As a leader, you must interact with your people everyday to inspire them to convert their vision into action, into reality. That reality depends on the versatility you display in the different roles you play. As a leader, you perform functions that require knowledge, attitudes, and skills ranging from creating a vision to raising funds to creating alliances, to developing your people, and transmitting information.
Can you be a manager and a leader the same time? Can you play different roles in the exercise of leadership? While designing a learning program develop leadership competences, we looked at the realities to which leaders are exposed and drafted a model, “The Hand of the Leader”, explain the five roles every leader must master. Let’s examine these five roles:
- Manager: As a manager, you seek and manage the necessary resources, coordinate actions, generate results, measure and control, report, ensure quality of processes, goods and services.
- Visionary: As a visionary, you create the vision, create the means to communicate it effectively, emotionally and rationally inspire your team members, and act as an agent of change.
- Coach: As a coach, you act as an athletic scout, seeking talent, developing successors, expanding potential through coaching-style interactions.
- Educator: As an educator, you transfer information, knowledge and experience through conferences, talks, workshops or instructive conversations develop team competencies and the intellectual capital of the organization.
- Ambassador: As an ambassador, you form strategic alliances for mutual support; plan effective strategies to develop media and inter-institutional relations; and promote the philosophy, history and services of your organization.
The myth that a manager cannot be leader appears to be fading as the roles of leaders are being assumed by individuals who may be highly skilled only in one of the five roles, but gain proficiency in the rest and achieve a balance needed to achieve critical objectives.
The “Hand of the Leader”, on which the thumb represents the manager, the index finger the visionary, the middle finger the coach, the ring finger the educator, and the little finger the ambassador, allows you to observe and analyze your performance and results in each role.
The Hidden Role
The “hidden role” is represented by the wrist, which gives flexibility and mobility to the hand and consequently to the fingers (roles).
This sixth role, like a sixth sense, is the role of learner. As a learner, you proactively seek to improve yourself, not only through information, but also through attitudes and abilities to become better at directing yourself and others.
You must learn to master these six roles to achieve positive results in terms of quality, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, and enjoyment.
Ask yourself: How good am I at each of these roles. What do I have to learn or change to be better in each role?
By using the “Hand of the Leader” as a guide, you can see how versatile and balanced you are as a leader, and you can improve your performance to better influence your people and impact your bottom line. We all need leaders who are aware of their own strengths, who improve themselves, and help their people and organizations succeed.