5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Like this on Facebook

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader?

Jennifer Hill has. Having held senior leadership positions with some top global financial institutions and in her current role as CFO for Global Banking and Global Markets with Bank of America, she’s learned a thing or two about what leadership is – and isn’t.

Jennifer recently packed many of those lessons into an enlightening five-minute kickoff keynote for my Poised for Leadership workshop in New York City.

How does she define leadership? “When I think about the qualities I admire most in leaders, three words come to mind,” she shared with thirty-five workshop participants. “They are responsibility, accountability, and decisiveness.”

Jennifer also stresses that we shouldn’t confuse leadership with management. “There is a big difference,” said Jennifer, who knows this from experience. “I have been led by some great people and I’d been micromanaged by some horrible people,” she admitted. Here are five lessons on leading, not managing, that Jennifer learned from the best leaders she has worked with.

1. Listen more and speak less.

Jennifer pointed out that being a good listener and hearing the thoughts and inspirations of others can help you, even when you’re the one in charge. And, she added “People feel good when they feel heard.”

2. Consensus is good but… direction and decisiveness create action.

Leading by consensus will rally a team around a common goal, but according to Jennifer, that alone is not enough to be a leader and create change. “Consensus is good but direction and decisiveness create action,” she emphasized. “You must guide consensus.”

3. Anyone can identify a problem. A leader is part of the solution.

“Leaders don’t sit around and complain about what’s wrong,” Jennifer said. They drive solutions. “They figure out how to make it right,” she added.

4. Apologize publicly and gloat privately.

True leaders don’t just praise publicly and criticize privately. They are also humble enough to apologize publicly and gloat privately.

“You don’t see leaders bragging about their success,” said Jennifer. “They talk about their team and their team’s contributions. And if they feel really good about themselves, they do it at home or with a close friend but not publicly.” A leader will apologize and take accountability their actions.

5. Give the hard message.

“It’s very easy to praise somebody. It’s easy to give somebody a raise or a good review.” It can be much harder, however, to have the tough conversations.

While admitting that this might sound like a harsh thing to say, Jennifer pointed out that not everyone does an outstanding job all the time. “You’ve got to tell them, and then you’ve got to move on,” she acknowledged.

The Takeaway

Her parting words for the group were filled with encouragement to strive to be a leader and not just a manager. “Learn to inspire and motivate as opposed to dictate,” she said in closing. “At the end of the day, good leaders often don’t do the work but they make you feel like they did.”

 

Jo Miller

Jo is Founding Editor of Be Leaderly, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc., and creator of the Women’s Leadership Coaching® system, a roadmap for women who want to break into leadership. She has traveled in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and workshops, and counts being the only Aussie women’s leadership coach in Iowa among her unique “koalafications.” Learn more about Jo’s services at womensleadershipcoaching.com and follow @jo_miller on Twitter.

Recommended

What Good is Wisdom if it Isn't Shared?

Susan Drumm asks "What do you wish someone would have told you about leadership and how to lead a team?" If only I knew then ...

7 Rules for Success When Presenting to C-Suite Execs

A business idea pops into your head. It’s a good one—solid enough for you to summarize and run up the chain of command. A few ...

When Your Team Loses It's Spark.

A high-level sales manager (we’ll call her Jo) challenged me — taking exception to my statement that incentives, rewards and prizes are not optimal tactics ...

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

How to Manage Former Peers

Let’s talk about a potentially awkward situation. You get a new role and ...

Ask an Exec – 4 Steps for Establishing Credibility and Influence

For many women leaders, their biggest question about being a better leader has ...

You Don’t Have to be an Expert to Share Your Expertise
You Don’t Have to be an Expert to Share Your Expertise

Feeling that you’re not “senior enough” to give a presentation at an event? Well, chances

Leaderly Quote: Leadership is not about making a big splash…
Leaderly Quote: Leadership is not about making a big splash…

Taking on a challenging “stretch” assignment is a great way to break out of a

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Parul Shorey
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Parul Shorey

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

Stretch Assignments Provide Career Insurance
Stretch Assignments Provide Career Insurance

I was interviewed by Jill Gregorie of Ignites, the Financial Times site source for the

Leaderly Quote: Build a network of people who inspire, challenge and motivate…
Leaderly Quote: Build a network of people who inspire, challenge and motivate…

What’s your most challenging career goal? Whether it is to raise your hand for new

Your Team Has Big Plans. Are Their Hearts In It?
Your Team Has Big Plans. Are Their Hearts In It?

Every team has big plans to make this the best year ever. But those teams

Leaderly Quote: Take the lead…
Leaderly Quote: Take the lead…

Here at Be Leaderly we don’t believe in waiting for permission or an invitation to

7 Ways to Spot a Potential Sponsor
7 Ways to Spot a Potential Sponsor

A sponsor is someone who is willing to place a bet on untapped potential. A

Leaderly Quote: Building a strong team
Leaderly Quote: Building a strong team

A 2015 poll by Monster.com revealed an ugly truth about the extent to which the American

The Top Five Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top Five Most-Read Articles This Month

Here are our top five, most-read articles that other emerging leaders have been enjoying on

Saying Yes to High Visibility Projects – 5 Steps to Success
Saying Yes to High Visibility Projects – 5 Steps to Success

No matter whether you are just starting out in your career or about to retire,

Leaderly Quote: Leadership presence requires warmth and authority…
Leaderly Quote: Leadership presence requires warmth and authority…

Leadership presence requires warmth and authority. Lead with warmthority. The experts tell us that if

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Nethra Murali
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Nethra Murali

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

You Messed Up at Work. Here’s What To Do Next.
You Messed Up at Work. Here’s What To Do Next.

Your heart is racing. You can’t believe you just messed up at work. You’re certain

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2017, Be Leaderly