In a conversation the other day someone asked a question in a “by the way” fashion.
The question was this:
Two Sides of Same Coin
What I found surprising is the people I interviewed fell into two distinct groups.
The first group consists of people who would grab this opportunity with everything they have, relish in the challenges that it would offer and would probably work them into a stupor to get the company performance to a level where it would yield the results that they believe it is capable of.
The second group surprised me in their total lack of enthusiasm and risk adversity. This group would not even consider a MBO as an option and had a range of reasons why they would not exercise their option should it be offered.
This got me asking some questions about leadership, management, and ownership:
- Why are we placed into leadership/management positions?
- Does occupation of a leadership/management position require ownership of the environment from the occupant of that position?
On Leadership and Ownership
While evaluating different descriptions and discussions about leadership during research for this article, I could not find a single direct link between ownership and leadership.
The most accurate generic definition of leadership, in my view, is as follows:
Some other leadership quotes –
“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” ~ Arnold Glasow
“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!‘” ~ Lao-tsu
These definitions do not include a hint or suggestion towards ownership of the goal, product, results or the process. With this, it would seem that leadership, to some extent, excludes ownership.
More Questions than Answers
So do we confine ownership to the management realm? Research with regards to the link between ownership and management dates back to the beginning of management theory, and a significant volume of academic and commercial studies are available.
I was hoping to complete this post with some inspiring words – some advice – some hidden insight. I would however like to hear what your thoughts and emotions in this regard are. Please feel free to comment, share and discuss this.
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