In a past life I was a highly regarded business professional and my advice was sought on the most complex managerial issues, especially those related to employee relations. One of the main points I tried to explain to people is that there is a difference between management and leadership. You can teach someone to be a manager but leadership is a quality; it can not be taught. You can teach leadership skills to a leader but you can not make a leader out of someone who is not, especially if his/her primary interest in leadership is to have power and be the boss. It’s like comedy; being funny is a quality not a skill. If you don’t have comedic qualities you can learn all the jokes in the world and you still won’t be funny.
An important point I would make when priming new first time managers is this: the first time you have to tell your staff that you are the boss, you’ve lost. I told them that when that happened it was best to pack up and go home. Nothing exhibits incompetence and weakness more than someone who has to tell you that he or she is your boss. You can smell leadership. You can sense it without a sentence being uttered. Having to say it only serves to prove that it is not obvious. What does that say to you?
Did you ever dance with someone who could not dance? Were you ever in a situation where you witness that person telling everyone around them how wonderful he or she dances? Well count the number of times over the past seven nightmare years that George W. Bush has had to tell us that he is the Commander in Chief or the President. Sorry George…but I’ve already seen you dance.. You can stop telling me now. Think about it!