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Communicating as a Leader

Taking Charge and Refocusing as a Manager and Leader

Darnell E. Patton asked:

Being a manager in a business is no simple task. You will have more duties and responsibilities than you will ever realize.  For starters, you have to manage, lead, set the example, and meet the company’s objectives, just to name a few, while maintaining focus, stability, and consistency. 

It is very easy to lose focus and become complacent in any organization.  Some managers get too comfortable in their position and stop managing all together.  A good manager not only manages, but he or she leads. However, a problem is that many have never led and if they’ve never led, they can’t effectively lead. 

You have those other managers who were good leaders but stop leading all together. They had the passion while coming up the ranks, but lost it along the way. They won’t give you the same effort and attention they would’ve maybe 5 years ago. Their drive is not the same. A lot of them are just riding off of past success, which tends to bring up that old infamous question, “What have you done for me lately?”

The managers who never led or lacks experience often develop the “Do as I say and not as I do” attitude as a default. It becomes a security blanket for them when they don’t have the answer or solution to a simple question or situation. In turn, many of them will not be respected by their workers. The last thing you want is for your workers to do is respect your position and not you. Workers want someone who can set a good example for them to follow. They want someone who can correct them and teach them at the same time. Managers with this type of attitude really distance themselves from their employees, which closes the door for open communication.

To take charge and refocus as a manager, remember that your position doesn’t make you better than your employees; it just put you in a higher position.  You must also understand is that managing and leading are not the same thing, but are used interchangeably by many.  The truth of the matter is they are very different.  Managing is a job and leadership is a process.  Manage is what you are paid to do and leadership is a practice that you must continuously develop. To be a very effective manager, you must poses and be able to apply both at the right time. However, this requires a lot of time, mentoring, knowledge, and experience.  You will not be able to do this overnight effectively, because managing and leading requires a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week commitment.

Understand that no matter how good you are at managing and leading and no matter how long you’ve been doing it, you will never truly perfect it.  All leaders make mistakes, but it’s what they learn from the mistakes that will continue to develop them and make them better.

It is not always easy to keep the passion day after day and year after year, but to regain focus, you must fault check and ask yourself, “Am I still doing what I did in the beginning to get me where I am?” if your answer is no, you may have lost touch and you have to take charge and regain focus. Push your pride aside and humble yourself and focus on the basics and development.  That is what helped get you to where you are and it will help to get you to where you want to be.

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