Leadership Vs. Management

I firmly believe that people need to be good mangers of their assets. You need to make money and spend less than you make. You need to spend a little on preventative maintenance and replace those things you can't fix. Good managers understand needs and wants and spend on the priority of needs first and wants when there is money. I won't get into the whole carbon footprint thing but if you can reduce yours, why not.

With that said, it is leadership that is the most misunderstood. Leadership is that gentle persuasion of others to do what they know is the right thing and have them think it is their idea. Motivate your kids and subordinates to feel good about positive things and learn from the mistakes. It is hard to understand the difference between motivators and dis-satisfiers. For example - One time a General officer made a comment in his big opening meeting that one of the mess halls at Camp Ripley was so ugly that people just didn't want to eat there. It turned out that the mess hall he pointed out was mine. I found out that my mess team had fed almost 500 more people than we were told to expect. Damn right it wasn't pretty, but the food was good. I spoke with about 25 people that ate there and they bragged about the leadership my Mess Sergeant used to meet the crush and get those people fed. I looked that General up and personally told him that he was all wet and I felt his remarks were ill chosen and a dissatisfied to most of us. Instead of using the example to praise how people can raise above the circumstances he chose to punish in public those that should have been praised. Had he brought that Mess Sergeant to the podium and given him an award he could have raised the standard across his Brigade. By using a negative he failed. To add bad to worse, food is not a motivator. It is only a dis-satisfier when it is bad. When you have a lot of work to do, you eat to stay fueled.

The next time someone makes a mistake, give them a hug and say that they will learn from the mistakes and to do the best they can. Look for a few positive things to say about your kids and subordinates each day and pretty soon they will think you are a miracle worker. Hit them and they will learn to hit. Berate them and they will learn to say bad things about others.

After all, what would we think of JFK if he had said, "Ask not what you can do for your Country, ask what our country can do for you." He made a mistake in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and moved on smartly.

Think about what you can do to have a positive impact and not worry about the "what ifs" unless you are using them to motivate.



  1. Making a positive impact is the reason I like to volunteer. At least I can die someday knowing I've done something good.

  2. If your volunteer coordinator was doing a good job, you would go home from each period of volunteer time with a firm pat on the back and a hearty thank you. Think about how you thank your new hubby and how you would like to share with him how you would like to be thanked. Relationships don't fall apart because we fall out of love, but because we fail to stay in like. Be the best cheerleader for him and he'll return the favor. Good luck. MUD

  3. Hmmm, methinks someone needs to remind the Democrats of the words of their champion. Come to think of it, most of the country could use the reminder.

  4. Thanks for the reminder to speak positively, MUD. My kids go back to school tomorrow - very timely. :)