Many aspire to be great leaders. In some cases, individuals become leaders virtually overnight. But, for most of us, it is a gradual transformation.
I think that it is helpful to have a vision of what being a leader is while also recognizing all the stops along the way to leadership. I see three classifications of workers: Doers, Managers, and Leaders.
Unlike what you may read in books, I do not feel that there is a stigma associated with any of these classifications. In fact, almost every organization needs all three of these types of workers.
Doers. These are the people who actually do the work. They do not supervise any other staff members.
Managers. Managers have Doers report to them. Managers get involved in some goal setting for their departments, set procedures, and monitor the performance of their teams. While Managers aren’t primarily responsible for doing the work, they often do get involved in some of the situations that Doers find challenging. Managers both delegate tactical work and do tactical work. Some Managers get possessive of responsibilities and hold certain tasks “close to the vest” rather than delegating them.
Leaders. Leaders have Doers and, in many cases, Managers reporting to them. Leaders set a vision and inspire their Doers and Managers to accomplish that vision. Unlike Managers, Leaders never get involved in the situations that Doers find challenging. They either have Managers handle those situations, set things up so there are no challenges, or empower their Doers and Managers with the authority and responsibility to address those challenges themselves. Leader status is difficult to get to. You have to be comfortable delegating 100% of the work. And, more importantly, you have to know how to teach and inspire people so that your hands-on involvement is not required for success.
So which classification do you fit into? Which classification do you want to be in? When do you want to be there? What do you have to do or change about the way you do business to get to the classification that you want to be in?
I hope that all of these questions inspire you to think about getting where you want to be in your career.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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