Issue #18 Why Business Owners Are (mostly) Lousy Leaders

Table of Contents
    Why business owners are (mostly) lousy leaders
    And the power of bits of ribbon
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    How to start, grow and manage a business by RedSapiens.

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    Issue #18 Why Business Owners Are (mostly) Lousy Leaders
    June 22, 2021

    Napoleon once said: “I made the most amazing discovery… A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”

    So he provided a lot of colored ribbons.  

    Ribbons, rewards are management techniques.  

    Discovering that ribbons are useful and implementing ribbons as a strategy is leadership.  

    Could you imagine how silly Napoleon would have seemed had ribbons not been the great motivator he’d expected?  

    That first day when he showed up with a bag of red ribbons and started passing them out – his battle-hardened soldiers could well have ridiculed him.  

    And that is the reason most people don’t lead.  It isn’t that “they aren’t leaders” or that they can’t lead; it is that leadership involves doing something new.  

    Leaders MUST tread the untrodden path, machete swinging while exclaiming to the laggards, “come-on guys.”

    Leadership is scary; it is always outside of your comfort zone.  

    Management is much easier.  Management assumes that the world is given and focuses on execution and process, management optimizes.  Management is the comfort zone, where there is no need to think about anything… just do.  

    Napoleon also noted that soldiers march on full stomachs.  Management keeps the food coming.  Keeping the food coming is necessary and important.  

    If you are running a business, though, it is not sufficient.  A business, no matter how small or large requires leadership and management: leadership to set the direction and management to execute.  

    Read more about why good management requires powerful leadership here. And join us for our webinar on the five steps to powerful leadership next Tuesday, June 29, register here.

    And as you start third quarter planning, think about that leadership role and where you want your company to be in a few years.  Start there before you unleash the manager.


    Are you a gotcha manager?  

    Gotcha management is an insidious disease, it feels like you are doing the right thing, and then you realize that your business isn’t progressing and you have to do all of the work.  

    Gotcha managers focus on the details at the expense of the bigger picture.

    Here is my test.  Read this sentence:

    “Sometimes I can here my bones straining
    under the weight of all the lives, I’m not living,”

    What do you notice?  What stands out?  

    If it is the typo, read more about Gotcha Management here.  

    And if it isn’t the typo… well read more about Gotcha Management here anyway.  

    “Management and leadership are different disciplines.  You cannot manage a team into combat.  They must be led.” Brent Gleeson, a Navy Seal

    Brend Gleeson is a Navy Seal who writes on management topics.  As we discuss here, business theory borrows a lot from the military because the military has been motivating people for a lot longer than business has (hence the ribbons).

    Gleeson in an article in Inc. provides five tips for leading an elite team that inspired us:

    • Create an environment of leadership.
    • Make the team feel safe.
    • Actively manage through adaptive change.
    • Be a servant to your team.
    • Always eat last.

    These are worth pondering and I recommend a perusal of the article itself, which you can find here.

    Did you miss our webinar? Never fear – insiders can still relive the glory!  

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