January 22, 2016
A lot has been written about the differences between management and leadership and with the rise of the knowledge worker, managers start to understand, that you don’t manage people but you lead them.
Management expert Peter Drucker wrote in one of his books: “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”
What does this mean?
It means that the task of en executive is to bring out the best in people. In means that the most important task of a leader is not to lead his people but to educate them.
The word education comes from the latin word “educare” and it means: to draw out, to bring forth. This is what today`s leaders need to do, they lead by helping their team members to tap into their greatness. They help to unlock the unused and undeveloped potential which is dormant in each and every one. Even in themselves.
Leaders are teachers
Now, you may say: “How can I do this? I am not educated to be a teacher. I am not even sure if I want to be one.” And I say: “You are absolutely right, you are not yet a great teacher, but how about starting to share your experiences with others?
Sharing your experiences can be a great start. By sharing your experiences you can help your team mates to avoid the mistakes you already made. They can also profit by what and how you achieved it without going through the tough and long learning curve.
Just doing this brings forth many more desirable leadership traits, such as openness, honesty, transparency, audacity and authenticity.
By sharing your experiences in an easy-to-understand and applicable way, you have already made a giant step towards becoming an awesome teacher.
Are you afraid?
Of course you are, because this means that there is work to do, work on yourself. What every great leader has to learn first is to lead himself.
As a leader you have to be honest to yourself and admit that there are things you have to learn, and once you know exactly what it is and where you can get the best education, you will do it. No matter what.
Leaders always go first
As a leader you don’t have to be the best in everything, but at least you have to be willing to do it.
No one in your team expects you to be great in every discipline. Quite the contrary is true, your people love to support you with what they are good at. If you acknowledge your team mates for what they can do best, you not only help them raise their self-confidence and self-esteem but you also build trust with them.
This is how you, as a leader, build the needed trust so that your people want to follow you. By letting others see how it is, you remove all reasons for wearing a mask and playing a role which does not fit.
By challenging yourself in front of others you encourage them to do the same. By initiating and creating new things you stimulate their inborn talent to innovate and reinvent themselves.
The list of positive things that originate from sharing experiences with others goes on and on and on. Once you have made sharing your second nature, your hunger to teach more will grow. Promised!
We are all perfect teachers and leaders in the process of becoming
What managers can learn from leaders
Seven key points you may want to think about:
- You manage processes, but you lead people.
- Leaders are teachers.
- Leaders share and care.
- Leaders are true to themselves and others.
- Leaders don’t look for perfection. They are occupied with progress.
- Leaders initiate and create.
- Leaders develop themselves and others.