We often think of strong “doers” as true “leaders,” but there is a world of difference between a natural leader and a natural doer. Doers get up and get the job done. We think of them as “leading by example”— and they may very well invite others to stand up and come along with them. But the natural doer quickly grows impatient with the others and will prefer getting the job done himself while contenting himself to let the rest scramble as they attempt to figure out what’s going on. However, the natural leader is a master at creating opportunities for the growth and development of the team, choosing to resist the fast and furious urge to do it himself. Rather, he stills frustration with patience and up-builds his team with confidence. Now, the doer may get more done quickly in the short-term. But the natural leader’s work multiplies exponentially. And his efforts give rise to that which extends far beyond his own strength and breath.
You may be interested to know that this post was inspiried by a short paragraph I came across while reading Phil Jackson’s Eleven Rings. Here Jackson briefly contrasts Michael Jordan’s leadership style to Magic and Bird. He quotes Mark Heisler that Jordan wasn’t “a natural leader, he was a natural doer.” Jackson goes on to write, “He drove the team with the sheer force of his will. It was as if he were saying, ‘I’m going out here, men, and I’m going to kick some ass. Are you coming with me?”
Anyway… Since my mind rarely dwells in the sports arena, this got me thinking more broadly (i.e. beyond sports) about doing versus truly leading. Thus, about five minutes later, this post was born! :)