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Those that manage a team may or may not be a leader. Being a manager doesn’t automatically mean you are able to lead a team.
There is a distinct difference in the two. Managers are those that meet deadlines and get their job done in a timely way. While vital to any company, a manager can take their role a step further if they learn how to lead too.
Leaders have the ability to stretch their team and bring them to a new level. They help them with a vision and ways to achieve their roles.
If you want to go from a manager to a leader, then do the following:
1. A leader does whatever it takes.
Leaders don’t let anything stand in their way of completing the task set before them. They will jump in to help with anything, regardless of whether it is part of their job description. For example, they will do the late evening filing, go for a lunch run on behalf of the team, and come in early to be sure that the day starts off on the right track. A true leader simply wants the job to get down and to preserve the team’s time and strength if at all possible.
You can exhibit this quality and willingness to a team member by offering them a hand with projects. They will appreciate the fact that you are willing to help and you’ll gain more of their respect too.
2. A leader truly listens.
Leaders will get everyone involved that is in the room or a part of a meeting. They know that it is essential for buy-in and want to hear from others. The strength of the team is evident when they feel valued, considered and appreciated. Try and listen and you’ll learn much about your team and what you need to do as a whole.
3. A leader stands the test of time.
Leaders should be able to keep fit emotionally in the business world. In other words, they should be able to stand the test of time. This is key because it means that you can weather the ups and downs of business. Your team needs to see that versatility in you so that they have the confidence that is required to succeed and stretch their limits.
4. A leader knows to get outside what seems comfortable.
When you lead a team or group, you need to get comfortable with things that are uncomfortable. Leaders will stand out from the rest of the group. They will be able to define the goals, set a plan, and give the vision to others. While uncomfortable, it is essential if you want to lead.
Being a manager is great, but if you couple that skill with leadership, then you really have something. Your team will appreciate your efforts and you’ll see that it’s worth it to get out of your comfort zone and both manage and lead.
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