4 Tactics to Transform from Manager to Leader

 In Leadership, Leadership Development, management, Rick Conlow

Want to transform your effectiveness? The difference between what a manager knows and what a leader does determine whether that person suffers or succeeds in leadership.

Anyone can “know” something, especially today when there’s a book for anything and the capability to Google everything. Nothing is out of reach to anyone that wants to reach out and learn. A manager becomes a successful leader when he or she applies the knowledge and strategically does the right things with the information. Peter Drucker said it this way: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

4 Tactics that Transform You from Manager to Leader

Transform from Manager to Leader

To ensure that, you separate yourself as a leader that does the right things, instead of one that just knows what’s right. Soak up these tactics for differentiation.

Detail down a strategy into specifics. So, you have a great idea (or you read about one)? Great! Sort of. But unless you break that down into specific, action-orientated details, you can’t take specific, detail-orientated action. Make sure you consider how to empower your team (training, engagement, eliminating obstacles etc.) to win. Think of your idea as a work of art – an ongoing process of creating and reworking things until the intended outcome is established and achieved.

Communicate well with employees and other key partners. Too often I see managers come up with these extravagant ideas, only to throw them onto their teams with confusing direction, unrealistic expectations, and little follow-up. If you take this approach, I can promise that you’ll have a lot of unmotivated, frustrated followers and co-workers. Just like a house can’t be built without a clear blueprint, a team can’t successfully execute with an unclear game plan.

Tell the story or vision. Think of any strategy as a story and imagine telling the story to someone who has no background information. This is the best way to hone in on what you don’t know and to define what you need to know. If you start telling the story and find yourself needing to stop, it’s because you don’t have the information or the resources you need at that point to continue with the story. This doesn’t need to put a halt to your plan but it should lead you to gather the missing pieces before moving on. Here’s a strong suggestion: include your team in flushing out the story. Participation breeds engagement. You can’t execute a successful strategy if the story is falling apart because no one understands it or is committed to it.

Accept responsibility and delegate certain authority. A really good strategy can’t be done in a silo. Great leaders understand how to appropriately empower others while taking responsibility when necessary and where relevant. Do your best to intentionally and strategically lead by example while including your team each step of the way.

Pulling it all Together

How do you transform from manager to leader? It comes down to learning what to do and understanding how to do it as well. The act makes something happen. With the above steps, you will create a higher performing team that achieve notable results. Writer William Arthur Ward said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” 

Transform from Manager to Leader

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Transform from Manager to Leader


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Rick Conlow
Rick Conlow is the CEO & Founder of Rick Conlow International, a consulting, training and coaching firm. He has helped over 200 companies such as Target, Costco, Andersen Windows, Spectrum, Northern Power, Meijer, Carpet King, International Truck, John Deere, Lowes Financial, and Canadian Linen improve customer loyalty, increase sales and add profits. Rick has been a general manager, vice president, training director, program director, and national sales trainer. He has authored 22 books, and regularly speaks at conferences and to audiences of all sizes.
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