A web site visitor from England sent me the following e-mail:

    “I’m astonished at how good basic common sense reads as a revelation; even more confusing to me, is why it is so difficult for me to share such good practice with managers who are operating with an altogether ‘different’ philosophy and getting it wrong!? I’m hoping your publication will give me some ideas.”

I have wrestled with your question for a couple of decades now. I am often baffled by why common sense leadership principles aren’t common practice. There is now a mountain of evidence showing that strong leadership leads to healthier leaders and people being led, higher team/organization performance, elevated job/life satisfaction, greater happiness, and so on.

The reasons that basically good people are often bad leaders are numerous and complex. The two central ones that I keep coming back to are confusing management and leadership, and knowing with doing.

The balancing of management and leadership (and technical/technology) are foundation components of my work (The Leader’s Digest and its Practical Application Planner are built on this base) and The CLEMMER Group’s services.

Here are a few articles on our web site that may be helpful:

Balancing Technology, Management, and Leadership
In top performing organizations, each area of the “Performance Balance Triangle” is strong and constantly improving, allowing technology, systems, and processes to serve people.

Managing Things, Leading People

To manage is to control, handle or manipulate. To lead is to guide, influence or persuade.

Management vs. Leadership
One key distinction between management and leadership is that we manage things and lead people. When dealing with things, we talk about a way of doing. In the people realm, we’re talking about a way of being.

Stop Managing and Start Leading
Truly good corporate leaders know how to remove barriers between themselves and their staff.

There are even more articles on this topic area at https://www.clemmergroup.com/content/view/61/9/.
The problem of knowing versus doing is a complex one. It seems to be especially hard for us to recognize when we’ve fallen into this trap. Variations on the theme are mixing up strategy or planning with implementation or confusing content and process. Many managers spend a lot of time and brain power developing a plan/budget/strategy and when it’s done try to be like Jean Luc Picard on the Starship Enterprise and get someone else to “make it so.” Rarely does that happen.

The discipline of execution or implementation is sorely lacking in many organizations. Managers are so busy cooking up more plans or handling today’s crisis that they rarely follow through or follow up. At a personal level, managers often confuse learning theories (knowing) with developing skills or habits (doing). Because they know, they think they automatically do. Our academic system, bestseller lists, and consulting firms add to the confusion.