I know. It sounds a little odd to to hear someone say you should become the manager other people want you to be. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what being in charge entails? The answer is no. Unless, of course, you’re more interested in managing than leading.
Peter Drucker, hailed by Business Week as the man who invented management, made clear distinctions between leaders and managers. Leaders lead people. Managers manage tasks. Leaders lift people to greater visions and higher standards. They inspire. Managers focus less on people’s needs and more on what needs to get done.
The kind of manager others want you to be is one who leads. That doesn’t mean making friends with your employees or letting them take advantage of you. It means managing tasks while providing the vision, motivation and empowerment your employees need to execute those tasks.
Leadership can make or break your financial institution. It’s so important that a credit union CEO hired us to develop a customized leadership training program for her mid-level managers. She believed growing managers into leaders was the path to growing her credit union. Their bottom line has improved as a result.
Here are some tips to help you lead effectively.
Be their coach. Help employees identify where they excel and where they need improvement, then coach them accordingly. Developing and empowering your employees builds their skill level and their loyalty to your team.
Give credit where credit is due. Nothing kills team spirit and employee morale like taking credit for someone else’s exceptional work. Praise employees and give them credit when their work is outstanding.
Focus on the positives. Even when you have to critique an employee, use the praise-criticism-praise method. Example: “You did a great job on that proposal. (praise) For the next one, I’d like you to work on using fewer words to get to the point. (criticism) This a fantastic start, and I know you will continue to grow in this area. (praise)”
Admit your mistakes. We all make them. Admitting them to your employees makes you appear more genuine and sincere. Employees have a greater respect for leaders who are honest and transparent.
A management position is not a badge of power. It’s a mark of responsibility to yourself, your company and the people you manage. Effective managers are strong leaders.