Episode One – Leader-ship vs. Manager-ship, pick a boat.
By: Jessica Fern
Would you get on a ship if you didn’t trust the captain? Nobody would. Most people, at one point in their lives have boarded the “manager-ship” and not the “leader-ship”. I’m sure you have worked with or for someone who was consistently looked at with bewilderment and wonder with the question of “who put YOU in charge”? Or, maybe you were/are the captain of the “manager-ship” and when you finally arrived at your destination, you turned around in celebration of your own accomplishment, and ended up celebrating alone because you were so internally focused that you didn’t even realize everyone jumped off.
You see, leadership is a verb – an action word, not a noun. Leadership is earned by influence, not assigned with authority. Leadership takes no days off. Today’s leadership effort doesn’t carry over to tomorrow. It’s not on occasion, it is consistent. You have to show up every day and be a leader as consistency builds trust. People learn to rely on you and your intent. Your actions must line up with your words as words do not make for sore muscles.
The captain of the leader-ship celebrates with their team while the captain of the manager-ship takes the credit. The leader-ship captain creates motivation, incentive, and buy-in for the team based on what is best for the greater good. The captain of the manager-ship uses authority to motivate based on what is personally best. Managing is getting things done right, leadership is getting the right things done. Do people “have to” follow you or do they “want to” go along with you? We naturally give more of our best when we want to.
Which captain are you? Does the room get quiet when you walk in the door? Do people share concerns with you easily? Do you know the values behind those who are working with you, for you, and most important their WHY? Do you express gratitude and appreciation freely, or do you operate with a “you’re welcome” attitude?
So, you’re the captain of the manager-ship – how do you start boarding the leader-ship?
You need trust – go earn it.
You need respect – go give it.
You need communication – go listen.
You need buy-in – share the vision.
The more you give as a leader, the more you will get. You cannot make progress as a leader if you are not honest about whether or not you are a good one. You need, by definition, people to trust you enough to follow you. The purpose of leadership is to mobilize people towards a collective purpose and thrive. You need a team to help you accomplish big dreams, you’re not a solo act. At the end of the day, treat people like they make a difference and they will.
Follow Jessica on Instagram @jessicafern08