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Are You a Leader or a Manager?

By Peter Fisher

If it is your aim to move from simply being a manager to being a true leader, you will find out here how to go about it.

When you become a 'Leader' your word is your bond - you must know that when you speak, you will fulfill your promise to others and others will know they can depend on you. Think before you speak. Make a habit of under-promising and overdelivering. Always keep your promises. Think about the kind of person you would want to deal with and be that person yourself.

Leadership -v- Power

Don't make the mistake of associating supervisory positions, or seats of power, with leadership. This presumes that these two things are synonymous and while this can be the case, leadership and power are wholly separate issues. In reality, even if you are the boss, you may not have all of the power, or be capable of handling it, even if you did possess all of it.

For a while, we were told leadership was all about setting clear objectives and holding people accountable. Then the pendulum swung away to focus on "soft" leadership skills, such as empowerment, coaching and mentoring.

Of course, the reality is both are necessary. But that's usually too subtle a message for consulting firms. You won't catch them recommending free common sense as a solution, when they can offer you expensive and frequently more simplistic techniques. Consider this thought: mangers tend to push, while leaders tend to pull.

Ask for help.

If like many of us, you find asking for help difficult, allow yourself to reveal a certain amount of vulnerability. You may feel as if you are admitting a weakness that the world would not have known about, but asking for help shows you to be big enough to acknowledge that others hold information you value. And that can be quite motivating for the information-holder.

Thus you will discover that people who are able to deliver well-positioned requests for help are seen as very strong individuals. When you demonstrate the humility to ask for help, you earn the respect of others. Recipients of a heartfelt request for help are usually honoured by the request. In turn, we are strengthened by the very help that is provided. To make a habit of asking for help is to strengthen your leadership.

To be a Leader is not to be self-centred. You care about the interest of others. You will usually be a 'great servant' in the sense of providing a service of leadership. Even though in a high position, the leader doesn't mind serving other people.

You should write down your goals so you know where to reach them. You can not reach a goal that doesn't exist. When you see your goal written down, you will be able to see it and to reach for it. Can you imagine a game of snooker without the pockets to aim the ball? People know that they are great players because they know how to hit the target accurately. Without a target, how can anyone tell whether you have hit your target accurately? You must have clear, definite, written-down goals of your life if you want to become a great leader!

I believe with all my heart that you can be a real leader. Nobody is born a leader, but a great leader can be made! Apply these principals in your life and you will see a big difference and change in your life. Take steps each and every that will take you where you want to go, it's better than standing still and doing nothing.

Peter Fisher is an expert Author, Management Consultant and Publisher. He coaches individuals and groups undergoing career change. Everything from deciding what you want to do and how to do it, by way of personal presentation to interview questions and answers are covered on the main website at http://www.your-career-change.com For leadership resources visit his consulting site at http://www.definition-of-leadership.com

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Read even more information and help with deciding if you are a Leader or Manager from Peter Fisher Career Consultant

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Are You a Leader or a Manager?


President Ike Eisenhower once demonstrated the difference between leadership and management to his cabinet by putting a piece of string in a straight line on the conference table. He then asked one of the attendees to put his finger on one end of the string and push it. The string, of course, bunched up in an ugly bundle. He then asked the man to pull the string with his finger on one end. The string straightened up in a nice neat line and followed the finger across the table. "This", said Ike "is the difference between managing and leading."

I love this visual example and use it often. Managing people is often pushing them to do what you want them to do. People resist being pushed and if you manage this way you usually end up with a chaotic organization. Leadership, on the other hand, is pulling people with you. When you pull people they usually follow and following the leader is what we really want out of our team.

How do you get people to follow you rather than resist? The two words that will help you the most are Honesty and Integrity. Have a clear vision of where the company is going. As corny as it sometimes sounds, a good, clear and well communicated mission statement wouldn't hurt either. Encourage your staff to set career and personal goals. Let them know when you are proud of them. Be interested in how your team thinks things can improve and let them express those ideas.

Mike Shannon is the owner of Shamrock Business Coaching, a coaching practice that helps business owners increase profits. You can visit Shamrock Business Coaching on the web at: http://www.ShamrockCoaching.com.

 

Leadership is best defined by the quality of your thoughts, decisions and actions. It is also underpinned by the quality of the tools you use in your role. Be seen to bring true leadership to your organization and act with the authority that it brings to you.

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