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Leader Vs Manager: Have You Lost the Influence to Be Either?

Graphic Showing Circle of InfluenceYou may not be leading if you have abdicated your opportunities to do so.

Take a look at the dynamics on your team. Who is really in charge? Who's the most influential? I've encountered a lot of managers who take a backseat to team members ... team members who are aggressive, who are causing some sort of fear or intimidation to others on the team.

Leader Vs Manager: Where Popularity Fits In

That's not to say that you can't step back and allow others their moments in the spotlight. In fact, leaders give other people opportunities to shine. No, what I'm talking about are the situations when managers are cowering. They're afraid. They don't think that they can maintain control of the situation when others are aggressive or dominant.

This comes from a lack of confidence. It comes from the misunderstanding about what it means to lead.

It's not about being popular. That is not the point of managing or leading. Being popular ultimately comes with being a people builder. Being popular as a manager or leader comes from being consistent and fair in setting expectations, and holding people accountable, and providing development opportunities so they can exceed those expectations and grow.

If you are in a position where people are looking for you to lead them, the only time to step back is when you're making room for others to soar.

Master the Tough Conversations

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a leader or developing your supervisory skills, be sure to check out our popular program Workplace Conversations. It’s available to organizations of any size as a group workshop or for self-paced e-learning you can access on your own. You can learn more about executive coaching and other ways we put people first at

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