Managing and leading are two distinctively different roles. However, a good manager can also be termed as a leader; though their roles and responsibilities are quite different. It is because they have the same visionaries and qualities that can be found in a leader. A manager of such qualities can be rightly given the title of a leader. Now, the question that this article deals with is, “can a manager become a leader or become better leaders?”
You become a true leader the moment you shed your natural managerial tendencies and move to leading people by example and clear vision. You must be able to see more than just your responsibilities of managing a team, you must be able to ideate new avenues for the team to grow and plans that will benefit the team and the company as a whole.
Here are some of the ways that you, as a manager, can become a better leader:
- From managing people to leading people
To become a better leader, you need to have better people skills. You will have to strengthen the relationship that you have with others in order to lead a team as trust is the foundation of building a strong team.
Managing a team is good when you need to do a job done, but to earn respect while getting the job done is by leading a team. Leading a team is to understand it well and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each member. A good leader always does his/her homework by knowing which member is good at which area and utilises resources to make the team more efficient.
- From reaching a goal to reaching a vision
Managers are focussed in completing the tasks in hand, while leaders have a more open mind and think beyond the goals. True leaders have visions of creating ways to make the whole team feel involved passionately in taking initiatives that affect the business positively. They are the very embodiment of the core values that the organisation represents, defining various paths for the team and the organisation to grow together; to achieve success often.
- From achieving your personal goals to inspiring others
Leaders are not just worried about achieving their personal goals but also work towards a path that can inspire others to reach their personal goals as well. They will work with the team to understand the weaknesses of the members and will discuss with them how they can strengthen those areas.
As a manager, you can become a better leader by knowing their team’s ambitions, desires and their personal goals. Such leaders motivate people so that they can improve themselves, which will help in improving the business in turn.
- Do not just give feedback, accept as well
To become a better leader, you need to understand that feedback should be a bi-directional activity. As much as you want to give feedback to others, you must be open to receive it as well. Feedback in a constructive manner can shape both the team and your leadership strategies.
Once in a while, you need to ask your team, “how to become a better leader?” and give them the freedom to offer their opinions. Is there something missing that the team expects from you? This will open up a lot between you and the team. This will help to improve the trust and also they will rise to your expectations as you rose up to their expectations.
- Focusing on ‘what to do’ instead of ‘how to do’
Managing is all about telling how to do and what to do. But if you want to be a better leader, then you need to focus more on telling your team members on what they need to do instead of telling them how to do their work. Encourage your team members to come up with innovative ideas to do the job and be creative. Ask them for suggestions to achieve team goals. This will make them feel appreciated and also let them participate instead of showing off that you are the smartest person in the team.
There are always different ways to become a better leader, but the main thing is to do things differently. Challenge the status quo and be a maverick in the things that you do.
There are various leadership courses that can help you be that better leader that you are always looking to become. This will help you find a better position in your organisation as well. Always be determined and make sure you follow the above tips.
Hasib Ahmed is a professional writer associated with learning.naukri.com. He has written a number of articles related to technology, marketing, and career on various blogs and websites. As an amateur career guru, he often imparts nuggets of knowledge related to leadership and motivation through different media. He is also an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football. Follow him on Twitter.