Managers manage to sameness, leaders lead to change.
This is one of my favorite sayings regarding leadership. I have also heard it said that leaders lead to chaos. If you are around a true leader for very long at all you will find constant change and often chaos. There is a true difference between manager and leader.
I would argue that we are all leaders in some area of our life. You may be a manager in many areas, yet a leader in others. For example, a working mom may be a manager while at work and a leader when it comes to raising her children.
I recently read Living the Dream, written by my great friend and pastor, Daniel Floyd. In his book he shares a story that carries with it a great lesson:
A woman is cooking dinner for her family, and as she is cooking, her child asks why she is cutting the ends off the ham. So she calls her mom and asks, “Mom, why do we always cut the ends off of the ham when we cook it?” Her mother answered, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask your grandmother.” So the woman calls her grandmother to ask the same question, and is amazed to hear the answer: “Well, we couldn’t afford a pan that was big enough for the ham so we always cut the ends off so it would fit.”
As crazy as this may seem, I am sure that we are all living out similar stories in our daily lives and routines. As leaders it is important to understand that “leaders lead to change” and in our areas of leadership we must be constantly questioning and analyzing our process and systems.
If you are not creating a level of change and maybe even chaos from time to time, you are not leading. So where are you “cutting the ends off the ham”? Stop and ask why, instead of just going through the motions. I am sure your business, your family, your children or your organization will be better off because of it!