Warren Bennis, pioneer of modern leadership studies, said that “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.” Both are very necessary qualities in today’s workplace.
Inspirational leadership is much appreciated by followers and can be so effective in making the workplace a positive and productive place.
I’ve had many people tell me that one of the things that really demotivates them at work is their manager not leading by example.
So, the boss may be very strict about timekeeping and everyone knows that there will be consequences for being late to work, yet she is quite often not there for the first half hour.
Or, the only personal online time allowed for staff is at breaks or lunchtime, yet everyone sees the boss watching the test match avidly during the Ashes – his screen visible to all.
Or, the manager always stays on late after finishing time and you feel that you’re not really pulling your weight if you don’t do the same.
This kind of thing has more impact than you might think and the reverse is certainly true.
If team members see the boss getting stuck in to a job no-one likes to do, or stepping in to help out when there’s a tight deadline, respect and trust will grow.
If the manager skilfully wins over a disgruntled client, taking responsibility for the mistake even though they didn’t make it, or if she gives credit to the staff member who comes up with a great idea, rather than pretending that it’s her own, then that manager is taking the lead.
You are the leader so go ahead and inspire your team by your example.