20
February, 2017

How To Lead Your Team Like A President

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How To Lead Your Team Like A President

George Washington. You’ve probably heard of him, considering he was the first President of the United States. Today, he remains in the minds of Americans as an icon, a man of such high regard that he is considered an American legend.

But how much about Washington is true, and how much is a myth? You may be disappointed to learn that he did not chop down his father’s cherry tree at the mere age of six, nor did he throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River (though he did throw a piece of slate across the Rappahannock River).

George Washington Oath

One thing that is true about Washington is that he was an inspirational leader — so much so that he is the only president to ever be unanimously voted into office. Even though he lost more battles than he won while Commander of the Continental Army, his ability to rally troops in even the most desperate of situations is what made him such an exemplary leader. 

“Remember, that is it the actions, and not the commission, that make the officer, and that there is more expected from him, than the title.” - George Washington to the Officers of the Virginia Regiment, 8 January 1756. 

Managers today can learn a lot by understanding Washington’s leadership style. As a manager in a company, it’s your responsibility to be a leader among your employees, not just their boss.

A Manager vs A Leader

The biggest myth of management is that managers are automatically leaders. A good manager should have all the qualities of a leader, however, managers don’t necessarily have the skills of a leader. 

George Washington Boss Walk

Knowing how to motivate your employees is one of the best ways a manager can become a leader, but learning what discourages them is even more important. A manager’s job is to organize, plan, and administer tasks to employees, which is an essential aspect of operation within any company. Nevertheless, understanding when to stop supervising and when to start guiding is vital to any successful management style.

Leaders will listen to their co-workers; managers will command their subordinates. Making your employees feel valued can A) create a workplace atmosphere that is more productive and creative, and B) decrease employee turnover. Knowing the needs of your workforce will help you to understand the needs of your company, and allow you as a manager to make the decisions necessary to drive your company forward.  Here’s a breakdown showing other differences between managers and leaders:

Leaders:

R

Encourage Others

R

Visionary

R

Emotionally Intelligent

R

See Opportunities

R

Do The Right Thing

Managers:

A

Expect To Be Followed

A

Doesn't Stray From Set Path

A

Unempathetic At Times

A

See Problems

A

Do Things The Right Way

Lead Your Team

The key to being a great manager is recognizing that you can only manage tasks, not people. People have to be lead, have to be given a purpose in which they feel they can make a difference. Washington is a perfect example of what a great leader should aspire to be. He fought on the front lines of the Revolutionary War, starved and froze alongside his troops, and kept a nation’s spirits high among almost certain defeat. It takes dedication and hard work to become a manager, but it takes courage to be a leader. Who do you think employees would rather work for: their manager, or their leader?

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