What does being a leader mean?

Ever since I was a five-year old girl, I have always dreamt of being a leader. Now that I am an adult my wish did not change, apart from a small correction. I understood that when I was a little girl I actually wanted to be a leading manager, not knowing that being a manager and a leader is actually quite different. It has been only few years that I have discovered the essence of leadership. So, being a leader…what does it really mean?

First of all, it is very important to distinguish between manager and a leader, since two definitions are quite close. I came across an extremely interesting article “5 ways to be a Leader, Not Manager” written by Jo Miller, in which she presents the thought of a CFO for Global Banking and Global Markets with Bank of America – Jennifer Hill.

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Being in a senior leadership positions, Jennifer defined for herself the total leadership world. Leadership for her has the following qualities: responsibility, accountability and decisiveness. Moreover, she insists that there is a big difference between a manager and a leader. Being extremely lucky to work with the best leaders, Jennifer created five lessons on leading.

First of all, we need to be aware of the fact that real leaders don’t waist time talking about the problems. Whenever a problem occurs leaders work on finding solutions.

The second lesson, according to Jennifer, is – “You must guide consensus”. Thus, only direction and decisiveness create necessary actions.

The third lesson can be used not only in business, but in private life as well. It says – listen more and speak less. Talking about leadership, it’s very important to understand that sometimes people need not an advice, but need to be heard. Leaders never tell about their own success, they always tell about their team and share common, not personal results and achievements. “…and if they are really happy about themselves, they talk about it at home or with close friends, but not publicly” as Jennifer said.

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Last but not least, you need to be ready to give the hard message. Except giving somebody praise, leader should point out mistakes.

These are the five lessons that motivate people to become a leader. Lastly, we need to understand that leadership means leading people…as Jennifer Hill said: “Learn to inspire and motivate as opposite to dictate.”

About the Author

Anastasia S comes from Ukraine. Her family home is in Donetsk and during the last year she has faced a completely new world of fear and uncertainty. She has completed her Masters in Economics and is now happy to have a job, any job. The challenge of making her way in this new environment has led her to new insights on both the personal and business worlds.