First of all, I tend to lean to the male description when I refer to a species, but rest assured ladies, there is no way that I will slight you nor your overall qualities.  When I make a reference to “I” or “him”, it is a figure of speech, not a reference to any individual trait.

Think of flying for a moment.  We have this marvelous pilot, almost a “mister perfect” as far as what he can do with an airplane.  He is always on time, very rarely a problem of any kind and highly regarded for an expert instructor.  He is also an ace in instructional circles among his peers.  Great in every aspect – except one.  He couldn’t lead a horse to water, let alone get the horse to drink.  His leadership assessment or leadership qualities so far haven’t been rated nor determined.

Looking at his overall qualifications, he probably will be promoted to a supervisory position, and at that point he will be set up for failure.  He will rise to his level of incompetence.  It happens over and over.  He will probably be frustrated and wonder how and why he can’t get his people to do what he thinks may be best.  Many times, the entity that promoted the individual will question their judgment as well.  They will rarely admit it because that would admit making a mistake.  Sometimes the individual will succeed but not always.

The military is a classic example – many pilots would prefer to stay in the cockpit, flying.  The term is to fly a desk, and many pilots accept it for the promotion, but it isn’t really what they want.

Considering what you have read so far, would it be safe for me to say that you agree ???

My point is that a leader really does not necessarily have to perform the task at 100% in order to manage, but it is also true that the 100% performer isn’t necessarily a good leader either.  True, he/she may be an outstanding performer and instructor, but that still doesn’t meet the qualifications for effective leadership.

In the short form, I will try to define the two differences:

1.      Instruction = The act or art of teaching and individual or multiples an act or function.  Per Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Instruction(s) may refer to: Teaching, education performed by a “Teacher”.

2.      Leadership = The act of being in a supervisory position.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Leadership is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.”

Each function is critical to any given project, but rarely is one person capable of doing both.  Those that do are considered to be above average or exceptional.

There is however, one practice that is very successful in the business world, and that is the art of “copying your mentor”.  Do what they do and how they do it, and you will eventually be successful.  Unfortunately, this will only work successfully if you are in a position of independence, not in working for and answering to a superior.  Most successful managers don’t take very kindly to a subordinate emulating them.   (No sense of humor, I guess).



Roy is retired military as a radar controller, both Airborne and Ground.  Spent 9 years as a Radio Announcer and retired from the corporate world after 14 years as an information analysist working with classified information for a computer chip manufacturer.  Degree in Interstate Commerce Commission law. Sherry worked as an aircraft parts inventory specialist as a government employee, later as a scheduler and coordinator for a large flight school and retired from the corporate world as an administrative legal assistant for a very large computer chip manufacturer.   Multiple specialist courses in computer technology and applications.
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