You Manage From The Rear But You Lead From The Front

I believe that most of us have exceptional leadership qualities when given a chance to exercise them – but my greatest pet peeve in all of my careers has always been working for managers who possess no leadership qualities whatsoever. You manage from the rear but you lead from the front.

Don’t get me wrong… the world needs managers too but how many managers are also awesome leaders at the same time? How many managers invest their energies leading the way for those who report to them while at the same time inspiring them? How many managers just show up to the job, drink their coffee, play on the phone, and merely issue orders and edicts?

It’s pretty easy to tell when you are working for a leader rather than just a manager. A leader will always be the first on the job, and the last to leave when the task is done. A leader will know how to capitalize the best on the talents of their teams and not only will put those talents into play but is also smart enough to know how to further develop and foster skills that are already there.

A leader looks after everyone with the mission and the goals of the organization in mind… Managers mostly just look out for themselves.

A leader will usually show you how to get something done and be present throughout the process… A manager will usually just tell you want to do and vanish.

The bottom line is if you want to be a leader, you have to be comfortable with being out in the front of everything. You don’t pass the buck when it comes time to make hard decisions either because that is what being a leader is mostly about – being the one who has the courage to make the decisions, own the results, and press on.

Managers usually don’t like making decisions. Ever.

It’s something to think about… Which are you and which would you rather be? Are you a leader who inspires and motivates others, or just a manager who insulates themselves well behind the lines of action?

You manage from the rear but you lead from the front.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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