Unleash your potential: Be a leader, not just a manager

June 19, 2023

According to Jim Rohn, “the challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”

Even while everyone can lead a team, only a select handful can motivate their members to greatness. In this article I look at the differences between a manager and a leader.

Even though the phrase "manager" and "leader" are sometimes used interchangeably, there are a few key distinctions between the two positions. A manager oversees a team and makes sure they carry out their responsibilities smoothly and effectively. They oversee planning, arranging, and managing resources like people, cash, and supplies. Managers are judged on their capacity to accomplish these goals while sticking to budgetary and time constraints.

A leader, on the other hand, is a person who inspires, motivates, and directs their team towards a single objective or vision. Leaders typically have a distinct idea of where they want their team to go and work to provide them with the tools necessary to achieve that goal. They put a lot of effort into developing their team members' abilities and strengths and fostering a supportive work atmosphere.

Although some managers are also leaders, not all managers are leaders. An organisation's leaders can come from any level, and they might not even have official control over the team members they lead. In addition, managers are frequently more concerned with the organisation's daily operations than are leaders, who frequently concentrate on the broader picture.

In addition to managing your team, a leader must also help them succeed. The following are some crucial strategies for leading your team effectively:

Express yourself clearly

Effective communication is a prerequisite for effective leadership. Make sure you and your team are effectively expressing expectations, goals, and feedback. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage discussion among your group.

Lead by example

You set the tone for your team as the leader. By setting a good example, you can get your team to adopt the attitudes and principles you want them to.

Encourage your team

A good leader puts their team members' decisions and ownership of their work in their hands. Give your team members the freedom to decide how to carry out their responsibilities while giving them the tools and assistance they require.

Encourage a positive workplace culture

The working atmosphere of your team is essential to its success. Encourage teamwork, recognise accomplishments, and provide chances for personal and professional growth to foster a positive workplace culture.

Deal with conflict

Any team will have conflict at some point, but as a leader you must deal with it quickly and effectively. Promote open dialogue, give all sides your full attention, and strive for a solution that pleases everyone.

Declare success!

Effective leadership includes acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments of all sizes. Celebrate milestones as a team and acknowledge the accomplishments of your team members.

 In conclusion, although both managers and leaders play crucial roles in organisations, their approaches and foci are different. While leaders motivate and mentor their team towards a common vision or goal, managers oversee managing resources to accomplish specified goals.

*Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano is the Group Communications and Old Mutual Foundation Manager at Old Mutual Namibia

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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 June 2023 00:02

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