Buyer Beware: The Difference Between Leadership and Management

The second article in the five part Buyer Beware: The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Leadership Development Services series is now available on the LeadSimm website.  It was delayed for about three weeks as we shifted our entire website to a new internet provider, the process taking a lot longer than we had first anticipated.

This article works to dispell the common myth about leadership and management whereby you manage things and you lead people.  It provides a different perspective as it looks at leadership and management as complementary processes that give an organization greater levels of agility to meet new and emerging challenges.

We welcome any and all comments, so please if you have a moment we would like to hear from you.  Enjoy the article.


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Buyer Beware: How Do You Define Leadership?

As promised the first of five articles in the Buyer Beware: The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Leadership Development Services is now published on the LeadSimm LLC website Downloads page.  I wanted to start with a fundamental understanding of the differences between the industrial and postindustrial perspectives of leadership because from my experience many people are unaware of them.  The fact is things are changing and so are the ideas and nature of leadership in the 21st Century.

I hope you enjoy this series and I would really like to know what you think.  So if you have time and would care to provide feedback I would like to hear from you.  Thank You!

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Buyer Beware: Leadership Development and the Five Questions To Ask

Some time ago I wrote a rather lengthy article entitled Buyer Beware: Leadership Development and the Five Questions you need to ask before you buy a vendor’s services.

Since the long article does not lend itself to internet reading and yes because it needs a good update, I will be publishing five articles, each covering one question in the next five weeks.  The articles are my way of giving those who are in the market for buying leadership development services the opportunity to ask informed questions, eliminate confusion and really “peel-the-onion-back” to see what lies at the core of proposed leadership development programs.  I assure you there are many different types of programs and they are very different.

The articles will be published on the downloads page of, through my article sites such as, ezine articles,  as well as a link through twitter and LinkedIn.  Enjoy the reading and please if you have a moment let me know what you think, I appreciate any and all feedback

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21st Century Leadership: Are You Digging in the Right Place?

This article uses the lesson learned by Indiana Jones and his sidekick Sallah in the movie The Raiders of the Lost Arc.  If you remember the scene where they are looking for the Well of the Souls in which the Arc of the Covenant was buried, they discover that the rod used to mount the head piece was too long and that Bellah (the french archaeologist) was in fact digging in the wrong place.

I wanted to ask the question, when we think of leadership in the 21st Century are most organizations simply digging in the wrong place in light of the fact that the last two global leadership forecasts produced by DDI pronounce that leadership development is going nowhere fast.  By the way, I agree with them.  Perhaps we need to re conceive leadership in a different way when considering the complex, ever changing, information overloaded world in which we live.  What do you think?


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The Best Laid Plans . . .

Well it has been several months since I first announced that I would be placing a video on the LeadSimm website. Funny thing, oftentimes, one thing leads to another.  Several weeks ago I uploaded some speaking videos to the site but to be honest, they were not what I had in mind when I first thought of hosting videos, but they do give a more realistic look at some of the leadership ideas I firmly believe in.  So perhaps they are better than what I had originally planned.

More than that, once I got onto the “video train” as it were, I realized that my site needed more content and integration with other social networking capabilities so it took awhile to do that.  My goal from here on out will be to provide articles and content each week for you to view.  I hope you enjoy it and it benefits you in some way.  Thanks for your patience!

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LeadSimm LLC Video Presentation Coming Soon

I am working on a 2 minute LeadSimm LLC video presentation and it is coming soon to my website. As I prepare it I am reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson who, when writing to a friend said, I am sorry I had not the time to write a shorter letter. A challenging task indeed.

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Do We Need Leaders?–A Response

The other day I noticed a question on one of the LinkedIn groups I belong to that asked the question: Do We Need Leaders? It is one of those questions that does make you think. To many it might seem sort of a foregone conclusion, of course we need leaders, I mean how would difficult things get accomplished? Yet there is a rising tide of thought that says perhaps the concept of leaders may very have run its course. Consider Bill George’s words in a 2007 BusinessWeek article entitled, Where Have All the Leaders Gone? In speaking about today’s knowledge workers, George writes:

“Their approach to leadership is entirely different . . . They don’t care about position,
power or status or organizational hierarchy, or even having followers. Instead, they are superb networkers who find collaborators to create opportunities and businesses. They are on line 24/7 always networking; always in touch . . . The emerging leaders are knowledge workers who typically know more than their bosses. They collaborate with people who have skills they don’t, growing up with diversity as the norm, they understand the benefits of a diverse people working together to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”

No wonder people are asking, Do We Really Need Leaders? From where I sit, I think leaders are absolutely essential to any organizational mix. But their roles as leaders have changed. No longer order givers where others just follow their demands, today’s 21st century leaders have evolved into initiators of the process of leadership–architects, if you will, of a collaborative environment that brings together a mix of diverse talents focusing action and energy into a force for transforming change.

Complexity drives the need for collaboration and a 21st century leader faces complexity each and every day.  Moreover, 21st Century leaders no longer view followers as such, but as partners in dealing with difficult challenges. It is not easy, but I really can’t see any other way, can you?

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I Can See Clearly Now—Leader, Leading, Leadership

A couple of years ago Russ Volckmann, a leadership colleague who runs the Integral Leadership Review website–, asked me if I would be interested in producing an article on simulations for the review. I did and I found it to be a very rewarding project. During our discussions Russ introduced me to the integral leadership perspective.

I must admit I was a bit hesitant to accept the premise of the concept at first but after researching it more thoroughly, I found that it provided a fair way to dissect the various interpretations, ideas, models and perspectives of what many times appears to be the amorphous mass of leadership. With over 300 different definitions of leadership and a seemingly deeply rooted desire to ennoble everything that has anything to do with human endeavor as leadership, the term itself has become misused and confusing. Even when logic dictates that not everything can be or is leadership, the use of the term in the “sound bite” world in which we live appears to have accelerated free from any form of restraint.

I am convinced that the Integral Leadership Perspective provides a sense of clarity to the leadership conversation because it uses three lenses to peer onto the leadership landscape. The three lenses include: the leader—an embodied individual who performs a role in a system, leading—the activities that leaders use in their role, and leadership–the actual practice of those activities within a specific real context that includes culture, systems, processes and technologies with a stated goal of bringing about significant or transforming change.

To many this might not seem important, but I assure you it is. Consider that more than 90% of the current in vogue leadership development programs fall under the headings of leader and leading with very little attention paid to the practice of leadership in real world contexts. Today, we remained transfixed with the traits and behaviors of individuals as individuals disconnected from the complex challenges faced in all walks of organizational life.

The notion is that if we make better leaders and teach them what other leaders seem to be doing—we will get better leadership. This is tantamount to teaching a medical student about medicine and surgery without ever letting them operate on a patient in a real operating room. How many people would want that experience? Think about it!

That’s my perspective, what’s yours?

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New Site, New Content, LeadSimm Renewed!

Welcome to the completely updated and revamped LeadSimm website. It has been a long time coming but it finally is here. In the coming days and weeks blog posts and media downloads including articles and ScreenFlow presentations will become part of the and I hope website visitors will find the information valuable, informative and enjoyable.

The update would not have been possible without a great web development tool called Rapid Weaver with all its wonderful plug-ins especially stacks. Also the amazing help received from Ryan Smith at RapidWeaverClassroom including his online tutorials as well as his consultations were just what the doctor ordered. Thanks Ryan.

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