AC4P with Dr. Scott Geller 017 | Leadership vs. Management Part 2

Are you a leader or are you a manager? These terms are often used interchangeably, but do they actually mean the same thing? Dr. Scott Geller is back to continue his talk on Leadership vs Management and answer some questions regarding real-life experiences.


So we ask again, are you a leader or a manager? Which one would you like to be? How can you make changes?


For more lessons from Dr. Geller, consider buying his 50 Lessons book.


For more information visit for more information.


Shauna Costello (00:22):
Where leaders help people appreciate intrinsic consequences. And also, I think that feeds into some of the other things you were mentioning too, with focusing on ownership, focusing on educating before teaching. And that really focuses on that really, because what I'm hearing too is that, we're not just here to point a finger and say, okay, you have to do this. Sometimes yes, we might need to do that. But this really makes me think about me with, and I'm going to do something that this says not to do, but I'm going to put a general label on my students. And I know that you'd talk about that, the general labels, but one thing that I tried to do is give ownership to the graduate students that I supervise and I make them the project managers for some of these projects that, that they have expressed interest in doing. And they'll ask me questions and I don't necessarily always give them a direct answer. I tend to ask them questions to from my point of view help facilitate their critical thinking and their problem solving to get them to an answer rather than just coming to me and getting Shauna's answer. That's not necessarily what I want them to do. I want them to come to me with a proposed solution as if they thought about it, this is their project, take ownership of it. And okay let's work through, okay, is this going to be the right solution? Is it not? What can we do? Here's this here's that things along those lines, I'm trying to facilitate more than just be like, okay, you did A, now B needs to get done. Okay, now C needs to get done. Things like that.

Dr. Scott Geller (02:42):
You know? And that's exactly what, how, that's, how we talked about early, earlier, where you were a leader in that situation, you were letting them come forth. When people come forth with an idea and you say, right on, let's do this. You got ownership. If it was my idea, if I had some choice in that project, in that task, I own it. And related to all of that, Shauna, is the notion of purpose. What's the purpose? Why are we doing this very often, a manager will say, do this, this, this, and this and this without talking about the purpose. What's the bigger picture. Why are we in this together? Where is this all going? What's our vision. So leaders provide a vision and a purpose. So you're more than a wage worker. It's not about this marking time and doing it. It's a bigger picture.

Dr. Scott Geller (03:43):
It's you used to call the word systems thinking, the big system, we're all in this together. So let's talk about that, you know, and then we get back to intrinsic. Now the world out there doesn't understand the word intrinsic. We behavioral scientists. We understand that intrinsic means natural consequences for our job. Now we can talk about intrinsic motivation. Now that could be an internal feeling I'm intrinsically motivated, but I receive natural intrinsic consequences for my behavior. So when we interpret those natural consequences as having a purpose, as fulfilling a mission as leading to a vision, now we're facilitating, self-motivation. Now we're doing what leaders do. You know, again, leaders, state the vision, explain the purpose. But as you indicated, they also solicit ideas from the workers as to how do we achieve, how do we achieve our purpose today, our mission today?

Shauna Costello (05:08):
And I know I kind of mentioned this I think this, I think this is a really good point for you to even talk about, is leaders make more distinctions between people.

Dr. Scott Geller (05:24):
Oh yeah.

Shauna Costello (05:25):
That was one. That was really interesting. And I think that this is something that when I was in school and learning and even out into the real world now, is that kind of the first time I really saw this was in one of my systems classes when they were talking about different types of processes or like, you know, organization maps, silos, and things like that. So I automatically associated it to, you know, siloing of people, you're putting them in this box. And so what does it really mean to make more distinctions between people?

Dr. Scott Geller (06:11):
You know that is a wonderful concept to talk about. Let's start with the word discrimination. Don't discriminate. Have you heard that term don't discriminate? We actually think discrimination relates to racism or relates it. It's not unless you have very few distinctions between people. We have black people and Chinese people and white people. Those are few distinctions, but we're claiming leaders make more distinctions. Matter of fact, make more discrimination. Notice folks how that connects to humanism. The humanist claims that we're all different. We all have unique characteristics and leaders take the time to understand those characteristics. In fact, everyone has some talents and some of them are hidden. Leaders can help the person come forth and say, you know, I can do this. I've done this. So leaders make more distinctions between people. So when we say don't discriminate, we should say, don't stereotype. Now stereotyping is when you put a group in a certain category, discriminating is, as we know us, behavior scientists, we discriminate every day we stop on red. We go on green. We make discriminations every day when it comes to people, we need to discriminate the fine distinctions between those people. And so that's what leaders do. And when you take the time to understand those distinctions, now you're developing a relationship. Now you're developing relationships and that's what leaders also do. They develop a connection with the people they're working with. And thus, those people are more willing to exert extra time and effort to get the job done. Why for our purpose, which leads to our vision.

Shauna Costello (08:22):
I know. And that brings up empowerment as well, where that is something that I mentioned to you before we started recording was something that my graduate students when they come in, I don't necessarily, they're a member of the team. They're not just a student. You know, that's going to get stuck doing grunt intern work. No, you're going to really be a member of the team. And you're going to be creating content that is going to go out to the masses. And the second that, that light bulb clicks and we actually follow through, or I actually follow through on my word by saying that, then I really see this empowerment of theirs to start creating more and coming up with these other ideas. And they just become the little factories of new ideas and creativity. And it's really neat to see.

Dr. Scott Geller (09:26):
Or, you know, that's a big difference between managers and leaders, this term empowerment. In fact, if you ask people, what does empowerment mean? Many will say, yeah, they give me more to do with fewer resources. I empower you. And from a management perspective, it's just get 'er done, get the job done. I empower you. But leaders understand that empowerment means feeling empowered. How do we feel empowered? Very simple. You feel empowered when you can answer yes. To three questions. One, can you do it? Can you do the job? that's one question. Second question. Will it work? Will this job that we're doing, will it work to lead us closer to our vision? Will it connect to our purpose? And again, that's why we do more than just tell people do this, do this. We have to explain why this relates to our mission.

Dr. Scott Geller (10:35):
Okay. Can you do it? Yes. Will it work? Yes. Third question. By the way, that second question is an educational question that is sometimes we have to educate our team, let them see the connection between the job and our purpose, the job, and our vision. Third, the third is a motivational question. Is it worth it? Is it worth it? The job you're asking me to do, by the way, we all know it's about consequences. What consequences will I receive from this job that doesn't have to be extrinsic consequences all the time? It could be the feeling of achievement. The fact that our team made this happen and it moves on to the next challenge and so on. So again, feeling empowered means I can do it, it will work, and it is worth it. And let me say one more thing about those three questions. They are beliefs. They are perceptions. I believe I can do it. You might think someone can do the job well, they might not believe they can do the job, you know, and do I believe it will work you know, and do I believe that is worth it? So again, we're back to leaders understanding that we're all different and we have to really understand what do these people believe? What are their perceptions? And they might be different from one person to the next. And that gets back to discriminating.

Shauna Costello (12:15):
That brings up too, one thing that I've noticed, and that is, it connects right back to another point you make. And this reading that I got from you was leaders rely on the competence motive, and that connects right into what you were just saying. And this is something too that I've noticed when I've been developing and I've been figuring out ways to involve graduate students who, you know, aren't necessary, they might not necessarily have taken all of their classes. They might not have learned some things yet, but you know, this competence, like I want them to have this competence and connecting it back to your mission, your goal, your vision.

Dr. Scott Geller (13:07):
That is so powerful. Competence, you know, Dale Carnegie wrote a book in 1936, how to win friends and influence people. And one of the favorite quotes from that book is everybody wants to feel important. And that connects to competence. People want to believe they're competent at doing worthwhile work. A powerful thing to remember, because that's what leaders do they support the competence of the people they're working with. And by the way, how do we do that? We know how to do that supportive feedback, right? Recognizing people and not only recognizing people, but showing gratitude for what they do. So you did this well. Great. Thank you for doing it well, thank you for supporting our team. So really it all connects to competence. Doesn't it? When I believe I'm competent at doing worthwhile work, how do I know I'm competent? Because my colleague, my leader, my supervisor told me I did a good job. And of course, to get there I needed to be given opportunities to show off my competence. That you've helped me develop. So that's what you've done with your students. You've developed them, the competence, and then they get to show off that competence to others. That's a big deal. That's a big consequence. That's the fruit of your labor

Shauna Costello (14:41):
Yeah. And it's been, it's one of the biggest things I love about my job actually. And you know, my supervisors actually did the same thing for me. They gave me the opportunities to take over the entire student experience for the company. And then they're like, whoa, okay. Yep. You're good. You can keep it. So that's been something that's really fun. And just to fill in so everybody who's listening realizes I didn't start off like this as a supervisor. I don't think I was the greatest supervisor. I still get some of my first supervisees coming back to me now and thanking me for my supervision. So that makes me feel better. But that kind of connects to one of the last section that we haven't quite fully covered yet. But it is probably my it's one of the biggest learning lessons I had being in the supervisor management leadership role was leaders make feedback, a positive experience.

Shauna Costello (15:57):
And I know I said this to you earlier, but just for the, just for the listeners. So they realized that I had to start somewhere to get to where I am today when I was, this was years and years ago, but one of my supervisees gave me one of the most honest feedback, which I asked for. And I appreciate to this day how I was as a supervisor. And she told me if we don't hear from you, we know we're doing a good job. And I was just, all I could think was no, that's not how it's supposed to be. And you know, you even say it in this, that leaders make feedback, a positive experience. And I'm like, oh, I did not start off by making feedback, a positive experience at all.

Dr. Scott Geller (16:55):
And by the way, that last point is management by exception, there is a term when you just don't do anything until there's a problem. You just sit back laissez Faire and let things happen. And when there's a problem, you step in that's, that's inappropriate management. Now let's let me start one more point. Let's let me make, make a life lesson for everybody to understand. And I think we'll all agree and it relates to feedback, never stop learning and never stop teaching. I mean, I'm soon to be 80 years old. And I still think that life is still about learning. And it's about teaching what you've learned. Now we cannot learn without feedback. We can not do better without feedback. Practice does not make perfect. It makes permanence, we need feedback. So there we go. Leaders have to know how to give supportive feedback and how to give corrective feedback. And we've talked about that in earlier programs, but that's a key point. Helping people believe they are competent through the mechanism of supportive and corrective feedback.

Shauna Costello (18:15):
And I'm happy to say that even now it's evolved just in the last few months, it's evolved even more. And that's one thing that, like you said, continue learning. Then that's something that I always strive to do. And that's why a lot of times I always say I'm an inch deep and a mile wide. But one thing that I just even evolved even further into this was bringing on first-year students instead of just second-year students. So now I'm trying to create this training supervision as well. So my second-year students who are about to go out into the real world and potentially take on have their own supervisees there on their projects. I kind of, that's why I was getting so into reading this what you sent me and I'm letting them take their ownership of their projects. And they like to call their first years their minions. But you know, they are teaching and training and supervising the first-year students while I'm supervising and teaching and training them as well. So that's something that we just implemented in the last, in the last few months was bringing on this other tier of students who don't have as much background knowledge because they came into the program earlier. And so the second years are, I'm trying to get this mentorship model or however you want to call it going within the students as well. And not just me.

Dr. Scott Geller (20:05):
And notice how brilliant that is. They're feeling even more competent as teachers, as mentors. And the other thing we need to say is you see the bigger picture from your teaching, where you teach. You're realizing that the person I teach will teach somebody else and they'll teach somebody else. So that's systems thinking, as we mentioned earlier, that's seeing the big picture. So it's not just one hour lecture or one class. If the teacher walks in and says, this could make a difference because I will plant some life lessons, some seeds for these people, and they will teach others. When I started my class when I teach these things, I say, see me, listen to me as a teacher, but not me the teacher, you, the teacher. So as you hear me teach you stuff, say to yourself, I need to teach others this important information. So that kind of gives them the responsibility of learning and then teaching what they've learned.

Shauna Costello (21:17):
And what I have found is because I've also taught in some undergrad, I've taught undergrad courses as well, as well as supervising some graduate students. But teaching is definitely an amazing way to learn, an amazing way to learn. And it has kept me on my toes. And I think that that's why I like it so much.

Dr. Scott Geller (21:44):
You don't know what you know until you try to teach what, you know, I mean, you can think you know a topic, but then you teach that topic to somebody now, you know the topic, and then you get questions from your audience that it inspires you to perhaps learn more about that topic. And now you become very knowledgeable exactly. So teaching is learning and learning leads to teaching.

Leave a reply