Must Managers be Leaders? Ask a Nun

Originally written by , MD at Mitchell Phoenix Group and posted on LinkedIn. Read the full article here.

Mountain Top

Is it necessary for managers to be good leaders?

Good question.

Imagine my surprise when my perspective on this question was permanently changed by a Nun.

Now before you kick off on the P.C. merits of the preceding sentence, please bear with me. I failed to get the name of the female cleric who so profoundly contributed to my understanding of the genre and so cannot give her due credit. That aside, here is how she settled my thinking and what I learned.

“How do you measure leadership?” 

This was the question at the centre of the good Sister’s talk during which she covered many aspects of modern life: Socio-political – education – faith – business – war – poverty.

Her argument was eloquent, informed, rational and above all else, persuasive.

The tempting answer is that leadership is measured by results. But that simple measure is problematic as results can be short term and dependent on circumstances and luck.

The banking crisis is a good example of this.

Perhaps we could measure leadership by the number or strength of the leadership qualities of a person.

This is interesting as it suggests that the quality of leadership may be important.

This was my eureka moment as I realised that the quality of leadership influenced the quality of followership. If managers were to attract and retain the finest quality staff they had to demonstrate the required leadership.

Managers have to be leaders.

About Lance Greenfield

Blog: email: I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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