Quality professionals as leaders…


Bill Troy discusses quality professionals as leaders this month in the latest View From the Q post.

“The idea is this: Every quality professional, a leader.”

This sounds great, no doubt.  But, I don’t buy into the idea that everyone needs to be a leader. I think it’s possible you can equally contribute in profound ways even if you’re not.  But, I’m confident we could have a conversation that would conclude the definition of leadership in general is somewhat subjective.  To simplify things, I’m thinking about something Drucker said here, “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”

And, then we must consider Deming in regards to “quality is everyone’s responsibility.”

But, I would absolutely agree regarding the necessity for leadership at the management level. Troy did clarify later in his post:

“Simply put, the quality professional, wherever he or she may be and at whatever level of management, must be a leader to be effective.”

That vision and drive found in leaders is exactly what we need to get quality into the C-suite.  It’s that formulation of attributes that will be required for the powers that be to see and support the overall quality initiative and focus. As quality professionals, maybe we just need to be better communicators?

One of the questions I always include in management exams is whether or not all managers are leaders.  I’ve received all kinds of interesting responses. And, I also revert back to Drucker:

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Troy concludes the post asking if I think I’m a quality leader and inquiring about what kind of training I’ve received.  This leads me inevitably to Trait Theory. I’m just not so sure leadership is the result of training. Are leaders ultimately born or made? It’s an existential debate I enjoy… Stogdill defined the following traits and skills as critical to leaders:


But, I’ll conclude with this though:

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” —Peter Drucker

And, we do need quality professionals to get results!

Leadership quotes you can’t resist:

25 Great Leadership Quotes (Business News Daily)

75 Inspiring Quotes You Need to Know About Leadership (Inc.)

100 Best Quotes on Leadership (Forbes)

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