It’s long been taught that managers should simply manage and forget about the whole leadership thing. Position alone is enough to get people to do what you want right? Well, yes and no. If you really want to develop a team that produces well, you need to move beyond management mode and develop your leadership capacity. Here are a few differences between management and leadership. Identify which of them you feel you could improve upon the most?
Self-awareness is key to good leadership. Managers don’t always have a great sense of self because they aren’t necessarily concerned with how much influence or respect they have. They believe that their position only is enough to get people to do what they want. To a degree that’s true, however, getting obedience based on fear is never the way to get the greatest return in the long run. The ideal scenario would be that your subordinates cooperate out of respect for who you as their superior. Only a leader can achieve that. Leaders are able to get this level of influence and respect because they evaluate themselves and are willing to change. They move beyond merely completing a task onto creating a bond with those under them and helping them to grow and be motivated to follow them into the future.
Great leaders teach people to do what they are doing. This is a risk that managers are often not willing to take because of the fear of being replaced. If someone were to learn to do your job better than you, then you’d get the axe. Right? Wrong. Leaders actually elevate themselves when they elevate others. The more you empower others to do what you’re doing, the higher level of authority and responsibility you will be entrusted with by your superior.
True leaders are willing to let others rise to the top. Leaders put their trust in others and empower them to do great things. Often employees never reach their true potential because they are never given the freedom to really put their cards on the table. Managers will often stifle creative and fresh ideas while leaders will let their subordinates run with their ideas and then help them to succeed at what they set out to do and give them all the credit.
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