Week of March 28, 2005
  Special Report

Site Selection Bonus Coverage of
the IAMC 2005 Spring Forum, Charleston S.C.

Mannering: How Good Managers Become Great Leaders
Leadership development expert tells
IAMC attendees how to inspire, motivate others.

by RON STARNER, Site Selection Director of Publications

Dennis Mannering
Leadership Guru

“Management is what we do; leadership is what we are.”
       In other words, said leadership expert Dennis E. Mannering, "Leadership cannot be taught. You can't teach someone how to be inspirational."
       Speaking to about 40 people at the IAMC Leadership Seminar March 20 in Charleston, S.C., Mannering punctured the popular myth that there are five, six or seven easy steps to becoming a great leader.
       "Management is a science, but leadership is an art," he said. "Leadership involves people and principles, not systems and things. ... Management is concerned about doing things right; leaders are concerned about doing the right thing."
       Mannering said that the two most important qualities of any leader are integrity and honesty. "Leaders are driven by ideas, not expectations," he said.
       Without the courage to stand by one's principles, a manager of a business cannot become a leader of people, he noted. A leader, he added, must also be trustworthy, optimistic, inspirational, compassionate, empathetic, focused, driven, patient and flexible.
       In fact, because leadership is so demanding, "there aren't many true leaders," said Mannering. "Not many people want to be one, because they aren't very popular."
       Leadership in business is really all about demonstrating "positive attitudes to inspire people to change," the leadership expert said, and to do that effectively a leader must do four things:
  • Establish a clear direction. If the manager lacks the ability to effectively communicate the company's vision to the employees, the manager will not become a leader. Also, leaders regularly interact with their customers to find out what the company should be doing.
  • Coach others. Coaching requires a leader to educate, support, correct, counsel and confront other people in the company. "The No. 1 reason people fail on the job is because they fail in their personal life," said Mannering, adding that a leader takes an interest in the personal lives of the company's people.
  • Provide positive communication. A leader provides frequent feedback to his/her people. "Identify five things every employee does well," Mannering said. "Every three months, add one positive thing to the list, and one thing they can improve upon."
  • Build commitment. "People support what they help to create," he noted. "They oppose what is imposed. Leaders recognize that the real power lies with the followers."

       Finally, Mannering challenged his audience to change their perspective: "To the degree that you give others what they need, you will get what you need."
       The speaker said he has spent most of his adult life trying to figure out all the meanings of that statement, imparted to him in the form of advice by the late Bill Stilwell.
       "When you truly understand the meaning of that advice," Mannering said, "you will become a great leader."

sp0322bsp0322b ©2004 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.