Where I am, they call all the managers, leaders. But from where I sit, not all of them are leadership material at all. Not that I consider myself leadership material either, but compared to some of the others…
Now many of the managers are good people. They also make good managers. By good managers, I mean they:
- are good administrators and can manage the endless paperwork that comes their way.
- are excellent communicators, responding well to phone calls and emails.
- follow up on tasks and assignments regularly and manage deliverables.
- tend to be good at delegation.
But they lack a few or all of the following:
- courage to make independent decisions and standing by them.
- taking responsibility or accountability and tries to blame others.
- willing to help grow their people and instead see them as the way to get their work done.
- always learning and improving their skills except only as much to get a promotion.
- awareness of their abilities and limitations and willing to say when they don’t know something.
- ready to listen to other opinions.
- strategic and critical thinking skills.
These are qualities that I consider to make a good leader. Unfortunately, I find people with all the manager attributes, but few of the leadership qualities. I find that kind of telling the type of people that make it to management positions.
I tell my team that I’m going to help them become better leaders, but don’t expect me to help them become managers. Because we need leaders at all levels, but we could do with fewer managers.