Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Overmanaged - Under Led.

The problem with many commands, particularly the ones that are failing, is that they tend to be overmanaged and underled.  They may excel in the ability to handle the daily routine, yet never question whether the routine should be done at all. There is a profound difference between leadership and management, and both are important. Good leadership is what makes the difference between a command that just “gets by,” and one that excels.

Even the definitions speak volumes—to manage means to “bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct.” Leading is “influencing, guiding in direction, course, action, opinion.” The distinction is crucial. Leadership is what gives an organization its vision, its focus, and its ability to translate that vision into reality.

As the commanding officer, you stand at the helm of the leadership agenda.

Slightly reworded extract from Lt Col. Jeffrey F. Smith's excellent book on command.


Justin Rogers ENS, USN (1170) said...

This is a great post! In order to accomplish this, people need to conquer fears. Great leadership requires sacrifice and endurance it's not for everybody. The motivating Lieutenants that I like in the Fleet are leaders who will stick their necks out for their Sailors, who make decisions and take initiative. I look up to Lieutenants who build teams and this is evident in how they care for both what they do and my own performance. Managers muddle in the middle - that is not acceptable. Leaders drive forward and will also get pushed back due to risks and mistakes. Teams will not move forward unless fear of mistakes goes away.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. I was fortunate enough to work for two great leaders on my last ship. Although tough and demanding task master's they made sure they also took care of me when it counted. They also made decisions and led. I may have not always agreed with the decisions but I made my opinion known and then then executed their vision. In the end almost every one of their decision's made the ship better.
6120 LDO

Anonymous said...

6120 LDO,

You acted just as how an individual in the Navy should act. It is your duty to express your opinion to your leaders, and then to carry out the informed decisions of those leaders, whether you agree with their final decision or not.

Very Respectfully,