How To Go From Being a Manager To a Leader
If you are currently a manager, it is likely you have been trained rational methods for managing employees. You probably use reason, logic, and a bunch of other techniques which are rational. While these skills are good for someone who wants to be a manager, they are not good for someone who wants to be a great leader.
To become a leader, being logical is not enough. You must know how to influence those that follow you. Numerous studies have shown that emotional intelligence is much more important than logic when it comes to being a successful leader.
The problem with most management training programs is that an emphasis is placed on logic, while emotional intelligence is pushed to the side. While there are some training programs available which deal with emotional intelligence, they are quite complicated. However, there are some simple things you can do to enhance your emotional intelligence. The first thing you will want to do is learn how to inspire and motivate people. Once you learn how to do this, you will go from being a simple manager to a leader. If you are like many managers, you probably don’t have the time to go through the long training programs for emotional intelligence.
If you study history, most great leaders did not take training programs to learn emotional intelligence. They had something inside them that made them the people they were. It is these elements that allowed them to become great leaders, and it is the same elements that can allow you to become a great leader as well. One of these elements is focus. You should stop and ask yourself if you are focused. How much time do you spend working towards your goal? How much time do you spend motivating others? To be a good leader, you will need to be married to the work you do. It must be the focal point of your life.
It is difficult to succeed if you are only moderately interested in your work, or you view it as just being a job. Many people fail to succeed because they have the wrong thoughts. You must have a vision, and you must be focused when it comes to achieving it. Another mistake that many managers make is wearing a mask. They are one person at work, and they completely change into someone else when they go home. A great leader must be authentic. The persona that you display at home should be the one you display everywhere. If you want people to follow you, they must be able to trust you. If you where a mask, you will send out a signal that you are deceptive, and this will make people think you are not trustworthy.
Another thing you will want to look at is courage. How brave are you when it comes to your beliefs and principles? If they are challenged, can you defend them? A good leader will hold onto their beliefs until they can be proven wrong. A good leader will always understand how to balance empathy. While you will want to show some empathy, too much can be damaging. Another aspect of a good leader is someone who knows how to make decisions within a short period of time. You should never be indecisive. Once you make a decision, you should stick to it. If you present your decision to your employees, and change your mind later on, this will convey a message that you are incompetent, and your followers will lose their trust in your ability to lead.
No one wants to be managed. But most people do want to be led. There is a difference between the two concepts, and many managers fail to understand this. People don’t like being managed because it implies that they are children that can’t fend for themselves. This is a common problem that many managers have with employees. Instead of "managing" an employee, a leader will inspire them to excel at whatever task they are engaged in, and will help them succeed. This is the difference between the two. Once you understand this, you will become less of a manager and more of a leader.