Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Leadership and Management

I used to work for a big, political, bureaucratic corporation. The most political bureaucrats in the corporation instituted a Leadership Development Program governed by a Leadership Development Committee, but it was a ship without a rudder, so they formed a Leadership Steering Committee. Somehow I wound up on the Leadership Steering Committee and I think I was the only member that pondered the question - What is Leadership?

And now I find myself leading and managing a small business and I have again been contemplating - What is leadership? And what is management?

My present thinking is as follows:

Leadership

I have a dream.
I follow my bliss.
Will you help me along the way?
If so, I will help you along the way.

Management

Take measurements.
What is underperforming?
What is the improvement?
How will we implement the improvement?
Implement.
Repeat ad infinitum.

So the big question is: What is the dream?

At the top of most corporate entities, the dream is "to make money," presumably for the corporate collective, but in practice it is for the politically ambitious egocentric individuals who are trying to "advance their careers."

I find this most unsatisfying.

Walter Wink says that corporations exist to serve values beyond themselves; "Adam Smith himself acknowledged this when he wrote that the ultimate goal of a business is not to make a profit. Profit is just the means. The goal is the general welfare." The Powers, page 68.

Adam Smith (Scotsman, the father of economics) The Wealth of Nations, book 5, chapter 1, part 3; "The wise and virtuous man is at all times willing that his own private interests should be sacrificed to the public interest of his own particular society - that the interests of this order of society be sacrificed to the greater interests of the state. He should therefore be equally willing that all those inferior interests should be sacrificed to the greater society of all sensible and intelligent beings ..."

So what is my dream, if not to make money?

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