Imagine my dismay while on my Monday morning run, I saw this huge machine in a field chopping up a tree from the top down, with a huge rotary blade. It’s kind of like a weed-whacker on steroids. The first thought in my mind was, “Man, that would be fun!” My second thought was, “That’s the right tool for the job.”
That’s a leadership idea: the right tool for the job. In leadership, it’s not about power and control, rather inspire and influence. They’re always the right tools for the job.
We think that leadership is about being “over people,” sitting at the top of the heap occupying the highest place on the Org. Pyramid. The truth is, leadership is not about pulling out the big guns and making people do what you want. Leadership is about inspiring people to reach a common goal, to achieve a mission that you all agree desperately needs to be done and needs to be done well.
Next time you find yourself in a tough leadership spot – maybe it’s to make a decision on personnel or procedure – remember, there is a right tool for this job. And command and control is probably not it.