What Makes a Manager a Leader

~ by Harpreet Kaur

Leaders Inspire Efficiency

Mangers and leaders both lead and drive their teams, they derive outputs from people, have a common result, however people feel and act differently around them.

There is a striking difference between the culture, output, and efficiency of their teams. It is said that “if your actions inspire others to do more, dream big, learn more and become more than yourself you are a true leader.”

So, the question arises what exactly makes a manager a leader? Is it a fast process or a slow one? Does it require hard work? What exactly is the secret sauce which makes this possible?

Three Things that All Leaders Bring to their Team Members

Over the years I have observed that all the leaders have 3 E’s which summarizes what they bring to the table, they are Empowerment, Empathy, and Equality.

Empowerment – Leaders Let Team Members Voice Ideas Without Fear

Empowerment, a very strong, heavy word. What does it actually mean? It means to let your team know that they have the right to bring their ideas forward, they are heard, their work is appreciated and valued, they can handle and make decisions. There is no fear among team-members to voice their thoughts. Empowered teams have always been on top. They are the highest performing teams because everybody does their part, has a sense of responsibility and ownership, and is fully engaged and motivated.

Empathy – Leaders Create Stronger Bonds to Build Mutual Respect

Next comes Empathy, what value does Empathy add to a person? It gives them an ability to step into someone else’s shoes and understand what they are going through. If a leader can correlate to an individual within the team and understand what the individual might be facing, it helps them to create stronger and deeper bonds, which leads to higher satisfaction levels within the team. The people on the team will always understand and respect their leader and will work out of their own free will, rather than feeling pressured or forced to do something.

Equality – Leaders are Impartial and Do Not Promote Favoritism

The last one is Equality. If there are no levels/grading in teams, you are in a win-win situation. So, what can a leader do to create Equality? The only thing that a leader can do is be impartial and not promote favoritism. Leaders should try and be the same towards everyone, while recognizing the differences between individual team members. There should be no disparity among members of a team. Everyone should have equal rights.

Leadership is Earned Through Hard Work and the Desire to Create a Better Working World

Some other qualities depicted by leaders are they lead by example, always keep their word, have high integrity, and show respect.

In conclusion, leadership is earned. It takes a lot of hard work to become a true leader. It is a long and slow process. There is no secret sauce and there are no shortcuts. It is not an overnight process, it is a continuous process. Every manager can become a leader if they have the will to become one and the desire to create a better working world.

Harpreet Kaur is a lead consultant for CastleBay Companies. She comes with more than 14 years of experience, primarily in property and casualty insurance, with specialization in Guidewire Suite customizations.