Have you ever looked at your current manager or supervisor and thought, “I can do such a better job than them?” Maybe you feel all they ever do is order people around and they don’t have the proper skills to do their job effectively. The fact of the matter is most of us have had similar thoughts at one point or another. Honestly speaking, some supervisors and managers do not have the skills to perform their roles at the level the position requires. However, others do. They have the knowledge, the skills, and the qualifications. The problem is, though their management skills are up to par, their leadership skills are severely lacking.
Many people, inclusive of HR staff, miss the significance of leadership as an important component when considering management. A manager of an organization is responsible for planning, organizing, leading and controlling. A leader is someone who has the ability to influence others. Though one of the functions of management is leadership, not all managers have the qualities of a leader, hence, their function becomes three-fold. Leadership, however, is probably the most important management function in getting the staff to perform their duties, and to do so willingly. No matter how much planning, organizing, and controlling head management tries to do, unless your staff sees you as somewhat likable and relatable (both of which are aspects of leadership) they are not going to support your vision for the organization. Unless your ability to positively influence them is properly cultivated chances are they can care less what you think and will be solely working for the paycheck. They will have no heart felt investment in the betterment of the company.
I am sure many are knowingly nodding their heads to what they already read. What you may not know is that you, no matter your position is, have the ability to lead. Your title does not have to be CEO, CFO, President, Director, Manager, or Supervisor to be a leader. Leadership does not mean you have to be the one “running the show”. If you have the potential to positively influence others then you have the foundation to be a good leader.
People, not in leadership positions, mainly find themselves leading by example. Oftentimes when others see something in you they like and are curious about they will begin to admire that quality in you. They are more willing to hold conversations with you, ask you questions and ask for your advice. Through these interactions, they will start finding value and worth in what you do. As a result, it is likely they will make positive changes because of your influence. The fact that you are able to influence means you are in essence a leader.
When people see something in us that we ourselves don’t think is such a big deal, we tend to question their admiration. “What in me is so fascinating?!” Well, the truth of the matter is, two people can have similar qualities and habits, but one person gets minimal attention for it while the other person is all the rave. What is the difference? The difference is CONFIDENCE. When you carry yourself with confidence (not arrogance) people become drawn to you and you create a followership. No one is going to ascertain to be like someone they think is insecure. They want someone who will “own it” and “do it like a boss”.
So we have established that a leader has the ability to influence and does so with confidence. If you have these two attributes you can lead from where you are. Whether that is from behind the secretarial desk, from behind the cash register, or yes, from a supervisory level. However, once you have established your ability to lead. The worst thing you can do is become arrogant and get caught up in self-interests. When you lead from a non-supervisory position you are leading from a place where people do not have to listen to you. Even though they may admire you, they are quite aware that listening (or not listening to you) does not affect their paycheck or their life otherwise. Hence, if they sense that you are becoming full of yourself because of their admiration they will become disinterested. Your ability to be a positive influence of change has gone out the door.
Every single person on this earth has the ability to positively influence someone. This means everyone can be a leader. Most of these potential leaders will never have a managerial or supervisory role, so if they choose to tap into their ability to lead, they must lead from where they are. If you already see this potential in you do not hesitate to confidently invest in others while remaining humble at the same time. We all have the ability to be something great, so go and LEAD!
Claytine Nisbett is an entrepreneur, blogger, motivational speaker, and author of a new coming-of-age novel, Life As Josephine, click here to find out more and purchase. She holds a BA in Sociology, is Certified for Non-Profit Management, and has been trained in Transformational Leadership by UN Women – Barbados. She uses this space to blog about what she is passionate about – creating and maintaining positive relationships among women, women-based and women-led organizations.