How to Be a Manager That Leads

A job title only gets you so far. Everyone has encountered plenty of supervisors, vice presidents, and even CEOs in their lifetime, who didn’t achieve much more than a fancy nameplate on the door of their own office.

This is because there’s a difference between managing and leading people. Whereas management feels more logistical, leadership is fueled by emotion. You follow people you believe in — people that motivate you to act without having to ask or demand.

Understandably so, the bad times in business are what can truly make or break you as a leader. It’s easy to rally the troops and maintain a following when times are good — when the year is profitable, everything is new, and morale is high.

In the face of roadblocks, however, real leadership shines through. When you’re bombarded with questions you may not have answers to and are faced with making decisions many won’t agree with, your true colours come through.

How you manage the situation, or don’t, and build trust will serve as an indicator of just how great a leader you are.

Seek Out Solutions, Not Problems

A manager that leads is one, who recognizes the inefficiency of dwelling on problems. It’s easy to point out what needs fixing, to call out someone's flaws and expect change.

Real leaders though, put themselves in the context of problems at hand. They drive conversations around solutions and avoid fixating on blame, knowing that failure is inevitable. People are going to make mistakes. It’s how you learn from them and rise up as a whole that creates healthy, happy teams.

Guide Employees Toward New Opportunities

The last thing you ever want as a manager is to lose good people. The hiring process is lengthy as it is without factoring in the right fit and quality.

And yet, employees move on — even when they’re happy where they are. Leaders know the cycle is inevitable and at times, they may even encourage it. Guide your employees in the direction of opportunities where they can really thrive and grow.

As a real leader, your impact is a direct result of the quality of your relationships. Remember that your employees are people. Care for them, feel for them, and look out for them — even if that means watching them go.

See Yourself as Part of the Team

As a manager, it’s easy to remove yourself from the daily grind experienced by your employees. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able or willing to step in and help when the time calls for it.

Employees should trust in not only your ability to speak with authority but to act. You are a core part of the team, as much responsible for the good as you are the bad. Take ownership and hold yourself accountable so employees know they can count on you through thick and thin.

Speak from a Place of Positivity

Positivity is a choice to move forward — to constantly find the good in ourselves and others so that we can achieve what might otherwise seem impossible. It’s a way to motivate employees around the work they do.

Keep the lines of communication open with your employees and set the tone. In speaking from a place of positivity, you’re not projecting the idea that everything will turn out okay simply because it will. You’re putting faith in yourself and your people to do what needs to be done and come out the other end better for it.

By Staples Canada

August 31, 2020

sbhq sliver en