People tend to use the two terms “manager” and “Leader” interchangeably, but in reality they are two very different attributes. “Managers do the right things, leaders do the things right”, I read this statement once and it really summarizes the difference. Managers’ main aim is to maximize output of the organization and to achieve this they must: Plan, Organize, Staff, Direct and Control. Leadership is the most important quality to be able to direct.
How to become a leader?
It is partly a personal trait and partly acquired. Some people are inspiring by nature, if you see someone and you find yourself following his steps and eager to become like him, then you found a leader. To be able to train yourself to become a leader you must:
- Make people trust you and make them know that you are someone they can depend on.
- Set an example, do everything you want others to do. If you want your employees to come to office early, be the first one to arrive. If you want them to manage their time efficiently, set an example in time management and utilize your time to the best.
- Be approachable and accessible. No one is too important to listen to his team and help them out when needed. You must be available to be able to set the direction and lead.
- Praise on due time and criticize on due time. And do not take credit for your team’s work. Acknowledge their work with your customers and your managers.
- Know your team well and use the right way of communication with each member. A leader always knows how to reach to every member of his team and use the right way to communicate with him and get things done.
- Focus on achieving your goals. Do not force a way of working on your staff. Focus on getting things done in whatever way they choose. A leader cares for results not for the means used to reach those results.
- Make sure that every member of your team feels important. A leader makes every team member feel that he is very important to get things done. This way they become more motivated to exert more effort and excel.
- Take initiative to get things done. A leader inspires his team. By seeing him take initiative, they will start taking responsibility and getting things done.
- A leader has vision. You have to know your vision and share it with your team to be able to achieve results.