A Blog by Scott Isaacs

This Is The Wrong Forest

A good manager will take you through the forest, no matter what.  A leader will climb a tree and may say, “This is the wrong forest.”

I saw this in the comments of an older blog post the other day, and it really stuck with me.  (Brian Tinkler just informed me that this is actually a Stephen Covey quote/paraphrase.)

Of course, a bad manager can’t see the forest for the trees.

I’ve had a number of good managers, and even more bad managers.  However, I have had very few leaders, and only one, so far, in a work setting.

It takes more than a vision to be a leader.  It also takes understanding — understanding the situation and the people that you are leading.  A “leader” with only vision is just a fanatic.  (I’ve had my share of those, too.)

Fortunately, I’ve had enough good leaders that I may become one someday.  In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with the good old-fashioned philosophy of “follow the leader”.  That’s what I’m planning to do.


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1 Comment

  1. Scott,

    Some managers/leaders will also say “This is a nature conservancy. Where do you want me to build those condos?”


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