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Leadership vs. Management: Becoming a Strong Leader

Being a leader is about more than knowing your business. It's about knowing yourself, your team and your opportunities. Managers get things done, but leaders do the right things.

 

It's a combination of perspective, attitude and hard work that will make you a leader. As Warren G. Bennis explained, "Leaders are made rather than born." You'll need focus, determination and dedication to stick to the task of developing your true leadership potential.

 

What Is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?

 

You probably already know the personal skills and attributes you have to work with. You know what's in your bag. Next, try to determine whether you're using these tools to inspire positive change — or to maintain the status quo.

 

First, you have to know the difference between managing and leading. Here's how the two compare:

 

·         Managers create schedules. Leaders create goals.

·         Managers work with tasks. Leaders work with people.

·         Managers teach people how to do things. Leaders show people what must be done.

·         Managers issue directives. Leaders give direction.

 

There's probably a place for management in your organization. You may even have to carry out some of the duties yourself. Double-checking numbers, managing your bottom line, overseeing tasks, reviewing performance: These are all important to the efficiency and productivity of your operations.

 

The real question is whether someone else can handle those details.

 

What Do Leaders Do?

 

Your team looks to you for guidance and inspiration. At an executive level, you should be more focused on fostering confidence and creating opportunities than on completing tasks and checking numbers. Trust that you have the ability delegate well — and use that ability frequently.

 

"If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." What does that statement say about the people you're responsible for? Your first step out of management towards leadership would be replacing that old-school attitude with a new one.

 

Consider this instead: "If there's something nobody else can do, you have to do it yourself." What are the things only you can do? Usually, these have to do with creating new opportunities. For other tasks, your best option as a leader might be to bring in some new talent.

 

What Can You Delegate?

 

There are some things only you can do as a leader. With the free time you get from handing off managerial tasks, you can use your leadership tools to start growing your business.

 

Are you an inspirational speaker? Delegate the tasks that keep you alone in your office. Are you a master at your profession? Use your skill and experience to form and nurture a talented team. Do you know more about your product than anyone else? Let others get up to speed while you impress new clients with your knowledge.

 

You know your team, you know yourself and you know your business. One of the biggest steps towards becoming a strong leader is using your knowledge to do the right things for your company.

Phil Gafka