One of the questions that trouble the business world since the early days of business as we know it today has been the values that differentiate a Leader and a Manager. So what are the elements that seperate these two types and how can a manager become a great leader? The answer is simple, a good manager will make you believe he is important, while a great leader will make you believe you are important.
Leadership is about one thing, and that is elevating the people around you. The ultimate goal of a great leader is to help his people reach their potential and help them improve rather than showing them how great he is. Unfortunately if you can not achieve that than maybe you are not suited for leading people but that doesn’t mean that you can’t become a great leader. There are a few things you can work on in order to become one and here are some of them.
People Need to Feel Needed
Things are pretty simple. Imagine working for a business or an organisation and constantly feeling that you are not taken seriously therefore not needed. Now imagine working for the same business but all your thoughts and suggestions are taken under consideration. Maybe you have found yourself in this situation and maybe not, either way wouldn’t it feel much better if you felt important and wouldn’t you be more motivated resulting to being more productive in such a case. People have the need to feel needed and important, and when someone understands that and tries to improve it that is where he starts going from manager to great leader. Focus on making your people feel needed and you will notice the results soon enough.
First Listen, then Talk
Most of the people in managerial positions believe that their job is to constantly talk and to constantly guide people while also assigning them tasks describing every single move their subordinates must do in order to complete them. This couldn’t be more wrong once we understand the value of listening and the benefits that can occur from it. Great leaders will sit down and talk with their team, ask them about the challenges they face and listen to their thoughts and suggestions. Although you might believe that this will help leaders find more solutions to a problem the reality is that this will help more the people feel listened which automatically will make them more productive and motivate them to do a better job. After all people not only want to feel needed but also want to feel heard.
Ask for Feedback
A common misconception among managers is that they know everything and that even if they understand that they lack in some sort of aspect they can find the solution on their own. That is what makes them managers though and not great leaders. Great leaders understand that it is better to ask for an opinion from someone neutral that can observe things as a seperate party than trying to solve a problem on their own. Great leaders are not afraid of asking for feedback and do not have a complex syndrome that they might seem weak in front of their team if they don’t have the answer to everything while their ultimate goal is for their team to be successful.
Share Positive Comments
Finally a great difference between a manager and a great leader is the fact that the first one doesn’t reward his team and doesn’t show he’s appreciation whenever they achieve something while the other one focuses on this a lot. Productivity and Motivation are very important for business as usual nowadays and the matter of Mental Health is gaining more ground day by day in the workplace. This means that human psychology will play a massive role in business in the future and we can already notice it happening today. Great leaders understand that aspect of their employees and focus on positive reinforcement. Sharing positive comments and rewarding someone when he does a good job is very important. So instead of only telling your team off when they do something wrong also try to congratulate them when they do something right.
Leadership is a complex matter, and there has always been a debate if you are born a leader or made one. Some people are natural born leaders but as in everything in life the more you work on a goal the closer you get to it, so everyone can become a great leader as long as they put in the effort.