Academic journal article Manager

Anyone Can Make a Bigger Difference

Academic journal article Manager

Anyone Can Make a Bigger Difference

Article excerpt

It happens all the time ... the opportunity for people to make a bigger difference at work, at home, in their communities. But too often people hold back or play small. Why so? And how can we be a bit braver in going for what we want? In my book this is all about leadership. Let me explain.

I was working with a group of managers from a big company the other day and it was all a bit humdrum. The people on the programme were senior execs, hard working and decent guys - and yet despite being on a leadership programme, there was no spark and no sense that they displayed any particular spark. This is such a waste of human potential.

Surprisingly, most of the people with whom I come into contact, even those with big roles, don't think of themselves as leaders. They think of themselves as managers. They understand what management takes and they do it very competently - but leadership? That, they tell me, Is done by people who are older, more senior, and possess more charisma They even believe that those people have been born with the potential to lead. And it is this mistaken belief about what it takes to be a leader that holds so many people back.

Consider a different perspective. We all have what I call a leader mode and we all have a well-honed operator/manager mode; the two are quite different.

You are in your leader mode whenever you care about what you are doing, when you are on the front foot in making it happen and when you are being your best in pursuit of a goal, strategy or objective. It feels exciting, energising and purposeful to be in leader mode and , no surprise, it is very engaging and attractive to others.

Contrast this with your operator/manager mode; you are doing what other people have asked of you. You know the rules of the game and you are doing all you can to do a great job, but there is less sense of you setting the direction or of really owning the project on which you are working. …

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