JP and I met up with EL Alumni Erin Dorney at the Emerging Leaders poster session at #ala11 to talk about her EL Experience, how it prepared her to be a leader, and EL as a way to network with fantastic librarians.
Why is every seminar on management always called “A New Approach to Leadership?” Just once I’d love these “consultants” to be honest and call it “The Same Thing you Heard Last Time You Were Here, but We Repackaged It and Now You’re Buying the Same Thing you Bought Last Time for More Money. Thanks, I Can Now Pay for My Kids New Porsche.” Ok, well, I guess the reason that they don’t call it that is because it’s just too long. No, I’m kidding, the reason they don’t call it that is because they buy their kids Maseratis not Porsches because we pay way too much for consultants. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that every seminar is exactly the same and nobody really seems to know what leadership and management is all about.
In case you don’t believe me, I been to far too many of these seminars and workshops and I’ve read a far too many books on the subject. So, through all of this, here is what I’ve learned so far;
Management is a circus
Leadership is like a captain of a ship
Leadership is like being a firefighter
Leadership is like the conductor of an orchestra
Management is a game of baseball
Leadership is like being president (specifically, Lincoln)
Management is like being Ben Franklin
Leadership is like being an architect
Leadership is an art
Leadership is like a tribe
Apparently, there are rules too…
There are 101 rules of management
There are 13 irrefutable rules to management you can’t break
There are 12 rules of management
There are 7 rules of management
There is only one rule of management
Break all the rules in Management
(Of course, if you don’t believe that each of these exist, I suggest you look’em up on Amazon. I’m not kidding, each of these are there)
However, this whole rant started because I recently went to another leadership seminar because, despite all of this, I still absolutely love going to these seminars. Just like all the previous seminars I’ve been to, this one found another way to relate leadership and management to yet another profession that’s slightly related to management and leadership and still far enough removed that you wouldn’t think of it as a profession related to leadership and management. Which I think is what these seminars are really supposed to do. That is, find two unseemingly related professions and then point out exactly why they are the same or define some aspect of a profession in terms of a set of rules and then encourage you not to follow those rules.
That is, of course, not to say that this one wasn’t especially informative because I learned two very important pieces of information. The first thing that I learned is that I could definitely write a book on leadership and management if only there was one profession left that hadn’t been related to leadership and management. Which is good if I find one, because the second thing I figured out is that they let any idiot write a book on leadership and management. I could be that next great idiot! So, I’m going to start working on this, because I’m pretty sure that being either a leader or a manager is just like beating school children with bags full of kittens. In any case, the title of this book will be “Leadership and Management is Just Like Leadership and Management. Now Don’t It Screw Up.” I’m excited to see you at my next seminar!