Dear PM Advisor. July 15, 2013

Dear PM Advisor, What's the difference between leadership and developing people? Don't they go hand in hand? 

Unled Brother in Maryland

Dear Brother,

To me, leadership is a fairly nebulous concept that involves getting people to do what you want them to do without forcing them. I constantly seek out examples of good and bad leadership and, while hard to define which is which, as Potter Stewart famously said, 'I know it when I see it.'

People can be led by a great cause, a religion, a feeling that they are superior to their foes, a belief that they areor their leader is invincible, and many other ways. In business, I've seen leaders encourage others through use of peer pressure, company pride, challenging their intellectual curiosity and more.

Developing people is an example of leadership but it is not the only way. One can often lead a team to success by showing how this experience will help develop the team members' skills. But remember Maslow's heirarchy of needs. Developing people's skills only works to motivate some people, not all. It should not be the only tool in your leadership aresnal.

Good luck,

PM Advisor

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