AFS chairman's welcome: the legacy of leadership.
-John F. Kennedy This is a quote I have used during this past year in which I have served as chairman of AFS in addressing many of the Society's local and regional conferences. It is a thought, I believe, that is probably more true today than it was when our young president shared it with us in 1960.
Leadership is a subject that is not only vital to the health and future of our industry, but to our country as well. its implications include our long-term survival particularly in this time of intense international competition. Effective leadership might be defined as an influence "that produces movement in the long-term best interest of the group."
During this past year, for example, the North American foundry industry demonstrated its leadership when it agreed to unite the programs and services of the AFS and American Cast Metals Association. This was not a particularly easy decision for many who had strong attachments to one group or the other. The committee, which worked diligently to bring the various parties together, was well aware of this and was able to get all involved to agree that the merger would be best for the industry in the long run.
But beyond the industry and AFS, I believe that true leadership starts at home-in our plants and offices. I am speaking of our everyday relationship with our employees-the people that make our businesses work. My overriding belief is that people are led, not managed. The difference between a leader and a manager is fundamental, The manager maintains, the leader develops. The manager relies on systems, the leader relies on people. The manager counts on control, the leader counts on trust, The manager does things right, the leader does the right things.
Leadership is the quality of inspiring people to perform beyond standard expectations. it lays the groundwork for high individual self worth and results in people who want to belong to an organization. The first significant step that you must take in becoming an effective leader is to forget personnel. You have people in your organization,
The qualities that lead to strong leadership are effective communication, focused attention, consistent actions, expressed concerns for people and the ability to create sensible risks and opportunities that involve others. A good example of how an effective leader demonstrates his commitment to his people is by allowing them-in fact encouraging and supporting them-to become involved in activities outside their immediate job responsibilities. To go beyond the walls of their offices and plants to grow in their jobs, in their communities and in their lives,
One example of empowering our people in their jobs is encouraging them to take part in industry meetings and supporting their participation. The upcoming 95th AFS Casting Congress is a perfect start. The annual Congress is regarded as the most important technical metalcasting meeting in the foundry industry worldwide. Your willingness to expose your people to this level of technical expertise and then allowing them to bring back and incorporate what they've learned into their job demonstrates many of the traits of an effective leader: vision, charisma, innovation, concern, trust and tolerance.
Don't be just a manager, be a leader. Now, more than ever, our businesses, our industry and our country need leaders. The development of a person's potential to its fullest is the true legacy of leadership.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||95th AFS Casting Congress|
|Date:||Apr 1, 1991|
|Previous Article:||Leadership, technology: keys to success.|
|Next Article:||1991 AFS gallery of awards.|