There have been many articles written about leadership and management. In my opinion one is not necessarily better than another. In fact, I believe that in most organizations having competent management is just as important as having great leadership.
I do believe that it’s important for you to understand the difference between the two and honestly identify which one you are. Oh, and by the way, it’s more than possible to have a combination of the two. You can be manager as well as a leader.
Here are four things that you might want to have as personality traits if you’re a leader:
You must be honest. People know when you’re not telling the truth. If you want to be a leader or a great manger honesty is an important trait. Honesty means telling people with compassion when they need changes in their behavior.
I use congruency as interchangeable word with honesty. An honest leader is congruent in their talk and actions. You can tell when you have an honest leader if they walk their talk.
You must be forward looking. Leaders must look into the future. They have to be able to effectively see where their world is going and help others go to a similar place.
Leaders are not especially gifted at putting together the steps for getting there, but they are gifted at pointing the way. A great manager is gifted at putting together and monitoring the steps. In this area of life a leader will be out front and a great manager will help you get there.
You must be inspiring. A great leader has passion. In fact, they have so much passion that it’s easy for them to lead through their enthusiasm. I’ve never met a leader who’s not enthusiastic about their thing, whatever that thing is.
When things go bad, as all plans do, passion can help bridge the gap. It helps those who get discouraged stay the course. Having vision and communicating that vision with passion is the realm of a great leader.
You must be competent. Competence is a key element for both managers and leaders, but in a different way. No one wants to follow anyone who’s not competent at what they do.
There are both incompetent managers and leaders. They might find followers to start, but at some point these leaders will lose their followers. Managers who are not competent will often end up being fired because their results are poor. Look at those who achieve great results and you will often see either a competent leader or manager. In great organizations you’ll find both.
Do you ever think about whether you’re a manager or leader? Or, are you both in different situations. I think private business owners often have to develop both skills to truly be successful.
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