I’ve had many opportunities in the last decade to observe the people around me and the truth is it isn’t hard to separate the managers from the leaders. Most assume that because they have a manger title they are a leader. Some even assume having that title makes them a good leader. That is rarely true and I can tell you that I have seen many managers who were bad leaders take a business down.
Manager: A person responsible for controlling or administrating all or part of a company or similar organization. A person in charge of activities.
Leadership: both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.
Let’s face it anyone can be a manager. Should a manager have great leadership skills? Yes, of course! Just because you’re a manager does that mean you are a leader? Not even a little bit.
First and foremost a leader must have passion and vision about what they are leading. If you don’t believe in the core value of the business your team will not either.
A leader is someone who can give you constructive criticism and direction in one breath and motivate you to succeed with that knowledge in another. A leaders lets you see the passion they have for their job and team and makes the people they are leading become just as passionate about it. They are uplifting when they need to be and firm while holding everyone accountable to their jobs. A good leader will push you to be your best and not be satisfied with anything less.
A good leader knows that the people are the key to their success. If their team fails they fail also. They realize the strengths and weaknesses of each person on their team and know exactly how to work with each person to ensure they succeed.
A leader will earn the respect of their team by respecting the team. They will be available to talk through issues and help with problems. They will realize that it always isn’t about telling someone what they should do but sometimes guiding them to get there on their own.
A good leader will be knowledge about their business and always be learning more so they can in turn educate their team. Knowledge isn’t something to be kept inside secret. Information and knowledge about the business must be taught and shared and communicated effectively so that the team can function properly.
These are all qualities of being a good leader. Now ask yourself , is this you?