For several days now, reporters have been trying to track down rumors about those workers in Japan who are risking their lives to bring the nuclear crisis under control.
Word is, days ago, the managers at that crippled facility told line workers to go home. "This is a crisis," they said. "It is the duty of managers to lead in fighting that crisis."
So workers were sent home while the managers remained.
I heard that story from some network news people; they're still trying to track it down.
If it is true, what an incredible lesson of servant leadership: Managers putting their lives on the line, leading their company in a crisis by example.
That's expected in the military... but business?
Well, in this country, people have made a lot of money writing about that concept. We may now have an amazing example of how it actually works.
There has always been a difference between managing people and leading them. Even as a kid, you never played "follow the manager."
It was "follow the leader."
Managing means you fill out the paperwork, make sure you have enough workers on each shift, and the company goals are achieved.
Leading people means inspiring and encouraging them to do that on their own... getting them to give even more of themselves than asked... and to like it.
The best way to do that has always been to lead by example…
A few supervisors talk about it. The rare ones live it.