Cookie, anyone?

by Ed_Cooney 26. August 2012 06:52

Leader = innovates, promotes change, focus on people, eye on the horizon, long term view, challenges the status quo, does the right thing

Manager = administrator, focus on systems, eye on the bottom line, short range view, accepts status quo, does things right

You will have to forgive me for making up games to amuse myself, but I enjoy going into any business and guessing after my experience whether the organization has a “leadership” team or a “management” team.  You should try it - you would be surprised how much you can tell about the leaders in an organization, whom you will never meet, from the experience at their retail stores. 

Case study from Saturday, August 6: After a fun day at the pool with the kids, we decided to go to dinner at the resort restaurant where we were spending the weekend.  After enjoying a lovely dinner, I ordered a single chocolate chip cookie for desert, which I was quickly refused - cookies are only sold in threes.   While they sympathized with my cause, management fully concurred that the cookie policy could not be compromised.  I was in no way angered (heck, they saved me 300 calories) but was quite perplexed and had to find the source of this very unusual single cookie policy, especially as my bill for the weekend was over $700. (I will have to admit my bias as we have a very lax cookie policy at Affinity – we give away chocolate chip cookies every day to clients that come into the bank).  When I got home, I pulled up the website to check out their ‘About Us’ section.  It was very impressive - each team member’s bio focused on how they have mastered the efficiencies of business with degrees from prestigious schools and training in the six-sigma discipline.  While I am sure they possessed some fine leadership qualities, the fulcrum was weighted towards the management side. 

While games such as my cookie experience are obviously trivial and completely unfair in making a broad judgment on any individual or organization, there is a strong correlation between the leadership/management fulcrum and the client experience and, ultimately, the long-term success of any organization.  To survive the 21st Century, I would argue we are going to need a new generation of leaders, not managers.

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