Many argue that being a good leader is a skill that people are born with and not taught; other say that experience is the drive for good leadership, but what about desire?
It is not always easy to differentiate leading from managing, as many management style roles are within leadership positions, but let’s break it down to the basics and try to understand more. If you were asked to break down the meaning of each, how would you differentiate the two?
Many corporate leaders describe any manager as a leader of his/her team; they believe that managing a process well is indication of leadership or perhaps attaining a goal that was set. Another form of measurement they use is your ability to deal with situations based on your past experience which are indicators to your skill sets as a leader. All are true to a degree as I believe they are more indicators of your abilities as a leader, rather than what makes you a leader?
The real difference between managing or leading in life can be broken down into one word: Ownership
Ownership is your ability to own a process from beginning to end, and see that the result is favorable as you accept nothing less than what you want the outcome to be. This ownership level will require your skills based on your past experiences, will require you to have goals and also create and deliver a streamlined process. The ownership level will also require you to sometimes guide, educate and help others within your team to help reach your goals.
Now switch the word “ownership“with “leadership” and you have your definition.
So why are some people poor leaders and others simply talented?
The leadership role requires you to care and to own it in order to master it. Owning it is simple but requires desire, the desire and drive to succeed. When you won something you see it through to the end, no matter the obstacles you run into, the opposition people create and your personal lack of motivation. You also are accomplished based on your desire to finish and not a monetary reward of some sort. It’s your drive to show yourself the outcome you want, and not the one you believe to be OK.
People are poor leader due to their inability of controlling their fears, as leaders they are afraid to lose it all and therefore always move cautiously ahead. Instead of worrying about the task at hand and what it takes to finish it, they look for their best alternative at getting them the most rewards from it. The ownership piece gets missing and instead this glow of fear appears as their insecurities begin once the pressure is on. Under fear, they are unable to make correct decisions but rather harsh ones that are not always aligned to their goals. This combined with their lack of care for the outcome but rather the compliance makes them managers but far from leaders. It becomes even worst when you as an employee are forced to work for such people and yet have the common sense you need to see the poor decisions they make.
In conclusion, it is very easy to mix up the two or say that the differences are minimal, but the reality remains that the real piece missing from the equation is ownership, which defines leaders every day. Experienced or not, anyone can choose to take on and own a process or goal, and drive it to succeed. Not all will have the outcome they seek but the journey and their fearless views of the situation will enable them to become better leaders and always find purpose in their work unlike others who will mange their life to failure because of fear.
Make sure to check out “The Ultimate Leadership Guide” if you are serious about taking the next step in leadership