Paying Attention to Leadership Over Management

Five Strategies for Success

By Neen James

Have you ever stopped to pay attention to the difference between leadership and management? One isn’t better than the other necessarily, but they definitely take you down different paths. Management is all about the right here, right now – managing processes and people and staying in the status quo. Leadership, however, is about looking into the future and mapping out new ways to thrive for yourself and your team.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can drive a leadership mentality.

1). Collaborate versus delegate. Delegate is when you are just telling people what to do. Collaboration, on the other hand, is bridging gaps between people – it’s reaching out for insights, ideas and new perspectives from other people. Can you reach out to other people in your organization, across departments or even outside your own company to find new, mutually beneficial ways to problem-solve, build momentum and grow? It’s a powerful connection when you can.

2). Be strategic versus tactical. It’s easy to get caught up in the tactical part of tackling your daily to-do lists. Leadership-thinkers take it to the next step. They look to the future goals and ask bigger questions so they can help craft new and better paths to success.

3). Design over process. Start today to question the design of how things have always been done. Look for the opportunities where you can design new growth or rethink old processes, improve skills, fuel innovation and encourage positive change.

4). Listen over talk. Communication is a powerful tool for both managers and leaders. The difference? Leaders give as much attention as they get, and sometimes more. They listen to both what is said, and what is unsaid. I find sometimes the biggest answers lie in that in-between! They listen, learn and then use that insight to challenge processes and improve systems.

5). Ownership versus routine. It’s easy to fall into routines. They are fast tracks, however, to mediocrity. Instead, encourage your team members to take ownership of their projects. Of the processes. Of their time. Their decisions. Their careers. Their choices. When you take ownership, you sharpen your focus on the things that are the most important, and when that happens in an organization, everyone gets better.

Amazing things can happen if you shift your mindset from manager to leader, embrace these strategies and take action to bring them to fruition.

About the Author
Neen James is an Executive Strategist and the author of Folding Time™ and Attention Pays™. She offers her clients powerful strategies for prioritizing focus on what matters most — so we can all pay more attention, create more significant moments, and increase productivity at work and home.