Leadership should be in the heart of management. Without the qualities of a true leader, managers would find it difficult to influence people to achieve a common goal. That is why they have to learn how to become real leaders. The following are 6 ways managers like you can become true leaders:
1. Manage humans, not just systems and machines
Managers are excellent at managing time, tools, and systems. However, they could face a lot of hardships when it comes to managing human beings, who are more than machines. People are difficult to understand and manage because they have complicated thoughts and deep emotions that we cannot perceive. Thus, managers, to have the essence of leadership, have to learn how to manage people, not just tools, systems and policies.
Managers have to learn how to unite people, not just divide tasks. They have to transform the lives of employees, not just focus on transforming the business. They also have to learn how to treat their people as peers and friends, not just as inferior subordinates.
2. Inspire, not just motivate
Managers regularly motivate their subordinates to push them to accomplish tasks and achieve organizational goals. They even have to do motivation everyday since motivation doesn’t last long. To become a true leader, managers should not only motivate people, but also inspire them. Unlike motivation, inspiration can last for years and even a lifetime. And unlike motivation that influences people from the outside (e.g., giving punishments or rewards), inspiration influences people from the inside (e.g., giving direction in once’s life).
3. Take more risks to create change instead of just adapting to change
Leaders do the right thing rather than just do what is commonly accepted as right. They challenge status quo and break it if they think there is something better than it. They create their own change rather than just adapting to changes made by other people. This makes them more proactive rather than just reactive, taking more risks and relying on their pure will rather than just on their common sense. This is what makes them more inspiring. Leaders’ courage to take risks and tenacity to go on are simply what inspire their followers. Hence, remember those things if you want to be a genuine leader.
4. Be a servant
Managers are bosses, and they have to use position and authority to enforce their rules and policies. To give, not just heart, but also spirit in your management, do some acts of leadership, such as becoming a servant and a role model. Enforce rules by abiding them yourself. Be responsible and accountable to your own mistakes. Show to your people that you can be humble.
True leaders are servant because they serve their followers in order to lead them. They do that to show that they are the greatest followers among them. So if you want to be a manager who has the quality of a true leader, show to your subordinates that you are the greatest subordinates by doing the most difficult tasks instead of just becoming too bossy, doing only the easy tasks and leaving the difficult ones to your people.
5. Be holistic and more spiritual.
Managers are more specific and detailed than leaders. And due to that, they sometimes forget the big picture. To have the quality of a true leader that will further boost your managerial success, don’t lose your sight to the big picture. Be holistic and have care to all the stakeholders of your business or organization. Furthermore, don’t just focus on profit and other material things, but also give attention to unseen things, such as good relationship, trust, loyalty, and love.
6. Make your job a mission in life
Finally, if you’re a manager and you want to be a true leader, value management and leadership as a job of a lifetime, not just a job you are doing for because you are paying to do it.