Leadership is often confused with management. Management is planning, staying on budget, convening a working group, solving everyday problems, maintaining order, and implementing strategies. It’s what we get paid to do.
It’s very difficult to ask someone to make a real, emotional commitment to a cause if their leaders are not capable to understand their perspective—not as employees, but as people! Emotional beings that want to be treated more holistically.
We live in a world where most of society is focused on profitability, generating dividends, and becoming more competitive. A society built on individuals who have mastered the art of making money, but who forget that they would be nothing without those around them, that we can’t afford to live in a world that treats people like cash dispensers to be used and discarded. The world needs to realize that everyone has hopes and dreams they want to fulfil and that’s where leaders need to step in—to shift paradigms and show that happier people make companies more profitable.
That cannot be achieved if the leadership isn’t authentic, the communication isn’t clear, or the message is not coherent. Flowery language is pointless if leaders do the opposite of what they say—the thoughts have to be backed up by actions. When that happens, leaders’ teams believe in them and respect them—out of admiration and not fear!
Being a leader doesn’t require exercising the power associated with weighty responsibilities, even less so if your want to make a positive influence on others so that they contribute to the common good with their mind, spirit, creativity and excellence. Leadership is inspiring others to put all their passion toward a goal, so that they put their best foot forward and give it their all. Leadership involves motivating people, not with speeches, but with heart. Leadership means stepping into others’ lives, not to make them obey, but so that they commit to the cause.
Leadership is a great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. And it’s not enough to know how to get the job done—you have to harness the skills needed to will others to succeed in everything they do, to make their mark and build a better society and world.
But how do we shape our company into the organization we aim to become?
We need to focus our efforts on developing people’s talent. We need to delegate with confidence and the conviction that others possess the requisite knowledge. To work with a team that’s on the same page, not just people in our “inner circle”! We need to listen to the opinions of all those around us and make them feel integral to growth. Recognizing others’ good work is vital to fostering the motivation that will improve performance and the relationship between the manager and their team. There are employees and excellent employees, and the only thing that sets them apart is motivation!
We need to make employees feel happy, which is a surefire way to enhance their sense of belonging and optimize business productivity, which everyone wants to achieve. We need to speak clearly and assertively, remembering that saying what to avoid is just as important as saying what has to be done. We need to teach and guide—many leaders want to shine on their own but they would shine brighter with the light of those around them, by promoting autonomy in their teams and helping people to take the goals on board and learn the process.
You don’t have change the world to be a leader, just make a positive difference in someone’s life, and they take care of the rest. Being a leader is making a commitment to happiness.
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