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How to Be a Leader, Not Just a Manager

Are you looking to take on a new role managing a team? Or are you looking to hone your leadership skills? Either way, this article provides you with helpful information on how you can be a leader and not just a manager to your team.

Have Clear Values

Make your values clear from the start to your team members, even if they don’t align with those of the company. Many leaders hold honesty, integrity, and respect in high regard while condemning deceptive communication. Your team should know your values and the repercussions of going contrary to them. So, they have a clear idea of where they stand, helping to improve your decision-making and results.

Build a Reputation

Consider this scenario. If you were looking to sign up for a resume writing website, you’d find out about its reputation using an online resume writing sites review. You make your final decisions on such a service based on their perception in the industry. The same rule of reputation being an influencing factor also applies in the corporate world.

Work towards achieving a stellar reputation among your colleagues and in the industry. How others perceive you will rub off on your team members.

Prioritize Listening over Talking

For many people, being a manager means always dishing out orders and guiding members. Such beliefs often have them doing more talking than listening, never understanding the value of the latter.

Always make it a point to hear your team members’ thoughts and ideas on various projects. You can ask questions or call their attention to concerns while giving them an audience to voice their views and opinions.

Be Open to Constructive Criticism

As a leader, you should always strive to be better, but most times, you’ll need a third-party view to achieve this feat. Be open to genuinely constructive criticism as it’s vital to perfecting your trade.

How can you improve on your speech delivery or pitching? Asking such questions would give the impression that you are relatable and approachable. Yes, praises are good, but learning how you can improve your skills is better.

Learn From Your Predecessors

There’s always a lesson you can learn from the past, and in the corporate world, it’s no different. Find out your predecessor’s most lauded and criticized policies. If you had the privilege of working with them, what do you think were their faults?

Give Positive Reinforcements

It would help if you didn’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcements. When your team members perform well, even if it’s their duty, you should take the time to tell them how great you value their contributions. Understand your members’ personality types and take the appropriate steps to motivate them. Nice words from people in power tend to encourage others, and it would be best to tap into such emotions.

It won’t cost you a thing to deliver some nice words, but it could mean a more efficient delivery on the next job. When their hard work gets overlooked, most people tend to lose motivation and the zeal to go the extra mile to accomplish the team goals. Worse, they can become depressed or resentful, thinking they aren’t valuable members of the team. So as a leader, it would help if you acknowledged their efforts as much as possible.

Make Your Team Feel Valuable

In scenarios where the board praises you on a successful campaign, try not to hog the spotlight. Instead, share it with your team, saying how they all helped in achieving the milestone. Have exemplary communication with your members, listening and implementing their ideas where relevant. And when you don’t, communicate to them how seriously you considered their pitch and why you had to go with a different pick.

Final Thoughts

“Your goal as a leader in helping your team reach their full potential and maximizing their skill set to achieve the company’s goals and objectives,” said Jacob Smith, an editor for one of the top online resume writing sites. You can develop or hone your leadership traits by emulating the following practices.

  • Learn from the Past
  • Be Optimistic
  • Truly Listen
  • Make Others Feel Valued
  • Model Positive Behaviour

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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