There is a difference between being a great performer and leading a team of great performers. In fact, a great leader does not have to be the best performer or even a performer at all. That is hard to understand if you are a newly appointed manager who had mastered the individual roles of your department. Because of you great work you have been promoted to manager. But the qualities that made you a star performer are not the same qualities that will make you an effective leader.
Here are leadership philosophies from two well-known management consultants.
“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” —Kenneth Blanchard
You can learn the skills of a leader just like you learned how to excel in your last job. You will need to learn what motivates your team members. Motivation comes from inside each team member. An effective leader will convince a staff member to do something because HE wants to do it. Today’s workforce does not respond to fear of punishment. Fear and money incentive motivation does work but it does not have lasting results. Today’s leadership is positive. So in order to be a great leader you must understand the motivation of your people as well as what motivates you.
Here are 7 key points to remember:
Convey a clear vision. Clearly explain your vision, your goals and objectives as well as those of your organization. A clear vision lets people know what to do.
Always convey a positive attitude. Leadership begins with you, the leader. In order to empower your people to achieve results you must begin by developing positive attitudes toward yourself and your abilities.
Exude and convey confidence. Was there a time when you were told you could not do something and yet you did it? Sometimes people are overwhelmed by their own self-doubt. Confident team leaders overcome and overwhelm those self-doubts with their own positive beliefs.
A good leader is a good listener. Good communication is essential for building trust and understanding. In order to understand other people the leader must listen much more than he or she talks.
Lead by example. If you tell your people that they must set goals, manage their time, and measure success you need to be doing that and it must be visible to your team.
Give meaningful feedback. People are most productive and have the best attitudes when they receive a balance for both positive and negative feedback. Remember to catch people doing things right as well as when things are wrong.
Your leadership power is given by your team. You can call yourself the boss, the owner, or you can be promoted to manager. But the team will work best with you when they see you as the leader.