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Are You A Manager, Commander Or Leader

Written by: Jason Richardson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Leader or Boss?

I walk into my airline’s headquarters wearing a crisp white shirt, a black tie, and 4 gold bars on each shoulder. As I meet the team of 15 pilots and cabin crew in front of me, I have a choice; I can manage them, I can command them, or I can lead them.

If I choose to manage my crew, they will receive adequate resources to do their job.

If I command them, they will comply with my legally granted authority.

But only if I lead them will I see them motivated, engaged, and producing the synergy we all desire from our teams.

See any parallels with your work environment? Our job title may give us the authority to command, we may have the resources and time to manage, but our teams will never go ‘above and beyond’ unless we lead them.

The military understands the critical role of leadership. I joined the Air Force with the sole goal of becoming a fighter pilot. The Air Force, however, recruited me as a leader first; they spent 3 years training me to lead and only then released me to fly.

Why should we bother? After all, leadership requires our sacrifice, a commitment to placing our team’s needs ahead of our own. What’s in it for us?

At the organisational level, improved employee engagement drastically reduces the costs of staff turnover, high sickness rates, and low-quality output. Employees will NOT commit to our organisational goals and purpose if they aren’t first committed to their direct supervisor. Investing in developing our leaders is perhaps the most cost-effective and reliable method of improving business outcomes.

For us personally, if we commit to leading, we will find that success starts to follow us. A well-led team is more innovative, has higher quality output, and is committed to the organisational goals; research continually shows the enormous impact of quality leadership on business KPIs.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, leadership has a profound impact on the well-being of our individual staff. We determine if our employees walk into the office with a commitment to give their best. It is also us who can cause their feeling of despair on Sunday evening as they are faced with another working week.

Commit to being a leader and accept the challenges. By focussing your energy on leadership, you will produce the best in your organisation, in your team, and in yourself.

Follow Jason on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit his website for more info!


Jason Richardson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jason Richardson is passionate about increasing the performance of both individuals and organisations. He has spent almost 3 decades in high performance teams, with experience ranging from leading large fighter aircraft formations through to commanding international airliners. Jason believes that the focus of ANY leader should be to build and sustain an environment in which their team will thrive. In 2019, Jason founded Richardson HPS to help organisations build exceptional operating environments, thereby realising the same extraordinary levels of engagement and performance he experienced in air force fighter squadrons.



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