As July 4th quickly approaches, I’m reminded of the courage of our founding fathers but more specifically, George Washington and his tremendous inner strength. He had a bent (natural leaning, propensity) that was recognized by others at an early age.
Ultimately his bent toward courage and leadership resulted in his appointment of commander of the Continental Army and his unanimous election to the office of president (twice)!
We all have a bent, or bias to think and act a certain way.
By the way, Moms and Dads, we have a responsibility to help each of our children to understand and appropriately use their life bent.
“Train a child in the way he should go….” – Proverbs 22:6
What is your bent?
Do you want to understand more about your own bent? In terms of our work, I’ve found that there are two main leanings: Leading and Managing.
Every person can better understand their life bent by answering seven questions.
As you go through these questions, please consider the following:
- Each question:
- Is very general in nature.
- Has two parts.
- Move quickly through the questions.
- You need to be authentic. Your response is not…
- What you aspire to be like.
- What you wish to be like.
- What sounds good.
- It is “who you are”.
- Write down how you answered either “a” or “b” for each question.
1. Would you rather…
A. Analyze the details of today’s tasks? or
B. Dream about your vision for the future?
2. Where are you more likely to spend your time?
A. Optimizing current systems and processes, or
B. Looking for new opportunities
3. What are you more focused on?
A. Accomplishing a specific assignment, or
B. Establishing and building relationships
4. Do you more often…
A. Reactively respond to changes as they occur? or
B. Proactively look for and study changing trends?
5. Do you prefer…
A. The safety of a calm harbor? or
B. High-risk, sometimes unpredictable situations?
6. When you make decisions, do you depend more on…
A. Facts and figures? or
B. What your instinct or gut tells you?
7. Do you enjoy…
A. Preserving the current processes and procedures? or
B. Innovating and creating new products or services?
Well, did you pass? How many “A’s” and how many “B’s” did you have? Did you learn something about yourself that you did not know before?
When I went through these questions, I chose the “B” answer to every question! However, over the years, I’ve learned many of the skills that are reflected in the “A” answers.
Leading and Managing
If your answers leaned toward the “A’s”, it means your bent, or bias is toward management.
If your answers leaned toward the “B’s”, it means your bent, or bias is toward leadership.
Leadership is not better than management. It is a different function than management.
Great leaders need great managers to maximize their potential.
Leaders and managers make great teammates. They need each other.
Leaders without managers cannot keep what they grow, and managers without leaders cannot grow what they keep!
If your bent is toward managing, you can become more effective by learning the skills of leading.
If your bent is toward leading, you can become more effective by learning the skills of managing.
The headline of this post may be misleading. The questions above will reveal whether you have a bent toward leading or managing. But, I believe that in practice, you can wear two hats throughout the day- employing BOTH Leading AND Managing.
How do you move from where you are now to a place of impactful leadership AND efficient management?
I’ll dig into that topic in my next blog post!
Would you like to learn how to lead like George Washington? Would you like to take your leading and managing to the next level? What did you learn about yourself today? Could I hear your comments by clicking <here>?