There’s no denying managers are busy people, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to stop and think about whether we’re also being a good leader. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is how employees are motivated – a manager has people who
work for them, and a leader has people who follow them. Most managers can be great leaders but to do this successfully and achieve your desired results, a solid understanding of both roles is essential.
Good managers need the right people on their team and ensure employee excellence is recognised and rewarded immediately. A
manager needs to clearly define objectives and expectations, convey a genuine wish to see their staff grow and succeed, as well as recognize
individual’s learning styles. By identifying if someone is an analyser, doer or imitator, you can adjust your management style so both of you can grow in the workplace.
Exceptional management is not just about how you handle employees, it also has a lot to do with how you
manage yourself. Think back to the best work day you’ve had in the last three months. Why did you enjoy it? Now remember your worst day and how you felt. Is there anything you could have done to improve the situation? If you take the time to study your reactions to certain
situations, you may find ways to increase your chances of having more positive days. This is all part of the learning process, and by discovering what works and how you earn best, your experiences can help your management of staff and positively influence how you make decisions
and handle difficult situations in the future. If a manager turns someone’s individuals talents into high performance through genuine interest in their success, then what does a great leader do? Successful leaders know humans have five universal commonalities. These are:
• Fear of death – we need security
• Fear of being the outsider – we need a strong
• Fear of chaos – we need authority
• Fear of insignificance – we need respect
• Fear of the future – we need clarity
By recognising these needs, a leader can tap into people’s emotions and inspire them to get on board. Most leaders have a single-minded vision about the future and a sincere wish for those involved to share in a better outcome for everyone. If a leader can clearly communicate what this improved future will be, people will naturally follow and help out in any way they can.
For a leader to be successful there needs to be time for analysis and reflection. Leadership education is a must, as even the most natural leaders need guidance every now and again. The leader needs to reinforce this bright new future with words, images, and stories that will appeal and inspire followers. The message must be clear — expectations need to be defined, current performance monitored, and a way to establish future performances must be developed. This clarity is what encourages others to follow willingly and the best way to get there is by asking hard questions, such as:
• Where are we now?
• Where do we want to go?
• How does this create a better place for all?
• How can we measure this success?
• What actions can we do today?
• How can this be communicated consistently, using the
Every great manager has the potential to be a successful leader. To have a faithful group of supporters helping your business grow and prosper is reward in itself but changing the worlds of many – for the better – is the most satisfying of all.
Final thought: Set some time aside and go through the leadership questions above. Once you have answers you’re happy with, put all this into practice and gauge the reaction of your employees. Chances are you’ll gain some followers willing to help you realise your vision.