Lead, Don’t Manage

Feb 5, 2019 | Leadership

Everyone has room to improve. We all know that about ourselves — and probably even know the areas of our leadership that need improvement — but making the necessary changes is never as easy as it seems. If you really want to bring about positive change for yourself, start now. Don’t wait until next week, next quarter, or next year. Start now. Here’s a plan to get you started. Take what works, discard what doesn’t, and make the commitment to do what you need to do to see the results you want.

Take a hard look at yourself. What are your leadership strengths? Challenges? Take personality tests that analyze your natural tendencies and learned behaviors (hundreds of these types of assessments are available online). Then, ask employees and other managers to anonymously evaluate you using surveys you write or your company provides.

Find the resources you need. You know how to the run the operation, but what are you lacking to become a true leader? What do you need to stick to your leadership resolution? Is your office so buried you can’t find the schedule? Do you struggle with one-on-one conversations or during presentations, training and workshops? Are you lost when it comes to forecasting costs? Pinpoint the specific areas where you need improvement – communication, organization, financial management, whatever – and seek out the training you need.

Make goals… and don’t forget them. If you don’t know how important it is to make goals, check out just about any motivational speaker. It’s a common theme — change doesn’t happen without specific goals. Make specific short- and long-term goals, post them in your office, and study them every day. When you achieve one, celebrate your success and evaluate next steps.

Study the greats. John C. Maxwell, Tom Peters, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Stephen R. Covey, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and George Clason are some of the top leadership writers, lecturers and motivators in the United States. Their products – books, websites, YouTube channels, etc. etc.– are primarily designed as how-to books to help turn managers into leaders. Together with your own efforts, these greats can light a spark that will keep you burning all year long.

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