Leadership is more than hierarchy and position, and managers and leaders aren’t the same thing, according to Amanda Bullough, assistant professor of management at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.
Bullough and Bill Doherty III, vice president of Doherty Funeral Homes, were guest speakers at the Family Business Series event hosted by the Delaware Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Delaware Business Times.
Leadership is defined as “the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives,” Bullough said.
But transformational leadership demands individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation to be effective. She said public figures, from Vice President Joe Biden Jr. to entertainment mogul Beyonce, get their power from one or more of the following bases:
“You need basic managerial and skill and leadership ability in order to be effective,” said Bullough. “Who in your organizations has these skills already or can be coached to develop them?”
Effective leaders “… inspire, think beyond the status quo, are innovative … and lead by example,” she said.
Bill Doherty III is the third generation at Doherty Funeral Homes. After his grandfather suddenly handed the reigns to his dad during a family Christmas party, Doherty said he and father were intent on being more strategic.
He said his leadership role in the family business has expanded as he’s climbed the ranks, and he took good lessons from his dad and grandfather, who didn’t lose sight of the fact that the business provided the family first, community second.
And while he’s five or more years away from assuming the role of president, he tries to set the standard, be adaptable and delegate responsibility. “I find the team approach helps stoke that motivation in our staff,” said Doherty, of his staff of 15 full-time employees. “I always try to use the term ‘we’ instead of you and I –we‘re all pulling in the same direction.”