From the Editor: Leadership—What Is It?

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There is no contest between the company that buys the grudging compliance of its workforce and the company that enjoys the enterprising participation of its employees--Ricardo Sempler, owner of Semco Inc.

What makes a good leader? What is this elusive quality called "leadership"? Can it be acquired or do you have to be born with it? How important is it, anyway? "The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization," according to Improving Leadership Effectiveness by Fred Fiedler and Martin Chemers.

"What is the difference between management and leadership?" asks Changing Minds, a website devoted to aspects of leadership, sales, therapy, and other professions involving persuasion of others. "It is a question that has been asked more than once and also answered in different ways. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate the people who work for them, and this sets the tone for most other aspects of what they do."

The site continues, "Many people&are both. They have management jobs, but they realize that you cannot buy hearts, especially to follow them down a difficult path, and so act as leaders too."

O&P company owners, organization heads, and many others find themselves assuming a leadership role. What differentiates a leader from a manager and what enables effective leadership are explored in the feature article, "Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way: Leadership vs. Management in O&P," by Judith Philipps Otto.

Inspiring Role Models

Three people who have taken an inspiring role in leadership, paving a path for other persons with disabilities to follow in achieving their potential--winners of ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the ESPY "Best Male Athlete with a Disability"--are profiled in this issue.

New EDGE Department Debuts

A new department debuts in this issue! The "Legal EDGE," by attorney Sylvia A. Ezenwa, JD, provides vital help to O&P practitioners and facility owners in tackling the legal issues facing their practices. So be sure to check out the premiere article "The Cost of Destroying Electronic Records" .

And More...

Business metrics aren't just for the number crunchers: getting a handle on your business metrics can help you maximize your profits. Michael Alter tells you how in "You Can't Manage It If You Can't Measure It".

You'll enjoy following the career of O&P legend Ivan Long, CP (E), horse trainer turned prosthetist.

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) is 88 years young this year. Beginning in 1917 as the Artificial Limb Manufacturers and Brace Association (ALMBA), the organization changed its name to its present one in 1966.

This year's National Assembly promises to be, at press time, an event to remember, with a full program of business, clinical, legislative, and reimbursement sessions to help today's facility owners survive and thrive, plus the opportunity to earn 34 CE credits. Enjoy!