For many of our clients they have to be both at the same time, and if you are naturally a leader or naturally a manager you will have to learn new skills. Our extreme listening sessions enable people to develop both roles with ease. The article below has been provided by Allison Galbraith our Leadership Specialist Extreme Listening Facilitator I hope you enjoy.
How to move from Manager to Leader
The key difference between a Manager and a Leader is that the Leader sets the vision, then the Manager manages the journey towards that vision by controlling the processes and people necessary to make the journey a success.
For a leader to create a vision, they need to have vision, to see what comes after the thing that comes after the thing that comes after today. And in order to have vision, they need to challenge the norms and challenge the now. To understand why we do what we do today and what needs to be different to make change happen – Mikhail Gorbachev, for instance, who introduced ‘perestroika’ and ‘glasnost’ which changed the world.
So if you are a manager looking to move towards leadership, my suggestions for starting are:-
– create a vision for your own area of responsibility (this could be your business or your family) – one that you and others can follow
– empower others. By self-definition, a leader has followers. And if the vision is to be achieved it needs to be shared effectively, which means empowering your followers. And the way to empower is to listen and trust
– build relationships with others which will result in them believing in you and your vision and make it easy for them to follow you. Building those relationships can include:-
- being open, let them see your vulnerability
- be fair, they might not like your message sometimes, but they will accept it better if it is coming from the heart
- filling up the bucket of goodwill between you. When you need to ask for extra effort or have bad news to deliver, the success of your delivery will be easier if your goodwill bucket is flowing over. And the way to make that happen? Give praise when due, celebrate success, listen to people, show them you understand and care and give them what they want when they want it as far as possible
– look for ways to influence the vision created by the leaders in your community/business – get used to challenging
– have robust processes and procedures in place that ensure the smooth running of your business. In his book ‘Coaching High Performance Teams’, Grant Ledgerwood quotes one of Nelson’s Trafalgar Principles – ‘Practice and drill can turn every challenge into fluent strength’.
In other words, the more stable your operational base, the more you are freed up to be pro-active. And pro-activity is a key element of leadership.
have courage. One of our best known leaders, Richard Branson, says “My phrase over the years has been – Screw it, just do it, because to succeed as a business leader, you must have the bravery to give it a go. One needs resolve and conviction to overcome hurdles and give people confidence to follow you.”
I would love to hear if any of those statements made you think, yeah right it is easier said than done.
Thanks for listening