Leadership. Management. The two words get tossed around a lot in the workplace. However, not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers. They are very different, and when combined make for an awesome boss. It’s the ultimate goal to be a manager with great leadership skills. But, you don’t have to be a “manager” to start practicing great leadership skills.
Sometimes you’ll be thrown into a manager position and you’re wondering, “how do I become a good manager?” And sometimes your boss says, “we want you to take on more of a leadership role” but you just started your job five days ago.
So, what’s the difference? And ultimately, how can you be both?
Regardless of your title or experience, you can be a leader. It’s an attitude you can adopt immediately. Entry-level employees can have better leadership skills than a CEO. And I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it.
Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group. Duh, Webster.
I think I like the Full-Time Friends definition better. To us, leadership is about taking initiative and being supportive of your teammates. It’s about having their back and empowering them. It’s everything from sending them an interesting article for reference to giving them well-deserved credit in a meeting.
Below are just a few examples of how you can show leadership in the workplace TODAY.
Examples of Great Leadership
- Be connected and be available. Respond to emails quickly, speak up in meetings and suggest change when needed.
- Offer to take something off of a colleague’s plate or pick up lunch for them when they are swamped.
- Be proactive and learn a new skill so you can work cross-functionally. Don’t stay in your lane. Swerve, girl.
- Rather than pitch your own ideas, work to empower and improve a colleague’s idea.
- Be positive and encourage those around you. When gossip starts, end it. You don’t have to engage with negative behavior and bring down morale.
- Increase your level of initiative and volunteer for a new role. Grab the reins, lady boss.
- Ask for feedback and make adjustments.
- Keep your team in the loop by sending out an email with current events in your industry, upcoming webinars or interesting work-related articles.
- Take initiative with internal projects. Plan the Halloween party or set up a happy hour with clients. Not the event planner? Offer to write a blog post or organize the break room.
Management is a privilege. Or at least, it should be! If you are in a management position, meaning you are the supervisor over another employee, you have a huge responsibility. For some, it comes easy. But for many of us, it takes a lot of practice.
Below you will find a few ways our team views as great management techniques.
Examples of Great Management
- Be a teamplayer and own up to your team’s mistakes. Never throw anyone under the bus.
- Lay out expectations. Set your team up for success by providing them with what they need to accomplish the task, whether that be internal deadlines or method of communication.
- Be approachable and open-minded. You want your employees to be able to come to you when a problem arises. You don’t want your team tip-toeing around you.
- Let go. As a manager it is key to delegate tasks to your employees. It requires trust which is hard to do as a new manager but completely necessary.
- Teach your employees how to solve a problem instead of solving it for them.
- Practice self-care and prioritize work-life balance. The work will be there tomorrow. Share this lifestyle with your team.
Combine these two lists and you have a recipe for a successful management style. And even if you aren’t in a “manager” position, practicing now will make your promotion that much easier. And rumor has it, those who show leadership skills often and early receive the management promotion.
Are you a leader? A manager? Or both? Let us know in the comments. Let’s build each other up and teach each other how we can be the best of both worlds.
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