Byron's Babbles

Be Consistent, Not Clever!

Posted in Coaching, Educational Leadership, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 4, 2015

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/23e/12663085/files/2015/01/img_0640.jpg I am very excited about a new book I started reading this morning. It will actually take me all year to read it. The book is A Year With Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness by Joseph A. Maciariello. From the title I am sure you understand why I said it was going to take me a year to read the book. It is set up to take the year with 52 lessons, one for each week. I am dedicating time each Sunday in 2015 to study the lesson for the week. Each week I am also going to do a reflection post in this blog – I will post the picture of the book so you will know it is the reflection on my year-long book read.

Actually, I found this book because of the inspiration of one of my 2015 reread books. You will remember I have committed to rereading 12 books (one each month) that I have already read. My first reread book for 2015 was Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet. I have written and tweeted a great deal about this book and believe lessons learned have had some of the greatest impact on my latest successes as a leader as any professional growth exercise I have done. I will be doing a post about my fourth reread of this book later in the month. However, in the book Marquet references learning from the teachings of Peter Drucker. I have read some of Drucker’s work and because of my affiliation with the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Quality Education Division I have been exposed to a great deal of his work. So, I decided I was going to find a Drucker book to read and gain more insight. Off to Barnes and Noble I went to get a Starbucks and look through the books. Right away I found the book that I believe Maciariello wrote just for me (even though I have never met him I am sure he wrote it just for me!). Amazingly, in doing the first week’s reading I found some correlation between Marquet and Drucker. It turns out leaders are readers! Who’d of thought?

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/23e/12663085/files/2015/01/img_0641.jpg The connection I found between Marquet and Drucker right away was the idea of empowerment. Marquet talks about empowerment just being a word and you can’t just tell those you lead they are empowered. We must, as leaders, develop everyone in our organizations to be effective based on competence and trust. Without this competence and trust all we really have are what Drucker referred to as “functionaries” (Maciariello, 2014, p. 4). In other words just going through the motions and doing what they are told to do. Empowerment is really a delegation of authority. Marquet described, however, that delegation alone is not the answer. We must also be committed to increasing the technical knowledge of those on the team. As Marquet said, “When authority is delegated, technical knowledge takes on greater importance at all levels” (Marquet, 2013). He went on to say, “Control without competency is chaos” (Marquet, 2013). I love this quote because it drives home the point that leaders must consistently provide an environment of professional growth that builds the competency of all in our organizations. This means that leaders cannot be self serving.

Another point in this week’s reading was the idea that to be a leader you must have followers. This is much easier said than done. For this to happen you must get things done and you must have the trust of those you lead. Again, sounds easy but in reality is very tough to achieve. “Trust is built on communication and mutual understanding.” “To achieve mutual understanding you must understand what information your colleagues need from you to perform their function, and they must understand what you need from them” (Maciariello, 2014, p.6). This is where the consistency comes in. In other words what I say and what I do must be congruent. This is an area we must all continually work on.

There are four questions in the “Practicum-Prompts” section of the weekly lesson that really jumped out at me. I will close by sharing them with you and telling you that I am going to print these out and post them at my desk and use them as a barometer for my leadership in the coming weeks and months. These questions are on page 8 (Maciariello, 2014):

Is the authority of the leadership group in your organization grounded in responsibility, integrity, and service?

Does it bring out whatever strength is present in each person?

Does it foster a sense of community and citizenship?

What can you do enhance the legitimacy of the leadership group in your area?

I know right now I need to really work on bringing out the strengths and building the technical knowledge of all I serve. I find that this is very easy to do with some and extremely tough with others. Have you noticed there are many individuals (I include myself in this category) that are “sponges?” They want to learn everything. These individuals are easy to work with. The individuals I need to spend more time with are the ones that believe they have arrived and know everything already. After my study this morning, I believe the answer to working with these individuals is to truly developing the sense of community and citizenship. This will in turn bring legitimacy to their leadership.

Remember, it’s about being consistent. You do not need to be clever!


Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Marquet, L. D. (2013). Turn the ship around!: A true story of turning followers into leaders. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

2 Responses

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  1. […] time each week in doing a personal book study and then writing a post to this blog each week. Click here to read the first week’s […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] In fact I have even blogged about it. Click here to read “Walk the Talk” and click here to read “Be Consistent, Not Clever!” Jean-Claude went on to explain what he meant. […]


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