Webinar Training Topics
Managing team members means overseeing your subordinates. Creating systems, designating tasks and expecting results in return is the way in which a manager operates. Those working under a manager will do what they are told, not because of any blinding devotion, but in expectation of a reward, be it money, accolades or a possible promotion.
In contrast, the most obvious and apparent indicator of a leader is one who has followers. A leader does not have people below them but rather people behind them. Those who work for a true leader are constantly encouraged and inspired, and this is the driving factor behind their work. When you have followers instead of subordinates, they will strive to go above and beyond to achieve a goal, will stay loyal to you through the ups and downs, and will, most importantly, place their trust in you.
When a manager is considering how best to achieve his or her goals, they are usually concerned with sustaining whatever it is they are managing. That is to say, they think of the best ways to maintain the system in which they find themselves. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with this, it does not leave much room for advancement or expansion.
If you are only concerned with how to keep things running the same way, you will become stagnant and, consequently, invite others to surpass you. A leader is someone who is constantly looking forward. They are innovators who possess a growth mindset and are not comfortable with simply performing at the same level.
Managers sustain what they have while leaders shift and change to take their team to the next level. Leaders who grow people and organizations know that and try to become more agile each day. When a leader is in charge, they will strive to venture into uncharted territory and reach heights that others may not even think possible.
A good manager knows how to work within a system and ensure that others are doing the same. With that being said, their main concern is to perfect the system and then to work different people into it. On the other hand, leaders put people first and create systems to support the people themselves. Leaders have the ability to relate with and understand people. This skill means that they can get the best out of those that they work with, and adjust the system accordingly.
Focusing on the team members who are actually doing the work gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and potential that a set of rules, company policy or handbook, could never provide.
A manager serves an important role and is vital to organizational success, but a true leader is invaluable. Knowing the difference between the two is imperative. If you can recognize and understand what it takes to be a leader, you can then use that knowledge to develop your own leadership skills as well as the skills of the people around you.
It is important to realize that although these traits can and should be found in every leader, there is no universal handbook to leadership. We are all individuals with our own backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is inevitable that everyone’s leadership style will be different. Herein lies the beauty of leadership. To be a proper manager, you must follow the rules and keep the order as best as possible. To be a leader, however, you have to think creatively, add your own personal flair and inspire as many people to join you as possible along the way!