“Leaders solve problems, remove obstacles and drive change,” said Ronald Lewis, CEO/Owner of LTC2 Consulting as he kicked off the 2019 Chamber Education Series. Lewis presented “Leadership vs. Management” to a room full of business executives, veterans and representatives from Hampton Roads Chamber businesses.
When asked, most people will say that a leader is a person who instills confidence, creates enthusiasm and empowers those around them. But, is that all? In his seminar, Lewis explored leadership, what it entails and how it is the key component to driving change in business. The first question Lewis posed to the crowd was, “What is leadership?” Bryan K. Stephens, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber answered, “The ability to influence others to accomplish a mission to a high standard of excellence.” Other audience members also added in their thoughts. Some said leaders must have a vision and be able to help their employees see them through, and others said leaders need to have a plan.
“What makes us follow these leaders? It’s not the title,” said Lewis. Using a word map, Lewis listed the qualities of a leader as having empathy, confidence, respect, forward thinking, trust, clear communication and a vision. Lewis said, “Change is hard.” One who lacks the above qualities will have a more difficult time moving forward, for themselves and for their business. Lewis stressed that one’s company culture must be ready for change, and a leader will help drive that change. Leaders create a sense of urgency, with short term wins that garner rewards.
“What makes leadership different from management?” Lewis answered, “I think leaders have a responsibility of clearly understanding the current state of affairs.” He agreed with members in the crowd who stated, “Managers do things right, but leaders do the right thing.” Lewis agreed leadership is about people, management is about process. Leadership and management work together. It is not a competition.
Lewis concluded by taking questions from the audience. One asked, “Are leaders made, developed or born?” Lewis answered, “Yes.” He believes leaders can be developed through training and nurturing but there are traits that are innate.
Bryan K. Stephens, Hampton Roads Chamber President & CEO concluded today’s event by saying, “If you want to be a leader, if you want to have an impact in your life and life of others, it takes effort. It’s by intent.” Stephens continued, “One of the reasons why the Chamber has a leadership series and why we have leadership programs is to try to provide the business community with those leaders that can go into an organization and impact it in a positive way, to effect change in a positive way.”
Thank you to our Chamber Education Series sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Southern Bank; Gold Sponsor, Managing Communications; Luncheon Sponsor, Bahama Breeze; and Water Sponsor, Pure Paradise.
The Chamber Education Series continues on February 19th with New Ways to Keep Your Data Safe in 2019 presented by IntellecTechs Founder & CEO Jeri Prophet. For more information and to register, click here.