Leadership Lesson Learned or Never Taught

 In Leadership, Leadership Development, management

This Philosophy of Management image made me think that this simple but powerful statement suggests a leadership lesson any manager must learn and re-learn. Yet it’s absent in so many in positions of authority and influence.

The Leadership Training of Clarence Francis

A Leadership Lesson Learned or Never Taught by Rick Conlow

After graduating from Amherst College in 1910, Clarence Francis went to New York City to apply for a job with Standard Oil. He made a mistake by going to the wrong office and landed a job with Corn Products Refining Company instead. Clarence’s philosophy of management served him well as he worked his way up to Chairman of the Board of Directors of General Foods in 1954. As an expert in the food industry and its distribution, he also served US President FDR and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a variety of capacities.

Clarence’s approach to leading appears ahead of its time but I believe he had it right. The major approach to management at the time was Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Principles. Through time studies and research, jobs were optimized for the best way to work to improve productivity. While it improved results for a time, it led to employee monotony and a schism between management and workers that still hovers over the workplace today.

A Leadership Lesson Learned or Never Taught by Rick Conlow

The Leadership Lesson: “You have to earn these things.”

We are all in an era of colossal business change, leadership distrust, and the lack of employee engagement. People are fed up with leaders in all areas of life. We need better leaders, yet, there is a vacuum in leadership effectiveness in many areas. Leadership isn’t really about profit, the stock price or a person’s pocketbook; it’s about people. Therefore, it’s about character. Enthusiasm, initiative, loyalty, devotion of hearts, minds, and souls; what do managers need to do today to “…earn these things”? (Leave your comments below.)


A Leadership Lesson Learned or Never Taught by Rick Conlow

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Showing 2 comments
  • Tina J McConnell

    Want enthusiasm? Give them an opportunity to work on things that charge them up, not just what we need them to do. Want them to take initiative? Give them opportunities for collaborative problem-solving, and sometimes implement their ideas. Want them to be loyal? Earn their trust; listen. Ask what do you need from me? Ask how can I help? Ask if they just need to vent or if they need assistance solving a problem. Ask what you can do differently/better as their manager. These principles will create devotion of hearts, minds, and souls.

    • Rick Conlow

      Hi Tina:
      Great approaches for building employee engagement. Check this post for: 8 Keys to Unlock Your Team’s Performance.Thanks.

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