I can see it now−you’ve gotten that long awaited promotion. Now you’re finally in charge of a team of people. You have the office you’ve been wanting, you get to sit in on those top secret conference calls and you get to make decisions on how the budget is spent. You're on top of the world. Big things await you…right?
Soon after you settle in, your new team starts coming to you for advice, insight, ideas and direction; you’re expected to run routine team meetings, have a planned agenda full of meaningful and productive topics, and you’re even expected to **gasp** follow through.
Over time, you get through each day by making decisions on your own, then telling the team what comes next. You’re consistently checking up on their progress, decisions and deadlines. Instead of wasting time consulting with your team on the direction something needs to go, or what will be next, you go ahead and make those decisions for everyone. Instead of spending time talking to your team about what they want to do next with their career, you just keep handing them work that surely makes them happy. It’s just what you have to do to get through the day, right?
Congratulations. You’re a manager. However, what decision makers often don’t tell you when they put you in a managerial role is… your team wants a leader. Not a manager.
They want someone who:
Becoming a leader doesn’t happen overnight and while some people are born with the capabilities to lead others, some can take a while longer to get the hang of it. As with anything, practice makes perfect. Either way, if you haven’t already, one day you just might find yourself getting to choose what you do with this opportunity.
So which will you be? A manager or a leader?