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Steve Hrop, Ph.D., is Vice President of Organizational Development Services with Caliper. He works extensively in leadership development, executive coaching, and other aspects of organizational-development consulting.
If you go to the business section of any major book store, you will find dozens of books claiming to contain the “secret sauce” for how to be a great leader. Many of them offer useful nuggets of advice, but few get to the heart of the matter: significant growth as a leader requires a relentless, ongoing process of self-management. Developing leadership skills is not primarily about techniques and tools.
When differentiating between managing and leading, American scholar and organizational consultant Warren Bennis famously stated that “managers do things right, and leaders do the right thing.” In my experience as an executive coach, the leading-versus-managing debate is a false dichotomy that distorts the true nature of executive work. All leadership roles – from first-line supervisor to CEO – can be broken down into three main categories: Leader, Manager, and Expert…