Sig, as always, has some more comment and insight into organisations. I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing it in full here...

I've got kids. Three teenagers.

Have you tried managing teenagers? Ordering them around? Believe me, a complete waste of time, and counter-productive at best.

Hard as it is, there is only one way, aka leadership:

1. Explain the reasons and purposes and values we live by, down to why dirty dishes needs to find it's way into the dishwasher. Each time.
2. Be the perfect example, all the time, never let down your guard as teenagers have an uncanny ability of spotting discrepancies between what you say and what you do. And trust me, it takes milliseconds before you have to face it. Did I mention that this part is the hardest and where I fail all the time?

Mindless stuff you might need to manage - sheep for example.

Mindful persons who know what to do, why they do it and the value of it all can organise themselves. In other words, leadership first then get out of the way.

There are only two instances where "management" and "people" are in the same sentence:

1. When you need to organise disorganised bits and pieces like flight, rental car and hotel for your next trip so it all coincides.
2. When the people do not know the whys and the values nor do they see the good examples that transfers such information.

Then why is "managing" still on the agenda in enterprises? Why did I go to "management school"?

Are the enterprises disorganised?

Do many not really know the whys and the values, having only been trained in the hows?

Or is it the fact that leadership is damned hard while herding sheep seems so much easier?

Methinks that all three are to blame.

Leading is hard, very hard, and requires a full time state of mind - business at it's best. Managing is often a matter of dishing out orders, burstyness at it's worst.

(Hat tip to James for "business" vs "burstyness", very useful indeed.)

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