There are distinct differences between managers and leaders. However, the new workplace is starting to see the interconnectedness of managers and leaders as organizations get leaner. For example, managers are being forced to become more strategic to cast their own vision for course-correction as the marketplace shifts more rapidly and competitive pressure impacts the bottom line faster. As such, managers must become better leaders as the demand for instant results and higher levels of performance are required to navigate the fiercely competitive landscape.
Today’s manager must have a more authoritative mindset. In other words, while their role and responsibilities are that of a manager, they must carry the executive presence of a leader that instills commanding confidence in his or her team. Managers need to step-up their game and prepare themselves for the next opportunity that awaits them. If you are a manager who is not investing in yourself for advancement and leadership roles, your relevancy in your organization will diminish.
If you are at that stage in your career, or if you believe that you could help someone who is, the following are six proven ways to more rapidly become a better leader in your workplace:
1. Strengthen Your People Skills
Having solid people skills represents the essence of leadership. Being able to relate to others and for others to relate to you is critical in earning trust and building a foundation of respect. This means that you must learn to get along with those who may not necessarily like you or desire a relationship with you. The best you can do sometimes is earn respect – and in a workplace environment that can carry you a long way as a leader.
In strengthening your people skills, remember that the best leaders are always mindful of what matters most to those they lead. They believe that the goals of others are as important as their own. As such, make the time for others – you will be building meaningful relationships that can then serve to achieve results together.
Be mindful that leadership is a give and take and the by-product of a trustworthy relationship that is focused on the betterment of a healthier whole.
2. Motivate and Inspire Others to Achieve
Strengthening your people skills will help make you an effective motivator (as these two factors are dependent on one another). Great leaders focus on helping others become better. They are advocates for the advancement of others. They want the impact of their legacy to be directly related to the success of others and the organization they serve.
Always remember that every person is unique and how you inspire others to achieve requires you to know their goals, desires and aspirations. Motivation is a personal thing and while there are general motivational triggers – the most powerful are the motivational tools that can resonate with a person’s individual needs.
3. Be Authentic and Genuine