Friday, 28 November 2014

What do we mean by Business Leaders

Everyday in the press or online, we read articles and quotes from business leaders. What are these so called business leaders?. I was taught a business leader was a wealth generator, someone who took a risk, set up a business to create wealth while generating employment. So real business leaders are the legends that are Bill Gates,Michael Dell, Larry Ellison,Steve Jobs to name but a few right down to the real heroes of a local economy, business people who create opportunity and employment for their local area.

So how come middle or senior managers in large multi-nationals often get referred to as "business leaders" in press articles?. Maybe I'm missing something but surely a business leader is someone who leads a business in that they define strategy, how the business operates, the culture and the direction of the business. So the business leaders I see quoted in the press in most cases are business managers (even if they do have the title VP or director they are in reality managers).

Some business managers aspire to be business leaders but most don't. Having an MBA with a C level title while working within the cushion of a large organization does not a business leader make. The role of these business managers is to "Implement". That is to take the pre-defined strategy and Business goals and implement them whether its sales,marketing,finance or product. They may lead the unit or division from a tactical stance but they do not lead the business.

The world seems to fallen in love with titles and in a centralised decision making business world maybe bigger titles such as VP or Country Manager are a way of compensating for the true role a manager is expected to perform.
I love business, the cut and trust of sales,marketing, trying to win a customer, managing people to deliver higher results but I am not a business leader. Knowing ones place in the business world is healthy and honest. No need to perfume the pig, a great manager is a great manager, no need to embellish it with titles that do a disservice to the title "business leader", a title many aspire to but few earn the right to be called it.

Till the next time