Leaders Lead, Manipulators Manipulate

I was recently asked about the types of manipulation that I see occurring in leaders. At first, I was puzzled why I couldn’t come up with an immediate, pithy reply (my norm), and then it dawned on me…

The base premise is flawed.

Leadership is not manipulation, and anyone who resorts to same — even the “positive spin” version — is not leading. They are manipulating, or at best, managing (controlling).
Leadership — true leadership — is forward-looking and visionary. It sets a path, a course, and creates meaningful ways to accomplish the journey.

If the vision is strong enough, the leader has enough credibility, and the alignment is right, people will follow.

Don’t confuse reactive manipulation with proactive leadership. And this isn’t simply a play on words; the difference is fundamental to the core of effective leadership.

This premise is a problem plaguing faux leaders today — they believe “I must be a good leader, since I got them to do what I wanted.”

Nothing could be further from a true leader.

But that’s just me…

Kevin Berchelmann

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