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We Need Leaders, Not Bosses

Strong leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.

Kat Kou
May 6 · 5 min read

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

— Stephen Covey

One of the major discussions in today’s world is surrounded by the correlation between management and leadership. Leadership can be linked to the position of management, however not all managers are leaders.

There’s more to leadership than having a high-ranking title and that starts with establishing an environment of impact, influence, and inspiration. The traditional manager may have the authority to tell people what to do, but they won’t be able to effectively guide and motivate their team if they don’t understand how to lead by example.

Management vs Leadership

  • Managers are task-driven; leaders tie their ideas to the company’s vision.
  • Managers tend to control; leaders inspire, motivate, and encourage.
  • Managers favour employees; leaders establish equal relationships.
  • Managers focus on execution; leaders focus on empowering others.
  • Managers prioritize profit over people; leaders prioritize people over profit.

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Create the right environment to achieve objectives.

“Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done. Managers push. Leaders pull. Managers command. Leaders communicate.”
— Warren Bennis

Company culture is an integral part of business. Without a positive work environment, employees will struggle to find value in their jobs. Having a strong culture will not only maintain employee loyalty, but it will also create a thriving atmosphere that allows the team to grow and develop in a way that suits them.

John Kotter, an award-winning business and management thought leader, has stated in an interview with The Guardian that leadership is “about aligning people to the vision, that means buy-in and communication, motivation and inspiration.”

He suggests that an effective leadership strategy is to create the right environment to achieve objectives, such as empowering employees, enhancing innovative thinking, and learning how to motivate others towards a common vision.

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Empower your team, and help them grow.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
— Simon Sinek

Empowering the team is essential for effective leadership. Leaders invest in the well-being of their employees and continuously highlight the success of the team’s accomplishments. Simple, thoughtful gestures go a long way to building trust within the company and reinforce the idea of gratitude.

Employees who feel appreciated work harder and value their position more, which creates a win-win situation for everyone. It is crucial to provide opportunities for them to develop their existing talent, such as promoting them into a new role. Leaders challenge others around them to raise the bar and strive for professional, as well as personal growth.

Other ways of creating a strong company culture include organizing celebratory dinners or simply making an announcement to showcase the hardworking efforts of a particular employee.

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Approach work through change and innovation.

The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members better.
— Tony Dungy

Innovation has become the driving force of growth, performance, and valuation. Innovative leaders move away from the micro-management ways of the past and thrive on making improvements by exploring new ideas. They understand that if they can encourage more people to think unconventionally, it can generate a cycle of innovation.

To encourage ideation, leaders should explore outside-the-box concepts during regular brainstorming sessions with their team, pay attention to the ideas of individuals and encourage futuristic thinking skills. Leaders are constantly looking at the future and imagining what their company will look like in a year, five years and 10 years from now.

Steering towards an open and honest culture creates positive relationships within the team. An example could be to provide employees with up-to-date knowledge of how the organization is performing overall. This will not only create an environment of trust and transparency, but it will also encourage them to contribute their own ideas on areas of improvement.

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Be loyal, authentic, and genuine.

Although there are key differences between management and leadership, the two styles can be equally important to an organization. However, in recent times, we have discovered that for an organization to work efficiently, it has to find a happy medium between management and leadership.

Without management, the efficiency of an organization may be neglected, while the transformative nature of leadership is crucial for a thriving work environment. By focusing on long-term goals and learning how to empower employees, companies can achieve much more by embracing change and innovation.

In short, as Warren Bennis would say, management is about doing things right; leadership is about doing the right things.

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The Glossary

The indispensable playbook designed to inspire, encourage, and elevate the female spirit.

Kat Kou

Written by

Kat Kou

“Beneath the makeup and behind the smile, I am just a girl who wishes for the world.”

The Glossary

The indispensable playbook designed to inspire, encourage, and elevate the female spirit.