The Start Of Creation
These scripts come from people, not principles. And they rise out of our deep vulnerabilities, our deep dependency on others and our need for acceptance and love, for belonging, for a sense of importance and worth, for a feeling that we matter.
Whether we are aware of it or not, whether we are in control of it or not, there is a first creation to every part of our lives. We are either the second creation of our own proactive design, or we are the second creation of other people’s agendas, of circumstances, or of past habits.
The unique human capacities of self-awareness, imagination, and conscience enable us to examine first creations and make it possible for us to take charge of our own first creation, to write our own script. Put another way, Habit 1 says, “You are the creator.” Habit 2 is the first creation.
Leadership and Management — The Two Creations
Lesson 4 is based on principles of personal leadership, which means that leadership is the first creation. Leadership is not management. Management is the second creation, which we’ll discuss in the next lesson. But leadership has to come first.
Management is a bottom-line focus: How can I best accomplish certain things? Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish? In the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
In business, the market is changing so rapidly that many products and services that successfully met consumer tastes and needs a few years ago are obsolete today. Proactive powerful leadership must constantly monitor environmental change, particularly customer buying habits, and motives, and provide the force necessary to organize resources in the right direction.
Such changes as deregulation of the airline industry, skyrocketing costs of health care, and the great quality and quantity of imported cars impact the environment in significant ways. If industries do not monitor the environment, including their own work teams, and exercise the creative leadership to keep headed in the right direction, no amount of management expertise can keep them from failing.
Efficient management without effective leadership is, as one individual phrased it, “like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.” No management success can compensate for failure in leadership. But leadership is hard because we’re often caught in a management paradigm.
And leadership is even more lacking in our personal lives. We’re into managing with efficiency, setting, and achieving goals before we have even clarified our values.
You Are Responsible For Your Own Script
As we previously observed, proactivity is based on the unique human endowment of self-awareness. The two additional unique human endowments that enable us to expand our proactivity and to exercise personal leadership in our lives are imagination and conscience.