Leadership is influence

No matter what position you have at work or any organization you can be a leader because leadership is influence first and not a position. There are many people who call themselves leaders but they are really managers because when the work day is over with nobody really cares about them because all they do is push and not pull. The difference between leadership and management is that leadership pulls the team and management pushes the team and both are needed to get the job done but let’s not confuse the two.

Leadership ability without management ability is accepted by people and people will be excited to sign up to be apart of the team that has a vision to achieve a goal no matter the difficulty. The problem with leadership ability only and not management ability is that progress can be hindered because people like to be told what to do and need guidelines to be accountable to.

The opposite scenario is that management ability only without leadership ability is that people will listen just enough to get what they can get and nothing more. Progress will be made but it will be limited to what people are willing to put themselves through. Nobody likes managers only because they are uninspiring, not willing to help you beyond protocol, and don’t really care about your well being unless it hinders production. This is a big reason why stress levels are so high in the workplace. They are not high because sales are low or some external reason but stress is high because people worry about their manager cutting them and because nobody is watching out for them so they have to spend extra energy on protecting themselves against people that should have their back instead of using that energy to be productive.

The third scenario is the sweet spot which is the ability to lead and manage. It is better to lead first then to manage instead of managing first because people do not like to be told what to do unless the person that is asking has built respect and trust with the person asking. The reason people go to work is so that they can earn a paycheck by being managed but people stay because they feel like they are valued and are contributing to a greater cause than just a paycheck. Leaders have vision and management has sight. The vision that leaders set before the team (if it is a generosity focused reason) is inspiring and energizing to do something but management has the site to see what needs to happen to get it done and puts people in positions and expects them to get the work done to achieve the end goal. An example that portrays this well is that people who watch a certain sport get’s energize to go and play that sport; however, the reason they are not professionals is because they do not have someone pushing them to get out of bed at 5am to go out and put in the hours necessary to achieve the inspired goal of becoming great.

So if you want to be a great leader you must be a great server. The greatest leaders are the ones who serve the most and humble themselves to the people around them. Humility is not seeing less of yourself but more of others and anyone can be a great leader because anyone can show people that they care. Leaders are not born but they are made (just like a manager) and if you want to be a great leader then love people as you love yourself and people will love you for it and you will be able to achieve amazing goals in whatever you do with the people you lead and learn management skills along the way. Remember the cliche but true saying that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.