Managing People

Businesses and processes are managed. People are led

To manage people is to imply a form of domination. To manage people is to direct others towards an end, using methods selected by the manager. Necessary at times, but questionable behavior as a cultural norm.

Here are two related distinctions that come to mind:

First the distinction  between assertive and aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior is defined as 'forceful action especially when intended to dominate or master.' Assertive behavior is defined as 'to declare positively and often forcefully.' The key distinction is the 'intent to dominate.' You can dominate things (businesses, processes, markets, etc.) but not recommended for dealing with people.

Another distinction is that leaders INSPIRE, not MOTIVATE. Motivate is defined as 'to induce, incite or impel.' Motivation is temporary and conditional. Inspire is 'to breathe or give life.' Inspire is enduring and self-sustaining. So, managers motivate and leaders inspire.

So lets refine our business language to say we lead people through inspiration, while managing things through motivation.

 Dave Nave & Associates 2019   -