When Did We Forget What Leadership Is About?

Updated: Jul 15

In The Practice of Management published in 1954, Peter Drucker, the man who invented management according to Business Week, wrote the following:

"[...] It is the test of an organization that it make ordinary human beings perform better than they are capable of, that it bring out whatever strength there is in its members and use it to make all the other members perform more and better [...] Good spirit requires that there be full scope for individual excellence. Whenever excellence appears, it must be recognized, encouraged and rewarded [...]"

What has changed the face of leadership the past 66 years? Nothing! Great leadership has and will always be about people. There are no leaders without followers.

Think about the best manager, teacher or sports coach you've ever had and write down on a paper the reasons why he or she was the best. 90% of your answers will evolve around communication, encouragements, rewards, respect and making sure YOU strive.

Leadership is an attitude first. It starts with a simple rule: treat people the way you'd like to be treated. Would you like to be disregarded for the work you do? If the answer is no, then don't overlook others' jobs.

Let me give you 5 other leadership traits:

  1. Use people for their strengths: give them tasks and responsibilities that match their core skills

  2. Encourage and reward: be supportive instead of bossy, give credits instead of blames

  3. Remove the potential blockages: ask yourself "how can I help them perform?" every single day

  4. Make them better than you: create a learning environment where they can blossom

  5. Trust them: why did you hire them anyway?

There are no bad jobs. There are only bad leaders. Don't structure your organization around making profit. Structured it around setting all your people for success.

I leave you with this quote: "To emphasize only profit, for instance, misdirects managers to the point where they may endanger the survival of the business." - Peter Drucker

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