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Leadership is a big topic and there have been many article, business books and theories on the subject.

Here are a few of my observations based more on the “school of hard knocks” than academia.

So often managers, especially those new to the role, make the same mistakes time and again … and yes, I count myself right in there having made my share of mistakes!

Following are a few of the very common mistakes from new managers.  They …

  • want to remain “friends” with their people.

  • have trouble delegating, usually because they feel they can do it better themselves.

  • have a different set of rules for themselves.

  • try to “manage” by telling their people what to do.

  • have trouble delegating, and the tougher things get the more “hands on” the manager gets.

A leader is someone who …

  • creates the right atmosphere for success;

  • instills confidence and rallies her people together;

  • will guide and set direction;

  • resists the urge to “cream” people for their mistakes;

  • will resist the urge to roll up their sleeves and do it themselves;

  • will “be there” when needed;

  • displays the characteristics that they expect from their people;

  • through their example gains the respect and admiration of their team;

  • will make the tough decisions when needed;

  • will have the tough conversations; but will also

  • will provide support and a positive environment that rewards success;

  • does not abuse their position of power.

Great leaders have great empathy for their people, and their people know that. However great leaders also keep enough distance in their relationship. Great leaders also have a strong moral compass and are governed by that!

A couple of Vince Lombardi quotes:

“The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert.”

“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal”