Leadership – its been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been fortunate to have many strong leaders, both professional and personal, in my life and I believe that has spoiled me. As I have matured i have found it increasing difficult to tolerate those in leadership positions who do not deserve to be there.
I teach a class on Technical Team Leadership where I discuss that challenges of a science minded person leading a non-scientific team and the methods needed to ensure that all in the team feel confident in the direction. Popularly known as “dumbing it down” I, tongue in cheek, often refer to it as the voodoo that we do. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, however. I am often reminded the general discomfort and downright fear many executives feel about Food Safety. I always felt it was my responsibility to help them understand the nuances of the situation so that they could communicate the situation to their peers. I was good at it and I was rewarded with great relationships with strong leaders. It is this skill I attempt to pass on to those who participate in my Technical Team Leadership class.
Part of this class discusses managers versus leaders and I present the following comparison:
Focus on things
Do things “right”
Focus on people
Do the right things
This world needs good leaders. Persons who put the greater good above their personal comfort. Persons who, willingly or unwillingly, inspire others to be better people. My hope is that I fulfill that void where I can and that those who are in positions of leadership strive to be the best they can be or step aside and let others take the reins.