Leader vs. Bureaucrat

The Bureaucrat knows everything
The Leader asks questions

The Bureaucrat values policy
The Leader values ideas

The Bureaucrat questions intentions
The Leader trusts people

The Bureaucrat fears failure
The Leader understands that without failure nothing great can be accomplished

The Bureaucrat adds complexity to process
The Leader seeks efficiency

The Bureaucrat listens to reply
The Leader listens to understand

The Bureaucrat wants certainty in decision making
The Leader analyzes incomplete information and decides on probable outcomes

The Bureaucrat gives orders
The Leader offers guidance, resources, and encouragement

The Bureaucrat asks: “How will this decision affect me?”
The Leader asks: “How will this decision impact our strategic objectives?”

The Bureaucrat sees a problem and starts a committee
The Leader takes ownership of the problem and its solution

The Bureaucrat tells you how they want it done
The Leader values outcome over process

The Bureaucrat focuses on protecting the status-quo
The Leader focuses on the mission and recognizes when change is necessary to achieve goals

The Bureaucrat believes subordinates’ accomplishments are their own
The Leader publicly acknowledges others’ accomplishments as belonging to them

The Bureaucrat is influenced by rumors and emotion
The Leader is influenced by data and strategy

The Bureaucrat seeks out subordinates that agree with their views
The Leader seeks out subject matter experts to challenge their views

The Bureaucrat avoids risk
The Leader accepts risk and measures it against potential reward

The Bureaucrat conflates responsibility with blame
The Leader accepts responsibility and does not blame

The Bureaucrat is forever concerned with the details
The Leader is concerned with vision and execution

The Bureaucrat’s effort is spent finding reasons why it cannot be done
The Leader’s effort is spent doing it

Be a leader. The world needs more of them.

This post was inspired by Charlie Bilello’s post: Pundit or Professional?