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October 3, 2016

Making the Transition from Manager to Leader

When you are promoted into a leadership role, it can be a challenge to make the shift from being a manager to leading. Managers focus on the day-to-day running of the organization, manage staff performance, and generally get the work done. Leaders, on the other hand, focus on the vision and mission of the organization, motivate and inspire staff, and steer the organization toward the larger goals. Here are some strategies to help make the shift easier for you and your staff. jet medium

  • Understand different leadership styles and when they are appropriate. For example, a controlling or director style is good when safety issues are involved or in times of crisis when firm leadership is required, but it is not a style that inspires or motivates. It also will turn off younger employees. See my blog post How Each Generation Views Leadership.
  • Know what motivates your team. Different things motivate different people. It’s not one size fits all! Some employees value flexibility, some want monetary rewards, others prefer promotions and new opportunities. Motivation also varies by generation. Generally, older employees prefer tangible rewards while younger staff members want rewards that foster work-life balance. For more information on generational differences, see my blog post Bridge the Generation Gap and my e-book Leading 4 Generations.
  • Delegate more. You may be tempted to continue handling day-to-day activities, and many leaders also have a managerial role. However, learning how to delegate is a key leadership skill that gives you more time for leading and helps you develop the skills and independence of your employees. See my blog post Delegate for Results.

Becoming a leader is an exciting, challenging time. If you make a mistake, be accountable and strive to improve. It may take a while for others to view you in your new role, but with patience and persistence, you will succeed.

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