How To Be A Leader, Not A Manager

How To Be A Leader, Not A Manager

Rayson Choo 26/02/2023
How To Be A Leader, Not A Manager

Leadership requires trust, honest and integrity. It's all about building strong ties, developing people and achieving big things.

As the saying goes: "Leaders inspire people to want to do something. Managers hold people accountable for doing something".

As I think about those leaders who have had the most lasting impact on my life, I am reminded that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to being a successful leader. Leadership styles and approaches often vary widely across organizational types and sizes, industries and sectors. 

When someone is promoted into a role where they are managing people, they don’t automatically become a leader. We hear a lot about how people want to be leaders, not managers. We talk about developing leadership skills, but rarely management skills. People often leave jobs due to feeling like they have been micromanaged. But unless we ourselves had a great leader to learn from, it can be hard to know how to transition from management to leadership.

There are important distinctions between managing and leading people. In this newsletter, entrepreneur, endurance athlete, and father of three, Kyle Sanders, and I will dive deep and look at the differences between both. 

"We do not create a legacy by what we say. We create a legacy by what we do." Kyle Sanders

Here are some valuable tips which I believe can help you to hone your leadership skills and unleash the leader in you:

1) Be A Student of Relationships

"I began to be a student of human interactions. So, I got really curious about why that person did not engage with me. Why did they not connect?" 

Karl suggested that instead of getting offended and saying nasty things so as to deflect the discomfort that you had from that person, he implores all of you to be really curious and ask 'why did that happen to me?'. Then, take time to investigate and research. Have deep and vulnerable conversations with these people. 

Remember: Don't guess. It'll make an ass out of you and everybody.

2) Have a Heart of Service

According to Kyle, the heart of true leadership is service. He shared that this is not like a game for you to make a move to win your audience.

Don't have a mind of service. 

"The mind of service says if I go and do this nice thing for you, then you might do something in return. Well, now you are serving someone in your mind, right? That might work but it's super unauthentic and people will pick up on that. When you serve from your heart, it's detached from expectations that they are going to do something in return".

3) Have Curiosity and Humility

"If you think you know everything, then you are done learning".

Kyle shared that leaders should be curious because if they approach things with curiosity, it's easier for them to be less worried about failure. "Because I'm curious about what's happening here and what the outcome might be. It helps you to overcome that fear of perfection and fear of failure"

"You are the average of the 5 people that you spend your most time with." Kyle Sanders

4) Vision Is Key

"You gotta be somebody who can both see the process and the destination". Leadership success always starts with vision. John F. Kennedy famously dreamed of putting a man on the moon. Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned a world of equal opportunity for women and minorities. Lee Kuan Yew's vision of Singapore was of a multicultural meritocracy not any race specific nation.

Compelling visions can truly change the world. But staying invested in them can be extremely difficult when hard times arrive. Therefore, Kyle shared that you need the next attribute in order to stay in the game. 

"Find people, even if you have to work for free. Look and find leaders who are living life in the way that you want to at the next level." Kyle Sanders 

5) Have Grit

"Stuffs gonna be hard. I mean if you are running a business, you don't need a pandemic to make things difficult for an entrepreneur. We just need Tuesday. Just an average Tuesday can throw wrinkles at you".

No matter what success means to you, studies actually show that those who exhibit more "grit" and persistence have a better chance of reaching milestones and exceeding personal goals. And guess what? Grit, like many other competencies, is something that can be developed with practice. 

6) Have Passion

"You have to have passion. If you don't care about what you are doing, how do you expect anyone else to"?

Leaders are people who make things happen. Like what Kyle shared during the interview, when he sees people who really excel in their career or life, he notices that they have a strong passion for what they do. That passion makes a world of difference.

If the person has the top notch education, right strengths and experiences, but his/her heart is not in it, then it'll not move the crowd

7) Don't Focus On The Trophies

"What makes a great leader is what you are doing today that earns you the right to mentor and lead me now. The ticket price is paid daily. Leadership isn't like I got my MBA. Merry Christmas, congratulations right? That's great. So, what are you doing now? The leaders that inspire me the most are the ones who are still out grinding. They are out working, doing, creating, and impacting. They are in the trenches."

Kyle added that we shouldn't be mistaken by fancy cars, rings, or watches. Instead, you should be looking for somebody who's out grinding still when they don't need to be. Remember: Just because you were successful last year doesn't mean that you can rest your laurels. You got to keep pushing and challenging yourselves.

8) Walk The Talk

According to Kyle, the one mistake that many leaders are making more than others is cheap talking and not doing.

"Forgive me for saying it this way but they run their mouths and their feet don't move. You shouldn't have to say much. Like if you need to run around and tell people what your values are or how great of a leader you are, you probably suck. Your actions are going to speak far more than what you say".

9) Don't Stop Growing

"They stop growing. They get to a certain place and they say well, that's good enough. They don't recognize responsibility that comes from leadership".

Kyle stated that it's a humbling thing for him to be a leader. As leaders, we need to encourage lifelong learning and support others. Not only will fostering a growth mindset lead to greater personal, team and organizational outcomes, it will help everyone achieve their fullest human potential.

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Rayson Choo

Transformation Catalyst Expert

I am a Transformation Catalyst. What I do is I pick the brains of the best entrepreneurs you have in this world such as Gary Vee, Grant Cardone and etc to find out from them what are some of the simple and effective steps that millennials like myself can take to experience success in the swiftest and most effective way possible.I do that through podcasting. The millennials who have listened to the podcast have experienced personal transformation because they have gotten the tips they need to move forward. 

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