Managers solve problems; leaders facilitate. Leaders must constantly find ways to break down barriers to success, overcome roadblocks, and make it easier for frontline managers to solve their own problems.
Managers plan and organize; leaders coach. Tiger Woods has an agent and manager, but he also has a swing coach to provide clarity, guidance, and encouragement. Leaders must be effective at modeling excellence, challenging perceived limitations, anticipating obstacles, recognizing opportunities, and correcting course.
Managers communicate; leaders connect. It begins with developing good speaking and listening skills, then moves toward creating and sustaining progressive interpersonal relations with colleagues and employees. Strong connections enable leaders to better leverage their influence.
Managers delegate; leaders emancipate. That means giving people the protection they need to excel. It means turning over the power to control their own destinies, then getting out of the way. Leaders encourage their teams to challenge the status quo, giving them the freedom to fail and try again.
Managers train; leaders educate. Managers focus on the skills and knowledge needed for specific jobs. Leaders create an environment for lifelong learning, teaching habits of excellence focused on growing the whole person. Great leaders see the potential of what employees can become tomorrow, not just what they can do today.
Managers motivate; leaders engage. Instead of using short-term incentives based upon external wants like money, time off, or merchandise, leaders engage the long-term commitment of employees by focusing on their intrinsic needs for happiness, significance, pride, growth, fulfillment, and community.
Dr. Jim Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a keynote speaker, author, corporate consultant, seminar leader, and successful businessman. This article is adapted from his Achieve Great Results (AGR) Leadership Series. For more information, visit www.drjimharris.com.