How to Enhance Your Career: The Roles of a Leader

If you have been in the corporate or business world long enough, you have heard the saying about leading instead of managing. Although true, the cliche has lost meaning for many. What, exactly, should a leader do if they are not managing? Although administrative duties are essential, they are not what make a leader great. Here are four roles of epic leaders that do not involve time card approvals or performance evaluations.

Leaders are Doers

A young accounts receivable manager wanted to motivate her staff, but she knew they saw her as someone without experience. She asked each employee to teach her their job. A leader cannot spend all his or her time doing production work, but because this manager was willing to get into the trenches, learn the work and help out when necessary, her staff was motivated to work harder for her.

Leaders Care

Good leadership training can help supervisors develop methods of engaging staff with appropriate boundaries. Simple techniques like MBWA, or management by walking around, allow leaders to be visible and interact with staff. Showing genuine care for each employee's position and needs within the organization is valuable. Connecting on an appropriate personal level is priceless.

Leaders are Coaches

The best leadership training concentrates on the role of coach. In addition to laying out game plans, leaders must be able to choose the right person for each function, deliver rousing half-time speeches, and keep the team motivated though the field is muddy and the score is disheartening. This involves some motivational skills on a team level, but more importantly, it involves one on one coaching sessions. Leaders know how to deliver praise, make suggestions and develop the best in each employee. After all, a star quarterback may have raw talent, but it takes the coach to develop team work and individual skills to ensure a championship win.

Leaders are Listeners

A supervisor in an oilfield pipe yard talks about how his employees enter his office to complain about problems or issues. During the session, the supervisor always asks, "Tell me, do you just need me to listen, or do you want me to try to do something about this?" Surprisingly, the majority of the time the employees understand there may not be an immediate solution and they simply want to get something off their chest. They simply want someone trustworthy who will listen.

In addition to managing, leaders do, care, coach and listen. Solid leadership training helps to develop these important skill sets, allowing leaders to bring functional teams together for excellent results.
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