Be a leader, not just a manager
WITH MALATI MARLENE SHINAZY
VOLUNTEER WITH THE SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (SHRM) HAWAII CHAPTER AND STRATEGIC CONSULTANT AND FACILITATOR WITH PACIFIC LEADERSHIP CONSULTANTS IN HAWAII
All work teams have goals, or should. A manager’s role is to achieve those goals through their teams. Ever notice how some work teams enthusiastically do their jobs? What makes these teams so different are the energy of individuals and their managers’ skills. Leaders help members of their teams gain a sense of purpose and pride in achieving their goals, creating a shared vision. They encourage team members to use company values as behavior guides toward reaching their goals. If you want to be a leader, learn and practice the skills of leaders: Inspire a shared vision of the future and encourage others to practice the company values.
Q: How can I be a leader when our goals are to get the work out the door fast?
A: Try changing your thoughts about your team’s goals to a positive vision of what they are doing. You can see your team as just cranking out work, or, you can see it as “Creating happy customers who are thrilled to receive their products on time so their lives or businesses can continue smoothly.”
Once you change your view of your team’s work, be sure to let others know. The more often you talk about the positive vision, the easier it will be for members of your team to see it too.
Q: How can I follow our company’s values when I have never seen them?
A: Most companies have values written somewhere. Unfortunately, they are often on a faded poster in someone’s office, or tucked in a guidebook somewhere. Ask for a copy. As you review the values, ask yourself if they are still relevant in today’s workplace. If not, perhaps you can volunteer to lead a team to update them.
Q: I’m not a manager yet. What can I do now to get promoted?
A: Helping your team gain a sense of purpose will also help position you as a leader. Presenting a positive outlook even when deadlines are looming will go a long way toward ensuring that you are considered for leadership roles.