- Have you tried leading a box lately?
- Inspiring the box to greatness?
- Motivating the box to be fully present?
- Encouraging the box to be the very best box it can be?
Of course, this sounds silly. We don’t lead things. We manage things. We might plan on how many boxes we need for a shipment. We might decide how to stack and store the boxes. We might decide when and where to we need to ship the boxes. We might track the box’s every move across the country. All of these tasks are managing the boxes.
What is the difference between managing and leading? There are many. We would not seek input from the box on how its talents could best support our company goals. We would not worry about whether or not the box is being developed into the best darn box it can be. We would not be concerned about how the box feels about its work or its relationships with other boxes. We would not worry about whether the box wants to travel and what impact that might have on its family life.
Yet, as leaders, we need to be concerned about all these things – as they relate to our people. People are not things, and we must not treat them as such.
We don’t just tell our people what to do and when; we enroll them in the goal and encourage their support. We don’t just walk past someone; we stop to acknowledge their presence and their contributions. We don’t just stick people in a corner; we value them and seek opportunities to let them know.
Think about your role and how you approach it each day. Are you managing boxes or leading people?