What is Leadership, Anyway?

Management and leadership are both vital functions in any enterprise. There is general agreement, however, that most organizations are over-managed and under led. The metaphor for leadership is a journey-from the root lead meaning “go, travel, guide.” Leadership takes the organization into unexplored territory and guides it to new destinations. Management comes from the root manage, meaning, “hand.” Management is about handling things; about maintaining order and control.

The question then to ask, is, what is the difference between what it means to handle things and what it means to go places?

NAE4-HA gets its energy and drive from volunteers within its membership. In recent years, though, fewer and fewer people opt to run for office or apply for appointed positions. Is it because of the time commitment or a lack of support? Are the positions “attractive” or not?

Your Board spent a fair amount of time during the spring meeting asking these questions of themselves. Our goals are simple – to provide the Association effective management while focusing on dynamic leadership. We reviewed the history of our Association and the benchmarks of progress and achievement. By June 1, we will examine our current job descriptions. The purpose is to :

  • Identify the function or tasks
  • Determine how many days it really takes to accomplish these
  • Are the goals of our Strategic Long Range Plan being met by these functions/tasks
  • Are we realizing our Association vision through our position on the Board?
  • Is the function/task really leadership or is it just maintenance?

Every so often, we should all ask these questions of ourselves. It is all too easy to get caught in the routine of our work. I believe if we honestly ask the right questions and provide honest answers we may then be able to determine where we are “stuck” in management and not really providing leadership. In those answers we may find new resources and see that true leadership will flourish in places and ways we can hardly imagine.

Vision Statement

NAE4-HA is the globally recognized, culturally diverse network for youth development professionals. The association positively impacts the youth serving community by:

  • Advocating the 4-H professional through further legitimizing and validating the efforts of the members;
  • Involving members in relevant research and providing a youth development data bank;
  • Providing leadership in anticipating youth issues and initiating action;
  • Promoting personal and organizational development of all 4-H youth development professionals;
  • Being futuristic, idealistic and realistic;
  • Increasing knowledge and skills through the association journal, conferences, workshops and the technological transfer of information;
  • Partnering with internal and external organizations, recognizing the value of interdisciplinary teamwork and serving as a catalyst for further collaborations;
  • Providing leadership opportunities and recognition of the members.

NAE4-HA encourages personal ownership of the Association through awareness, involvement and investment in its mission and goals.