I think there is a lack of leadership in our world today. Not don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of managers. Some might say there are to many managers. The phrase “To many Chiefs, not enough Indians” comes to mind. You can be a Chief, a Manager, a foreman, a lead, or a Boss, but still not be a leader.
Weather this is a top down, or bottom up problem is a topic for another day. I don’t want to talk about why we have a lack of leadership, I want to talk about how we can fix it.
Do You Manage, or Lead?
You see, we all have the potential to be a leader, but most of us don’t know what true leadership is. And when you are put in a leadership position, but don’t have the proper knowledge on how to be a leader, you become a manager. You manage your team, you manage your tasks, you (somehow) manage to get things done… But you didn’t lead.
This is where the problem starts. Most people become managers because they get things done. “Put him in charge, he is competent.” So you manage a project, and you make a list of things that need to be done, you delegate those duties, and when they are done, you check them of the list. The problem with that is you are expecting everyone else to be as competent, professional and motivated as you. For the sake of this article, I am going to say that if those people got the job, they are competent and professional (even though that isn’t always the case). What they lack, is motivation. This is where true leadership comes in. Yes, management is important, and is a big part of leadership, but it is not all of it. Motivating your team is the difference between managing and leading.
How to Motivate Your Team
So you may be asking yourself “How do I go from being a manager to a leader? How do I motivate my team? How do I create a star team?”. Well, to find that answer, you should start by looking at the question. “How do I motivate my Team?”. The first thing you need to realize is that teamwork gets things done. Don’t think of your team as employees, or workers. Instead, think of them as a team. Treat them like a team. Coach them like a team. Yes, I said Coach them like a Team. Because that feeling of comradery, that feeling of being a part of a team, with you as the coach, is a strong motivator. Messing up your job is one thing, letting down your teammates is something completely different. If you make your employees feel like they are a part of something bigger then them, they will step up to the challenge. If you instill familial bonds in your team, then each team member is motivated to not let the rest of the team (or their coach) down. Show them that each and every team member is a part of the bigger picture, and they will see their tasks as a small part that is easy for them to do in order for the team to succeed at the bigger task that is only difficult if each and every one of them doesn’t do their part.
If you do this, you are no longer managing to get things done, you are leading.