The Best Managers Are Leaders Too - Marc Kitsko

The Best Managers Are Leaders Too

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The Best Managers Are Leaders Too

Recently, I was speaking at a leadership retreat and the topic of what makes a person a good leader came up.  People were using the terms manager and leader synonymously as though the two words meant the same thing.  So, I quickly surveyed the audience and asked, “How many of you have a good boss?” A good number of hands went up. Then I asked, “How many of you that raised your hand consider your boss to be a good leader?” Less hands went up.  Just because you’re the boss or a manager doesn’t mean you’re a good leader. It only means you have a role to perform a duty and make sure everyone else is moving toward the company’s goal or objective.


According to several surveys, less than one-third of managers are considered to be strong leaders. If this is true, that means two-thirds of the workforce is spending their time working in an environment where they have someone in a decision-making role that they do not consider to be a good leader. And if that isn’t bad enough, a quick Google search will reveal some interesting statistics:


  • 40% of the workforce is disengaged.

  • Two out of three employees don’t feel motivated to move the company towards its goal.

  • 25% of employees just want a paycheck.


If you own a business or you’re in a position of authority to make business decisions, you have an incredible opportunity to set your business apart from the competition. This happens when you hire managers who have these six leadership traits. These are what I call the six “Cs” of leadership. If your managers have the six Cs of leadership they will be not only be a good manager that fulfills his/her duty, but they will be outstanding leaders that help their people be more productive, more engaged, and more successful in their roles.



Character matters. People are watching what leaders do and what they say. When what you say and do are not consistent people will question your character, and once your character is in question a leader cannot effectively lead others. Without trust those you lead will not follow you. But with trust you can accomplish great things and produce great results.


People know if you care or not. Being sincerely interested in other people’s growth and lives, gives them a sense of feeling appreciated. When people feel appreciated they perform better and produce greater results, however, when people sense the leader is going through the motions and really doesn’t care, people’s motivation will be diminished. As the old saying goes, “People don’t quit a job they quit a boss.”  Good leaders care about those on their team and believe in their professional and personal growth.


I remember in my military training the drill instructor yelling out, “Winners do what losers won’t do.” Good leaders are committed to the task even when nobody else wants to do the work. Managers give directives and often times have others do the tasks they don’t want to do, however, a leader is committed to the task so much that he/she will do whatever it takes for it to be successfully done. This is why leaders are leaders because they set themselves apart from those who are doers and those who aren’t.


Being confident is believing in yourself – Your knowledge. Your abilities. When you are a confident leader it radiates from you to others and your confidence makes it easier for others to confidently follow you.


Leaders who communicate clearly leave no room for their subordinates to doubt what the goal is and what is expected of them. A poor communicator leaves everyone guessing, doubting, and wondering what to do or how their performance is.  When a manager is silent the vacuum is filled with fear, but when a leader communicates an objective can be easily achieved.


Ever meet a manager who knew everything? The quickest way to lose credibility is to act like you know everything.  Managers often feel like they have to know everything, but a good leader knows that they don’t have to be an expert in everything but part of their competence is to ask the right questions and find the answers from the right people. People follow competent leaders.

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