What is the difference between leadership and true leadership? Why is it so important to differentiate the two?
The answer is simple, one is leading the team and one is “leading by leading”.
Have you ever come across those leaders that follow the “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy? Well, these leaders don’t make any sense, the leader should lead by example. The only way to show the employee that they are valued and the work is important is if the person in charge also treats it as such.
Why is it important?
Leading a team is like anything in life, it requires judgement and decision making. If you are going to ask someone to complete a task, ensure that you take everything into consideration; what the task involves, if the employee can do it and how you as the leader can assist when required. If you are in the leadership position, regardless of your positioning in the company, it’s your role to lead from the front! It's important to lead by example, through your own actions. What you do will reflect on how well the team performs; this benefits all of you.
Qualities of True Leadership
Being a leader is not an easy task, you’ll need to coordinate your team and manage your own work. Becoming a true leader and one that will benefit the company and the team is a work in progress; no one will just turn up one day and become the model leader. The ability to make mistakes but using that as a lesson to improve yourself is an essential aspect of being a leader. A successful leader understands that they do not know everything, instead they are open-minded to opportunities for continual learning. Being a leader does not mean you are king of the team or the company...no job is beneath you.
Leaders will always make difficult decisions; the key is to make them decisively and share a clear vision with the group. There is nothing worse than a group functioning without a clear goal, they are just mindless robots going through the motion. True leadership must involve the leader to fully understand what is required of the team and to explain it well so that everyone can understand.
Trust is one of those characteristics that influences our decisions and relationships, if you trust someone; you’ll want to stay with them. That is human instinct, no one wants to work or be friends with untrustworthy people. This is the same for leaders. Leaders can lead by motivation or intimidation both will probably increase your production. Studies have found positivity has the edge over scare-tactics; people are just generally more productive and like their job if they are happy.
The final key point for true leadership lies in this one simple sentence. Accepting the failures and promoting the successes. A leader needs to focus on the solutions and finding the best way to tackle the problem with your team. A good leader will surround themselves with the necessary and important team members to quickly analyze and solve the problem.
Take Home Message:
Remember, just because you are given the position to lead does not make you the leader; the difference between a true leader and leader is that people are willing to follow you.