By Louis Altazan
Published: August 24, 2008

At the time I did not realize, my mother was a wonderful leader. She never officially assumed the roll, nor attempted to usurp my father. Yet through her insight, example and support the family accomplished her aims, and were all far better for the experience.

Picture a typical organizational chart, in most business. At the top is the manager, below are boxes representing middle management and below them, people charged with doing the work of the business. An example might be an auto repair shop. At the top is the owner/manager. Below may be the service writer(s) and below them the technicians.

Implied seems to be a sort of status or ranking of power. The top is most powerful [important] followed by those in the middle and on down the chart. Those at the bottom have little power or importance. I am not sure top-down management was ever as effective, as what I see as true leadership. I also feel certain that leadership has nothing to do with supposed authority or who’s most important.

On the top-down organizational chart, the aim is not represented. Clearly the client belongs at the top as they are [should be] the aim of the organization. Next might be those that create the service for the client. Their output will directly impact the client and influence success or failure of the aim.

Next, I would place those who’s job it is to aid and support the line worker. In the above example the service writer(s.) Finally at the bottom I would place the leader, who’s job I feel is to support and enable the actions of all above. For instance, provide direction, example, equipment, tooling, training, funding, and remove obstacles to the aim. Much in the same way as an excellent parent might lead their family.

Now certainly drawing and even posting such a chart would have little if any effect. The point I hope make is, I believe the way of thinking about organizations needs to change. Managers must lead the organization toward accomplishment of the aim.

I believe a true manager [leader] must see themselves in a more accurate light. Management is a support roll for the other members of the team. A manager achieves their aim by establishing a vision, setting the example and then helping others accomplish it. In the end, with a job well done, everyone may proudly state, "Look what we have accomplished."

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