“Manager vs. Leader” definition

In today’s Investor’s Business Daily I saw an article about Jack Stultz, the Lt. General who is chief of the Army Reserve Command.  It’s worth a read, especially when Stultz discusses the cross-pollination among his various military and civilian (at Procter and Gamble) experiences:

“P&G valued a lot of what I brought from my military experience. A lot of my successes in the military are from things I brought from P&G.” At P&G, Stultz learned the difference between those in charge:
• Managers are committed to improving a system’s efficiency.
• Leaders see a lack of production and take risks to change the system.

Stultz goes on to talk about the “violent conflict” that can be generated by the manager-leader gap.  

I relate to that conflict, especially since it often rages within me.  I’m pretty good at both strategy and execution, but my temperament is such that I’m never satisfied with doing only one or the other. I enjoy running the entire race: identifying openings, designing an approach to exploit them, then running and optimizing that new system until it demonstrates.  However, I then get the itch for the next challenge.

NOTE: I’m adding new posts on this topic…the first is on managers and influence and is here.

PM Quote of the Day — Catherine Deneuve

Opportunities are often things you haven’t noticed the first time around

PM Quote of the Day — anonymous (attributed to Thomas Edison)

Vision without execution is hallucination

Per the link above, I also believe that this is an apocryphal quote. I don’t think any of the major quotation books or sites attribute it to Edison. I sounds to the modern ear like something Edison would say, but the language is anachronistic.

Surviving PMO Success — Establish an innovation model

During my keynote on “Lessons from a Mature PMO on Sustaining Success”, I spent a considerable amount of time discussing one of the pitfalls of success: becoming satisfied with what was already in place. For example, some global PMO services stopped evolving and improving. Our regions felt like they had to build their own improvements — even worse, we didn’t have a mechanism for leveraging these innovations.

Luckily, we did a some working models that we were able to formalize. Below is a graphic — with a link to a PDF — that outlines the basic concept and an example (WBS templates).


PM Quote of the Day — Albert Einstein

Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character

PM Quote of the Day — Albert Einstein (attributed)

Boredom is the highest mental state.

While we love to decry boredom, it can become a pathway to enlightment and transformation.  As the Daily Om notes (here):

Boredom itself is not detrimental to the soul—it is the manner in which we respond to it that determines whether it becomes a positive or a negative influence in our lives. When you respond by actively filling the emptiness you feel lurking in yourself, you cultivate creativity and innovation. 

PM Quote of the Day — Salman Rushdie

A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.

I had never seen this quote and I very much like Rushdie’s perspective.  A few years back, I made an effort to delve into serious fiction, which in turn has increased my appreciation of the power of that “version of the world” a talented novelist can conjure.  I’ve found a great novel more conducive to breakthrough thinking than a dozen management best-sellers.


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