Why this article ?
During my professional carrier I observed that we have great scientists, great engineers, great artists and even greater salesman but the most overlooked and misunderstood skill I found at workplaces where I worked was Leadership.
The reason of this post is to clarify the difference between a manager and a leader. It's mostly observed at workplaces that unfortunately we prefer to become just a manager but merely a leader, forcing our subordinates to do what we want, without considering their motivation and proper appreciation.
How leadership differs from management?
It's not like both roles are mutually exclusive, a manager may or may not be a leader. Here I am not discussing personal management, what everyone of has to do, I am talking about People Management. Most often Manager is a designation given to you, while being a true leader is your choice. The core of a manager is to assign tasks to his subordinates, follow up on their tasks and then evaluate their performance. While a leader plays a lot more elegant roles, he mentors his team, gives them direction, keeps their morale high. A manager calls their subordinates "RESOURCES" while a leader never uses this word, he calls "MY TEAM".
To avoid a lengthy discussion, I would prefer to mention a checklist here, which may assist you in order to reconcile your personality, affirmative responses against the points mentioned below show a leadership oriented personality.
Being a manager you ....
1. consider yourself responsible for the performance of your team members
2. are eager to know what they think about you
3. are eager to know and ask frequently if they are comfortable with the task or role
4. are eager to listen their suggestions and opinions
5. are able to avoid favoritism based on personal likeness
6. support them instead of compete with your team members
7. insure that they have enough knowledge of the task before expecting any outcome
8. are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every single member
9. are well aware of the need hierarchy of every single member (click the link for details)
10. are not scared of their capabilities and/or performance (as against yours)
11. don’t want them to consider as always-right
12. are eager to learn from your team members
13. always appreciate their efforts regardless if failure occurs
14. share the credit with the team
15. are able to see if any team member exploits others or spoiling the team environments
16. take your team’s opinion before taking any decision
17. show your trust on them, avoiding unnecessary questions & letting them taking initiatives
18. keep your eye upon them but avoid annoying micro-management
19. not just with your words, you are sincere with your team by your heart, remember "being is seeing"
Obviously, there can be many more indicators, but these were those which I observed during my career, as essential characteristics of a leader. Though these points are apparently obvious, which I don't think require any further explanation, but in case of any doubt or need of clarification, I can give a practical example against each of the point.
Thanks for reading till the end.
It is an excerpt from my own blog.