A manager has specific duties within an organization which are to set goals for the group, decide what work needs to be done to meet these goals, divide the work among team members, and oversee the daily tasks to make sure they are being accomplished. The problem is that, in recent years, the role of a manager has become blurred. We have been conditioned to believe that these duties separate managers from leaders, as though the two are completely different positions. This has unfortunately left us with managers who cannot lead and leaders who cannot manage. The truth is, management and leadership must overlap in order to be efficient and productive. In other words, managers must also be leaders if they want to be truly successful. In order to accomplish this, one must learn how to infuse leadership into their managerial role. After all, if you want people to follow you, you must know how to lead, and here are a few ways to do that.
Managers often set tasks and guidelines and expect their team members to follow them exactly. However, if things aren’t working, a manager is quick to assume his/her team members must be doing something wrong. A leader, on the other hand, knows how to evaluate the situation and make changes where necessary. Even if things are working, a leader is always looking for ways to do it better. They embrace change and are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to be productive.
There is nothing wrong with setting short-term goals and this is even a necessity at times. However, managers often rely only on short-term goals and fail to look at the distant goal. Leaders are willing to invest time and hard work even if it means the payoff is nowhere in sight. They continue to strive for long-term results and stay motivated toward reaching the bigger goal at the end.
Keep Learning and Growing
Managers often train their employees to complete current tasks. They feel like once their employees are fully competent in their area, they can accomplish their daily tasks and ultimately be successful. Conversely, leaders do not rely solely on existing skills. They are always seeking opportunities to learn and grow, and they provide opportunities for their employees to do so as well.
Stop Directing and Start Coaching
Managers typically assign tasks and expect their employees to accomplish them by following their specific directions. Leaders, however, take the time to coach and guide their employees. They act as a mentor to their employees and invite them to discuss their challenges or concerns. Likewise, they trust their employees to do their job without micromanaging every single detail.
Leaders have faith in their employees and look at them as competent professionals. Every manager should feel the same way and allow their employees to handle responsibilities on their own. A leader knows that they are not experts on everything, and they delegate tasks to employees who might be stronger in that area. They empower their employees by delegating tasks and they offer support and guidance along the way. This makes the employees feel valued and it develops a sense of trust between the manager and the employee.
Lead with Honesty and Integrity
These are arguably the two most important qualities for any leader. If you want to manage people well, you must be a person of high integrity. How could you possibly expect your employees to be honest if you are not honest yourself? This means holding yourself to the same standards that you set for your employees and leading them by example.