5 ways to be a leader (not a manager)
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
By Jo Miller
Want to advance your career? Knowing the difference between a
manager and a leader will help.
Jennifer Hill, Bank of America's CFO for
global banking and global markets, knows the difference. Having held leadership
positions with top global financial institutions, Hill has learned a thing or
two about what leadership is — and isn’t. "We shouldn't confuse leadership
with management," Hill says. "There is a big difference. I have been
led by some great people and I’d been micromanaged by some horrible people."
Here are five lessons on leading, not
managing, Hill learned during her career and shared during my "Poised for
Leadership" workshop in New York City:
1. Listen more and speak
less. Being a good listener and hearing the thoughts and
inspirations of others can help you, even when you’re the one in charge. People
feel good when they feel heard.
2. Consensus is good, but
direction and decisiveness create action. Leading by consensus
will rally a team around a common goal, but doesn't create change. You must guide
3. Anyone can identify a problem. A leader is
part of the solution. Leaders don’t sit around and complain about what’s wrong. They
drive solutions. They figure out how to make it right.
4. Apologize publicly and
gloat privately. True leaders
don’t just praise publicly and criticize privately. You don’t see leaders
bragging about their success. They talk about their team and their team’s
contributions. A leader will apologize and take accountability their actions.
5. Give the hard message. It's very easy to praise
somebody. It's easy to give somebody a raise or a good review. It can be much
harder, however, to have the tough conversations. It may sound harsh to say,
but not everyone does an outstanding job all the time. You've got to tell them,
and then you’ve got to move on.
"Learn to inspire and motivate, as opposed to dictate,"
Hill says. "At the end of the day, good leaders often don’t do the work,
but they make you feel like they did."
Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. and founding editor of BeLeaderly.com, facilitates the NEW Leadership Academy webinars designed to
help emerging leaders build core skills and prepare for top management roles in their
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