10 Sets of Words We Confuse in Leadership, Part 2

By October 1, 2013Uncategorized


This is part 2. Read Part 1 HERE.

I’ve noticed we confuse a lot of words in leadership. They seem related, and are often used interchangeably, but they are very different.

Here are 5 words we often confuse:

Idea with initiative – Ideas are many. Actually working to make an idea a reality. Rare.

Leadership with management – Leading involves taking people somewhere, often into an unknown, where they may not go otherwise. It involves facing risk to achieve a vision, where the path to attain it is many times unclear. Managing involves helping achieve and maintain a known, predetermined vision, by implementing systems and procedures to effectively move people forward. Leaders thrive in tension and challenge. Managers thrive in details and structure. Both are needed, but very different.

Intentional with conventional – Okay, this might be a stretch in words, but the thought behind it is not. Intentional means we are doing things in the best way to get the job done…in the current context…with the current people…in the current setting. Conventional means we do the same things we’ve always done and hope progress continues. Both may be working towards a worthy vision, but one lasts for a season…the other lasts longer…much longer. We may not even use the words…but we certainly confuse the actions.

Change with progression – Progression is a form a change. Everything changes. People get older. There’s a change. Buildings wear out over time. That’s a change. Ignoring change is an impossibility. But, it’s one thing to let things progress naturally over time, and it’s another to make intentional changes for the good of the organization. Letting things progress is easy. Making intentional change…that’s hard work, but necessary if you want to continue to grow and remain healthy.

Promise with principle – A promise means it’s going to happen…as promised. A principle means this will generally work as stated, under normal conditions, provided the described conditions are met. Living as if a principle is a promise will make you very disappointed when conditions weren’t in place for the principle to perform like a promise. (I promise. In principle.)

I realize all of these could be blog posts of their own. I have expanded on some of them previously. Which would you like me to expand upon?

Add to this post. Who knows…maybe there is a part three? Can you think of any other words we confuse?

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Ron Edmondson

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