Position Of Leadership…?


Nowhere is the concept of “Leadership” more often misunderstood than it is in Corporate America.

On the other hand, nowhere is its presence (or lack thereof) more evident than in our nation’s charities and non-profits.

Unless, of course, we’re talking about politics… and then all bets are off!

Ahh… but I digress.

I recently ran into the parents of an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years. I asked where Joel was living, what he was doing… and how things were going.

Funny the priorities that people have.

Other than losing his home, his marriage, and family… they said he was actually doing quite well.

In fact, according his dad, he had just been promoted to a “position of leadership” within his company, though his mom added softly… “I think all the extra hours and the extensive travel really contributed to the divorce.”

That’s nice.

By the way, the title that he bought and paid for with his wife and three children is “Operation’s Manager.”


It would be easier to count the stars in the Green Bay sky tonight, than it would be to calculate the number of businesses that confuse the meaning of the words management and leadership.

Using them interchangeably, they run ads seeking “qualified managerial candidates” for “leadership positions.”

The two have little to do with one another. Here’s what they’re missing.

Leadership cannot be granted by means of a title… it must be earned. Yes, in an employment situation, subordinates can be forced to comply with rules, regulations, and orders… in other words, they can be managed.

But their desire to follow… and to be led… is based upon a relationship of trust and loyalty that can never be mandated by a position. Sustainable leadership is possible because the followers believe it is in the best interest of themselves and their organization… to follow.

This belief is the foundation upon which leadership is built. Neither you nor I will long follow someone in whom we do not believe.


This distinction is even more pronounced in organizations that are based substantially upon the work of volunteers. Those who are donating their time don’t HAVE to follow. They cannot be forced or cajoled or compelled to follow.

And without belief… without trust and loyalty… they won’t.

Especially in the case of charitable or non-profit organizations, the leadership team must possess the values, traits, and experience that will inspire and increase confidence, faith, and belief in the organization’s mission and purpose… and in the individuals who are charged with leading the way.


I look forward to speaking with you soon.



Have you ever been in an organization that had a Manager in a role that required a Leader?

How did it affect the rest of the team, and the goals of the organization?

How was it eventually resolved, and what was learned?


Photo Credit: