Leadership in any line requires many different skills. Some are in direct opposition to each other. For example: administration vs. innovation.
Administration is the skill of managing people and organizations so that everything runs smoothly and stays aligned with policies and procedures. In many ways, it is the art of maintaining the status quo.
Innovation is the art of progress and change. Many times it requires challenging the status quo by looking at things in a different way and acting outside the “norm.”
As a general rule, for every innovator, there are 10 administrators. As humans, we crave stability and the status quo. It feels safe to us because of the consistency. Because of that natural tendency, most have to consciously work at innovation. The irony is that while administration feels safe, innovation is the essential ingredient to surviving and thriving.
History lauds, honors and praises the innovators, but is relatively quiet about the administrators. That’s because we admire the rare and take the common for granted.
History honors Thomas Edison as one of the most important figures of the 20th century. Why? Because his numerous innovations changed the way we live. Meanwhile, can you name any one of the administrators that ran Edison Electric or General Electric in the subsequent years? If you can, the only one that comes to mind is Jack Welch because he dramatically innovated the way General Electric approached its business.
So, step out of administration from time-to-time and INNOVATE! Ask:
- How can I make things better?
- What type of business would put me out of business?
- What would we look like if we expanded by 10 times?
- What weakness would I exploit if I were my competition?
- What is something I would never consider changing?
If you want something to administrate in the future, you better start innovating today!