March 2, 2010

I Don't Have To Do That

Last night I watched a couple of my favorite new shows, Pawn Stars & 24 (I know 24 isn't new, but I finally caught up with the rest of the world). During the episode of Pawn Stars, Rick who is co-owner with his dad, the Old Man, was complaining about how messed up their stockroom was. Their pawn shop in Vegas on a given day has anywhere from 3000 to 4000 items back there, & theoretically, it's supposed to be organized. Rick's son, Corey, is supposed to be in charge of this as manager of the shop. When Rick & the Old Man confronted Corey & his sidekick Chumlee about the situation, Corey responded, "I'm the manager, I don't have to do that!". As you can imagine that infuriated Rick & the Old Man; guess where Corey spent the next several hours? Yep, the stockroom. Unfortunately, it's that kind of attitude that could keep Corey from growing into being a leader. Managers "don't have to do that"; leaders "do that even if they don't have to".

Now contrast that with 24 & Jack Bauer. Jack isn't even supposed to be in the middle of this mess, but he is. Guess where Jack is in the middle of the crisis? He's out in front. Even though he's in charge, he's the first one in on the operation, & it's not because Jack enjoys smacking people around or shooting people (although he does); it's because Jack is a leader. And as Jack leads he inspires the other guys he's working with.

The difference between leading & managing is in what a person thinks is "beneath them". A leader understands that he has to expect more from himself than he does from others. He may not be able to do it all, but he can do enough that the others around him are inspired to follow & do what he can't.

What have you said, "I don't have to do that," about? Maybe getting in there & doing that is the one thing that is holding you back from a breakthrough in your leadership.

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