The first practical advice someone could give to an aspiring leader in helping them make the transition from manager to leader is to care. Because great leaders care. If you don’t care, you are nothing as a leader.
If one of your primary reasons for leading is because it pays more, or it gives you self esteem, or you enjoy the power, or you can get things done your way, or it “puffs” you up (makes you feel you are better than others), then it is more about you than those you lead. Those who assume leadership roles for their own gain, make poor leaders. In fact, they may never really make the transition from manager to leader. Sure, they may get results from time to time, but they won’t get consistent strong results. And just as importantly they will have a lot of unhappy followers.
One thing an aspiring leader can do to show he or she cares is to serve. Service is an interesting thing. There is a positive correlation with serving and caring. The more you serve, the more you will care, the more you care, the more you will want to serve. The more you serve; employees will feel you genuinely care – because you do! One way to serve is to provide little niceties. Here are just a few suggestions of the many things you could do to show you care:
– Write a personal handwritten thank you card with positive affirmations.
– Bring in a homemade hot breakfast that everyone can enjoy.
– Stay late with employees to help them meet a deadline.
– Show up for an employee’s son or daughter’s important athletic event, recital, baptism etc…
Brooker T. Washington said “The life worth living is giving for the good of others.” Great leaders care enough to give.
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Founder and owner of Teamwork and Leadership
Mike has led, trained and consulted in business with hundreds of
individuals and teams on leadership and team concepts. He has served in a
number of entry level to senior level positions in both business and
volunteer work. His greatest satisfaction is seeing others succeed.
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