Although often used interchangeably, leadership and management often require different skills, talents and approaches to succeed. A manager may keep her department running smoothly and do everything according to company policy and guidelines but not have the respect and support of staff because of poor leadership skills.
Conversely, a leader may inspire and motivate her staff but never achieve the full potential of the group because she does not enforce company policies and apply proven business principles or systems.
Your challenge is to be a great leader and an excellent manager!
The following definitions provide some important perspective on leadership:
- Leaders are able to create a willing “following” for a given course of action.
- A “following” is people who willingly believe and commit themselves to achieve a common goal stated by the leader.
The ability to inspire people to this level of commitment and the required confidence is skill based. It is less about tactics, techniques, job title or positions of authority. The best leaders focus on developing and refining existing skills necessary for inspiring great performance.
Seven Attributes of Top Leaders
- Create a compelling vision and purpose
- Model the values and beliefs of the organization
- Earn the right to lead by building trust and support
- Generate enthusiasm and passion within followers
- Mentor and coach people to achieve
- Remove barriers to performance and achievement
- Freely give credit to others
If you are a leader, ask yourself “would I follow me?”. If you wouldn’t, then those around you won’t either. The adage for raising children of “habits are caught, not taught” applies to leadership as well.
Taking it to the next level
- Which of the seven steps do you need to focus on?
- What skills or abilities do you need to move up to the next level of leadership?
- Do you have a few trusted advisors that speak truthfully to you and tell you what you need to hear but may not want to hear?
- Do you have the courage and commitment to act?
People are more impressed and influenced by what you do than what you say.