Is it a strategy or manipulation?

Several years ago I worked for an organization that invited several key customers to a meeting that would last several days.

The company invested a great deal of time and resources in the event, flying in the customers, planning the event, and entertaining them.

When the invitation was sent, the company said they wanted to better understand their customers’ needs and brainstorm ways to better meet them.

After the customers arrived, many were frustrated to discover that the company wasn’t really seeking to understand their needs at a higher level.  Instead the company was just asking for a rubber stamp on an action plan that had already been created.

A few short months later I began working with someone that consistently emphasized that great leadership is strategy.

At first, I saw this person share a big vision, arm people with the tools and the support they needed and then get out of their way.

However, as time passed I began to realize that this person often worked relationships to avoid dealing with their own weaknesses and to drive a personal agenda.

And I started to wonder…

This is what Webster has to say:

Strategy or Manipulation

This is what I’ve got so far…  

Manipulation  iStock_000012938004SmallThe definition of manipulate emphasizes:

  • Unfair
  • To ONE’s Advantage
  • To serve ONE’s purpose

StrategyWhile the definition of strategy emphasizes:

A SHARED goal that benefits a GROUP

Wow!  What a cool way to audit your own leadership and to help other leaders grow:

  • If you are working towards a shared goal that benefits OTHERS it is a Strategy.
  • If you are doing something to benefit YOURSELF it is Manipulation.

Please share:  What do those words stir up in you?  How do you discern the difference?  

Image credit:  iStock

Chery Gegelman is coming to  the U.S.A.

President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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