When I was in college, I waited tables to have money for my “essentials.” I loved the work because I could talk with so many different types of people, I was part of a (really fun) team, and I made good money. Looking back I realize that one of the reasons I was a successful waitress was because I can quickly read people and connect with them in a way that makes them comfortable.
I attended an exceptional Young Presidents Organization (YPO) learning event last week, where Steve McLatchy, author of Decide: Double Your Results, Reduce Your Stress & Lead By Example, spoke. Many people speak at a high level about the differences between management and leadership, but few articulate it well. Steve nailed it.
Leadership is a result you produce. If things are exactly where they are when you arrived in a “leadership” position, then you’re providing maintenance, not leadership. A true leader never “arrives” at leadership. The moment you’ve arrived there, you are a manager, and in maintenance mode.
In a nutshell, leadership = improvement, and management = maintenance.
What can you do between now and January 1st to ensure your 2014 is your best year yet?
One of my most impactful success strategies is having accountability partners. I have two accountability partners. One keeps me on track with all aspects of my life… My entire to-do list for Information Experts, Successful Culture, my writing, my media strategy, my family, my friendships, and my health & wellness. My whole life is organized according to the spreadsheet I deliver to her in preparation for our weekly Thursday morning calls.
My second accountability partner keeps me on track with my Successful Culture growth strategy. We learn together, build our business plans together, share best practices, put deadlines in place for growth milestones; and we are even planning a series of co-branded live events in 2014. We have all-day monthly planning meetings, as well as twice-monthly phone check-ins.