am I that man? Practicing leadership, or exercising power?


am I that man?

As James MacGregor Burns taught in his classic 1978 text, Leadership, the practice of leadership is not the same as the exercise of power. If I put a loaded gun to your head, I can get you to do things you might not otherwise do, but I’ve not practiced leadership; I’ve exercised power.

 True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to. 

Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors

As Collins points out leadership is not about power.

Leadership is about influence, inspiration and motivation.

Leadership is about service.

Leadership is about developing people.

Leadership is about doing what is right even when it is not what is popular or expedient.

Leadership is about modelling desired behaviours.

Leadership is about respect.

Leadership is about action.

Leadership is about humility.

If you have the power, you are likely in a leadership position. Position, rank…

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One thought on “am I that man? Practicing leadership, or exercising power?”

  1. I never really understood the discipline it take to be a great leader until I started teaching. Basic teaching tactics do not work with every student. You must be attentive and help every single student push forward and progress. Everyone can learn, its all in the way that you lead them to excellence.

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