tell me about your worst boss and your best. 4180


  1. My best Boss' credo: A good Manager works himself out of a job.

    My worst boss was also a partner in the firm, he was a crazed control freak from whom all fled, he was a poisonous influence. I stood up to him, he hated me all the more, trouble was I made too much money for the firm;)

  2. I had a boss that was a manic compulsive person. He kept all his pencils the same length, he straightened out his paper clips in his desk and carried a little note pad in a shirt pocket that he wrote down everything. On my first job review, he started with the first day I worked in the office and told me what I had done wrong. I shouted at him that he was an asshole not to tell me on the spot so I did not repeat that mistake. We lasted 17 months until I finally shouted "Shoot up here amongst us one of needs some relief". (Old Jerry Clower Joke).After I left he hired a trainee that just broke his spirit and he had a nervous breakdown.