Thursday, November 11, 2010
By David Writer
Mahatma Gandhi was a unique individual. If you read up some Gandhi famous quotes what will strike you is an amazing and unnatural depth in leadership styles in management of a nation's mindset.
Truly, management is completely different from leadership. Like opposite ends of a coin. While Gandhi might have been 'managing' the Indian freedom movement with a troop of comrades on clockwork precision, he was actually leading a change of mindset that effected change in everyone who participated with him.
Leadership is about casting a vision and allowing it to seep into others so they follow the lead. Management is about dealing with situations such that results become tangible. You can manage people but that will only be because you have the authority to do so bestowed upon you. But you can lead from anywhere, by example, so that your influence infects others and regardless of your position or authority, they follow what you say.
Gandhi said "We must be the change we want to see in the world." This is a powerful quote. This is one of the leadership styles in management that encourages people to 'self-manage' themselves. He also said, "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." And he did that too.
Leadership is best by example. Do what you say in such a way that others can do it too. Management is best an expertise. Do what others cannot so you gain authority over them.
So, to be a good leader you need to be very skillful to construct bridges of empathy with people. Else you will never be in their shoes and they will not follow... because you don't know them and they can feel it.
This is also why most people find it easier to be managers. Management can be taught. Leadership must be cultivated. Mahatma Gandhi was a leader who kept working on himself till he became the man worthy of gaining a country's following.
He took a stand on issues. He said, "A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble." A manager would try to please in order to diffuse a situation. A leader will not worry about creating a situation.
So the leadership styles in management that we see with Gandhi famous quotes are distinctively what anyone can evolve into being. Provided one wants to. He did. And look where it took him!