Jul 122011

Three Things Leaders Really Do

Many people confuse management with leadership. Each is distinct and different, but not necessarily better. While both are necessary, it seems like more companies are over managed and under led. What is needed today are individuals who are prepared to be leaders, because managers need leaders to compliment what they do. Once you know what leaders do, you can groom your valuable employees for leadership. So what do leaders really do?

In today’s complex and fast-moving world, change is inevitable. Change comes at a fast pace, requiring leaders to cope and manage it in order for their organizations to survive and remain competitive. The more change there is, the more leadership is needed.

According to John P. Kotter, author of What Leaders Really Do, both management and leaders must make decisions and develop relationships in order to accomplish what they want. Each must ensure that employees get the job done, but each one accomplishes this in a different way. According to Kogger:

1. Managers plan, budget and set targets. Leaders create a vision and articulate it in a way that is compelling and establishes followership.

2. Managers organize, staff, delegate, and monitor. Leaders align a person, which requires strong communication skills to articulate the vision in a way that inspires people to follow.

3. Managers monitor results, plan, organize, control, and solve problems. Leaders achieve the vision by motivating and inspiring others, appealing to their needs, values, and emotions.

While these three skills are essential, strong leaders must go beyond them in order to be effective. They have to remove confusion, establish clarity, and set a clear direction.

They must combine their sense of direction with a powerful self-confidence, overcoming paralysis.

With a sense of direction and self-confidence, they must possess the skills and essential tools to keep moving forward. They do this by leading through conflict, hiring the best people, providing feedback, delegating authority effectively, and creating accountability.

But all these skills can go by the wayside if leaders don’t have stamina and vitality. Leaders who lack the energy can become unbalanced and burn out, causing undue pressure on their organization and their personal lives.

Helping leaders become fit to lead their organization is one thing that a Coach can help with. Contact me today to see how coaching can help you become a better leader.

Thanks and take care.


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