Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, when asked what made him great, responded, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” This simple statement concisely explains the difference between leaders and managers. Leaders acknowledge the present realities (where the puck is) but never forget the future possibilities (where the puck is going).
This is the key difference between leaders and managers. Whereas managers seek to organize the present resources of a company, a leader seeks to build the resources of a company by creating products, services, and systems that satisfy currently unmet needs in the marketplace.
Vision is tomorrow’s reality expressed as an idea today and leaders are the drivers that make today’s ideas tomorrow’s reality. Are you a leader actively sailing your ship to its future or merely a manager allowing the wind to blow you where it will? LIFE Leadership is about teaching people to seize the helm and sail! My advice is to fire the manager and hire the leader within.
The world has plenty of people capable of managing the results of your productivity, but is suffering from a dearth of true leadership. Despite having no guarantee of success, despite lacking all the relevant data and despite competing against bigger and faster ships, leaders still muster the courage to set sail upon the rough seas of free enterprise.
So what are you waiting for? Get out of the harbor of life and out onto the high seas. This is where the adventures, the learning, and the prizes are in life. Will everything go perfectly? Of course not! But refusing to leave he harbor ensures that you will never arrive at your port of destination. Leaders must leave home port to arrive at their future destination.
Perhaps you think the effort is not worth the reward. Only those who have not experienced the joy of sailing on the high seas could contemplate such a thought. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry described it best, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Personally, I yearn for the high seas that God has called me to and seek others of similar intestinal fortitude to take the journey with me.
Thus reminds me of Ernest Shackleton’s advertisement seeking men to be the first to journey to the South pole. The ad read, “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” Interestingly, there were no guarantees, nor huge bonuses, but just the challenge of doing something great together!
In fact, it’s the challenge of doing something that has never been done before that unites a team and steels their resolve to finish what they have started. At the Columbus LIFE Leadership Convention, on June 21 of 2014 (Saturday starting at 8am until every book is signed), LIFE Leadership will seek to do what has never been done before in the history of mankind.
With Guinness World Records™ staff officially tracking the proceedings, LIFE will seek to break the all-time record for Largest Book Signing. The goal is to break over 5,000 books signed in one sitting. Perhaps, if enough people participate, and my hand holds out we can break 6,000 books signed!
In any event, leaders make events like this possible and I would like to thank all the leaders in advance who intend to play a part in making history in Ohio. Isn’t it time to fire the manager and hire the leader in your life?