JP LaCasse, Chief Operating Officer for Bay Area Legal Services, Inc. shares his 40+ years of experience as a leader. JP spent 35 years of his career in private industry and is now enjoying a career in a not-for-profit business. He offers his point of view on why there isn’t any difference between leading in private business vs. a not-for-profit business. Regardless of the industry in which a leader works, business is business. Be ambitious and open to learning as much as possible about all facets of the business. Always be curious. There is a lot of stimuli in the world today. Don’t let yourself be so distracted that you lose focus and hinder your opportunity to gain knowledge. Learn to manage distractions. If you don’t, there is a strong likelihood you won’t become good at anything or gain enough knowledge to be successful in your career. Don’t find yourself in a place where you know a lot about nothing.
Aspiring leaders must realize that “not everyone will move up.” There are fewer leadership roles than other roles in business, so it’s competitive. Have patience and enjoy the journey. Value and appreciate the time it takes to earn experience. This experience can only add credibility to you as a leader.
Lacking knowledge and experience could result in developing a leadership style that is considered to be micromanaging. Micromanagement is a need to control the work of others. This is not leading. The result of micromanaging is the equivalent of two people doing one job with no one leading. A business can’t afford that. Knowledgeable and experienced business people practice MBWO “Management by Walking Around.” This practice allows a leader to stay informed and engaged with their people while extending an appropriate amount of autonomy and support. Finally, don’t engage with media more than you engage with your people.
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