Are You a Leader or Just a Manager? Learn the Difference

by | May 13, 2021 | Leadership

Management doesn’t equal leadership. The difference is prioritizing people. A manager who is solely focused on the business doesn’t take the time to know their employees and may view them as interchangeable. A leader builds trusting relationships, encourages employee development and sees their team members as unique individuals with varying strengths and weaknesses.

Lead by Sharing Emotion

Leading with emotions is no longer a nice feature in managers – it should be required. Most people desire a culture of authenticity surrounding them. One way to create this on your team is to build a rapport and demonstrate your skills personably by showing your emotions. Don’t be cold and impersonal. This management style is outdated. Leaders aren’t dictators or know-it-alls. People may tolerate you to your face, but do they actually respect you?

Sharing emotion isn’t always easy. It can feel odd to be vulnerable at work – especially if it is uncommon at your company. People will notice. It makes a difference when employees feel comfortable being themselves. When we are inclusive, transparent, and empathetic it encourages teamwork, employee development, and sharing ideas openly. Being selective, over-critical, and closed off creates hard lines and disconnect that lead to decreased job satisfaction and performance.

Manage Business Outcomes Through People

It isn’t a leader’s job to micromanage everyone on a task or project. Focus on developing your employees skills to work autonomously. Practice delegating tasks to develop the skills of your team. Show that it’s ok to make mistakes. You value learning and growth over perfection.

Being a manager is a great opportunity. People learn the most from their immediate management. Use the opportunity to lead your employees the right way. Be warm and kind. People may not remember all the advice you give them, but they will remember how they felt around you.

[A good manager does more than assign tasks]

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