“Stop Managing, Start Leading” by Hamza Khan


After reading Chapter 1, you will notice that change is inevitable.  For this assignment, you will view a video that might challenge some of the text you just read or what you’ve experienced in the workplace thus far — or perhaps not.

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Here’s an example for number 1.  I am using this example because it relates to work, but it isn’t directly related.  Many of us have experiences that we can and should draw from when we create or enhance our communication style.  These experiences may come from a church group, scouts, summer job flipping burgers, or a professional position you’ve already have.  But when it comes to communication, feel free to draw from a wide variety of experiences.

Many years ago about 60 middle-school to high school aged kids were in music camp, specifically orchestra camp (Yes, there is such a thing!).  There were several music teachers, but the most senior director’s communication approach was largely one of intimidation — yelling, throwing batons at the kids, and so on.  It wasn’t a positive experience.

One afternoon, when we had practiced in the orchestra for probably a couple of hours after an already long day, the director could not get us to do what she wanted.  Music directors do communicate.  They tell the orchestra members what to do and how to do it by their eyes, mouths, and hands, often using a baton.  Direction is mostly nonverbal.  For whatever reason, these teenagers just didn’t care that much any more, even though they wanted to avoid the director’s wrath.  All of the sudden, the director became so frustrated, she jumped up, and gave her baton to another music teacher who was standing to the side.  She said, “You try!”  Well, the teacher to whom she turned over her baton taught each of us, as well.  But she did so, always, with a smile and a gentle hand or word of encouragement.  So, imagine what happened….

After decades, I can still see this teacher sitting down on the director’s stand and lifting her baton.  Every single musician immediately sat up straight, got into the correct position, and did exactly what she wanted us to do.  And when we were done, the original director did have a sense of what had gone wrong…..  One teacher communicated effectively, and one did not.  One achieved the needed result, and one did not.  One led by a successful, positive example, and the other did not.


Respond to the following prompts:

1. Think to a past or present leader that you know (boss, manager, coach, teacher, and so on).  If asked for assistance, why would you give this leader your best?

2. Look back at Chapter 1, then consider Hamza Khan’s approach to management.  How has the business world made a huge shift with regard to the physical workplace and communication?  How has that affected the role of managers?  Khan states that we should not manage people — that we should lead them?  Why is this change necessary? Explain and provide details/examples.


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