Top 5 – How to be an Awesome Leader

Do you manage your people or do you lead them?  Maybe it is a bit of both? So when do you manage and when do you lead?

There is a real difference between Managers and Leaders, put simply Managers have subordinates and possess a transactional style, their tasks include planning, organising, controlling and reviewing. A Leader has followers and possesses a transformational style (see tip 3) their day is filled with aligning their people and activities to the vision; they are pioneering the way whilst carving out a legacy to be remembered.  Leaders will also have subordinates as they are often managers appointed to roles in an organisational structure however they see their main goal as leading their followers so their style of leadership will be less of a manager and more of a leader.

Other attributes of a leader as opposed to a manager including being a change agents, looking  long term , setting the direction, appealing to hearts and our passions, looking for and encourage others to achieve, sometimes breaking free from rules to achieve and pioneering the way as they seek to do right rather than be right.  Finally they seek the truth and they give credit to their followers.

We offer you our Top 5 on How to Be an Awesome Leader.  If you haven’t done so already, ‘like’ our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HappeningPeople and be sure to look out for our extra Top Tip- Number 6, which looks at Power and Leadership.

1. Lead from the Front

Leading from the front is described by General Douglas MacArthur who said

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

The term leading from the front has been bandied about boardrooms for decades, at its most effective it means “I am willing to do, whatever I have asked you to do.’ Leading from the front doesn’t mean huge acts of heroism it means showing your followers you care about the company and their success when they see that you will never ask them to do something, that you are not willing to do yourself.  Leaders who lead from the front are great role models.

2. Show Vision
Great leaders, show leadership by showing the vision.  They do this at every appropriate occasion whether it is in a group or one on one.  By doing this they focus attention on what matters which focuses the team.   When you are able to articulate the vision, meaningful goals can be created. When goals are firmly aligned with the vision the purpose of your team is clear and achievement of the goals is more likely.

3. Possess a Transformational  Style
A good leader is focused on moving its followers towards the vision, they do this by inspiring them to follow not telling them what to do.  Your role is to appeal to their hearts rather than their heads, raise their passions and follow you.  At times you will lead them in directions they haven’t gone before which can be overwhelming for followers.   They will follow you if you show the way and are able to show them the benefits so that your followers will receive more than extrinsic rewards but will become better people along the way.

4. Be People Focused
A good leader does not have to be a loud and overly gregarious one to be effective, in fact many leaders aren’t, rather, they are good with people and are focused on the people rather than the task.  Through their actions and interactions they boost the confidence of those around them to achieve the goals before them and they want to see their followers succeed and take the credit.   Though these methods they inspire loyalty and motivation.

5. Your Legacy
Most people think about their legacy at the end of their careers, awesome leaders think about it throughout their careers.  Pericles famously said ‘What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.’  Leaders look to leave a legacy through changing the lives of their followers.  Robert Galford and Regina Maruca, authors of “Your Leadership Legacy,” suggest that “thinking about your legacy now makes you a better leader today no matter how far you are from retirement.” This view is based on interviews with people at all organisational levels.  Galford and Maruca advocate we all should be engaged in legacy thinking.

Leaders aren’t just born, good managers become great leaders through being shown the way.  Happening People are award winning  corporate  training specialists and are the Leaders in Leadership Training.  Give us a call on 1800 68 67 69 or visit our website www.happeningpeople.com for more information on how we can help you and your organisation develop awesome leaders.

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Filed under Corporate Training, Human Resources, People Management, Positive Psychology, Professional Development

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