who moved my cheeseWhile management and leadership may sound synonymous, they are in actuality two very different things. Managers are people in leadership roles who track units of time, materials, and launch and track initiatives to help organizations achieve goals. They are required to solve solve problems and make decisions in their work units. Not bad.

But leaders, on the other hand, are people in leadership roles who know how to motivate and guide their team members to solve problems and make decisions on their own. This is an important distinction, because leaders are creating self-sufficient teams that are able to complete tasks on their own. A leader is able to step away, either by taking time off or by focusing on other goals, and know that the work that needs to be done will get done. Managers do not always have that luxury.

Articles offering strategies to become a better leader are plentiful, and this article references the following sources: Two Lessons We Should Have Learned in Management 101, The Best Managers Remember Back When They Weren’t Managers, Why do most managers add no value to their teams? and The 3 Critical Questions That Free You Up to Stop Managing.

With well-planned leadership team building strategies in place along with training that is tracked for transference, those in leadership roles can learn to lead, rather than manage, their teams.

Take the time to say “thank you.” Recognizing and appreciating team members’ efforts is an important, but often over-looked, sign of leadership, says Two Lessons We Should Have Learned in Management 101. Not only does saying thank you produce happier and more productive employees, but also it is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation among team members while generating a positive work culture.

Choose positivity. Effective leaders understand that they have a big say in their company culture, so they choose to come to work with a positive attitude. This creates an environment of reciprocity where everyone gets a boost of positivity, creating a happier climate.

Be empathetic. Leaders need to remember what it’s like to be in their team members’ shoes, says The Best Managers Remember Back When They Weren’t Managers. An empathetic business strategy is an effective business strategy because leaders need to be aware of the overall business climate both within and outside of their organizations. When they understand the mood, they are better able to keep the business relevant in the market while keeping their employees satisfied.

Contribute. Managers who are there to manage without actually leading are not doing anyone any good, according to Why do most managers add no value to their teams?. The reasons why managers are ineffective are complex, but in order to be effective at their jobs, managers need to be able to coach and train their team members to perform tasks and reach goals. Leaders who understand how to lead their teams to success possess these skills. Managers may be able to solve problems and make decisions, but they are not teaching their team members to do the same.

Create ownership. One of the most valuable motivators for your team members is ownership, according to The 3 Critical Questions That Free You Up to Stop Managing. Team members who feel ownership over projects are more invested in their tasks and with the organization as a whole. Rather than manage team members and make decisions for them, leaders should step back and ask the right questions so their team members can make decisions for themselves.

Before making a decision for someone, a leader should ask three questions: Is this the best use of my time? Who is responsible for carrying out this decision? and Who will be impacted by this decision? This line of questioning allows leaders to determine who should really be making the decision.

call-to-action-graphic-proof1aUtilize leadership training. Using your resources is one of the best ways to become an effective leader. The strategies offered by the TIGERS® Den Leadership Training Membership give leaders the tools they need to promote effective communication, decision-making, planning, leadership and on-boarding of new employees within their organizations.

Leadership team building strategies are necessary for managers to transform into effective leaders. The necessary requirements for leadership are many, but with proven strategies and support, managers can become leaders who understand their teams and how to achieve results.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

About TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS is an Oregon Team Building Consultant located in Bend, Oregon. TIGERS has a 26 year track record helping leaders build high performance teams and collaborative work cultures that employees love returning to after a couple of days off. We train and certify HRD Executives and independent consultants in the use of TIGERS proprietary organizational development resources. We offer royalty-free team building certification, team building events, and leadership clinics.