I’m often perplexed by the opinion that Leadership is best taught with a hands off approach. I understand that young leaders want to be “treated as adults” and not be “nagged” for deliverables. These are two reasons I heard this week as to why the California Jaycees has decided to empower chapters to run themselves. In theory this course of action is sound. I mean you’re giving chapters what they want and enabling them to explore their entrepreneurial spirit and lead their chapters as they see fit. It’s definitely a win-win on the surface, but what about beneath the surface?
Beneath the surface the state of the State is in dire straits. There is a perception that the State does not care because the have opted to take a “hands-off” approach. This is the direct result of giving Chapter Presidents a list of deadlines at the beginning of the year with little to no follow-up. I realize that people don’t want to be nagged — who does? But since when has follow-up been equated with nagging?
In business, we are consistently asked by our bosses and our peers what the status of certain projects are. When tasked with a specific task, it is not uncommon for the assignor to ask the assignees if a task has been completed. I’m not condoning micro management, but neither am I condoning macro-management – because both have the potential for adverse results. What I am condoning, however, are the basic elements of project management which dictate that tasks are assigned and reviewed through to completion.
If we are to be an effective leadership development organization teaching community development, individual development, business development, and international development through project management (let’s face it, this is what we do!), then we need to make sure that we don’t forget to lead by example and employ those techniques that made us the leaders we are. I don’t want us to “nag” our members, but I would like for us to follow-up with chapters to make sure that they are doing what they need to do in order to maintain in compliance with the organization itself. Members are hungry for leadership — lets lead!