The Difference Between a Leader and a Manager

 

Even if there are thousands of articles written on this topic and even more books with this precise idea, I’m still very surprised every time someone with the “Manager” role on his or her business card, doesn’t understand what a big difference it is between being a Leader and/or a Manager. And even if it seems so easy, yet it’s not simple.

Through my article, I would prefer to highlight the most important difference (at least from my point of view) between a Manager and a Leader. And that is EQ. Or more precisely Emotional Intelligence. My strong belief is that EQ it’s the one that generates great results in any business, results shown in financial situations ultimately.

Being able to treat our colleagues with empathy, dignity, respect, proper communication (and not just any random words that one may consider being “communication”), can definitely have a huge impact in any organization. It’s very easy to make a simple calculation taking, for example, the next situation:

  1. You are the Manager of X Department/General Manager/VP/etc. You have a number of people in your team. Let’s say 5 people (you can put here whatever other number you want). Let’s say that, instead of being a true Leader, you choose to treat your direct reports (and not only) without respect, dignity, empathy, understanding. For how long do you think they will support this kind of treatment? One month, two, one year? In all this time, they will most likely: 1) search for new roles, OR 2) invest the minimum they can in order to deliver some results.
  2. How about the situation when you are, what I like to say, a true Leader? You treat all your people from your team like they are your colleagues, with a sense of equality. Being respectful, trustworthy, kind, and truly professional, it’s the norm and not the exception. You have some knowledge about human interaction and you genuinely treat everybody with understanding, assertively, and reliability. In all this time, your colleagues will: 1) invest their time, commitment, and energy, AND 2) do their best in delivering best in class results.

Example number 1 it’s equal with loss and waste through adds for new roles, destructive image of employer branding, hours wasted for finding and replacing the roles left empty, business put on hold or on others people’s shoulders when are roles left empty, and so on and so forth.

Example number 2 imagine what it’s equal with… A great cultural organization, people willing to invest their time and energy. Outstanding results speaking from themselves.  A very strong team, dedicated, wanting to go that extra mile. And so many more.

If you had the experience of having lived both those examples, what life lessons would you take from both of them?

The Combination of Intelligence, Looks and Self-confidence

No matter if we are men or women, it is very well known that the first thing that has an impact when interacting with other people is our looks. After that first moment, immediately as we start talking, we either confirm or not our intelligence (IQ or EQ). And later on our self-confidence.

For these three aspects one thing I know for sure it is very important: we have to work with ourselves in order to become the best version of ourselves. And all three are interconnected. And when we will end up in feeling that they are in harmony, that will be the moment when we will know we made it. Let me be more specific and take some life situations.

  1. Good looks, great intelligence and lot of self-confidence
  2. Good looks, great or medium intelligence, with or without self-confidence
  3. Not looking good, no intelligence, no self-confidence

Of course that all the situations mentioned above have a feature called relativity. Meaning that I can see myself or others being in the situation number 1. Another person can see me or others as being in the situation number 2 and so on.

  • Good looks, great intelligence and lot of self-confidence

In order for you to look great, I strongly believe that you need to have an inner peace, a good soul, a genuine interest in and helping others as much as you help yourself.  You need to do as much as possible for your personal and professional development. Oh, yes. And do some sport, listen to good music, travel, read interesting books, take different courses. Make all kind of activities that could be called “fitness for the brain”.

  • Good looks, great or medium intelligence, with or without self-confidence

Let’s call this a sort of middle position. In my opinion, here you are when you start to realize that you have to do so something with your life. And after you have realized that, you take action. What “action” means? Everything that can make you a better person every day, in comparison with yourself. Making this kind of comparison it will give you the right and good direction. If you compare yourself with others, most often you will be tempted to see only what others have and you don’t. And this can give you lot of frustration, bad mood, etc.

  • Not looking good, no intelligence, and no self-confidence.

Most often in this situation are the ones that rather don’t have the power to do anything with their life. They choose to stay in a sort of ignorance, they don’t take any action for their life because is easier to stay in a comfort zone. To ignore everything is easy in life and to make yourself a shell where you stay just because you are too afraid to step out your comfort zone. In my opinion, this is the saddest situation because in the long term you will end up on realizing that you didn’t live, you just existed.

Coming back to number 1, let me give you five things in which I believe very much and that I think it can help on this path through looking great,  having an extraordinary intelligence and self-confidence.

  • Attitude – no matter the social class, the job you have or the things you possess, attitude is the one that makes the difference. Like Coco Chanel once said: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”. She also said: “Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”
  • Sport – always helps the brain to assimilate extraordinary things, take good decisions, builds your body for giving you that great look and makes you feel more confident.
  • Quality things – it is much better to have few things, but quality ones, than a lot of things and with no quality. No matter if you are man or woman, take a smart decision when deciding on what kind of things you want to invest your money in. Because after all, this is a sort of a long-term investment because you invest in your image and your personal brand.
  • Learning – take different courses in order to have your mind open and fresh. Learning something new every day definitely helps you from so many points of view.
  • Quality people – they are the ones who inspire you to take the right decisions, to make so many good things for yourself. They are the ones who truly make a huge impact in your life.

One thing is for sure. You will become a great looking person, with a great intelligence and self-confidence if you work for these. The results will not appear overnight, but I can guarantee you that it will be worth it! And always remember to Enjoy 🙂

 

Why Every Week Preparation is very Useful for a Very Productive Next Week

 

 

Somewhere in September 2017, I had the chance to read a great article about Why Sunday Prep is Necessary for a Successful Week. I couldn’t agree more with Christina. And inspired by her points so clear and precise, I wanted to add and adapt my own list with some specific aspects and with the benefits of organizing your schedule.

So here they are:

  1. Administrative organization for myself

It is said that those people that keep their desk in a little mess are more creative. I don’t know what to say about that. The only thing I do have in mind is the fact that I just can’t function at my full speed when things are thrown away no matter where. For me, the “clean desk policy” is something that helps me very much and gives me a huge boost of productivity.

  1. Writing in my notebook all the major tasks I want to accomplish for the week

Apart from the fact that I have always enjoyed handwriting, nowadays I have understood why. Because our brain it’s psychologically hardwired to assimilate much better everything it’s important to us if we just write things down. Not to talk about the same sensation of productivity when you just check one task after another very well accomplished.

  1. Wardrobe preparation

I have to admit I can’t be so precise like Christina is, and it’s something that I appreciate very much that she can do that. For me personally, at least for the moment, it’s more useful that I got to that point when having in my wardrobe 80% clothes that make me feel good and joyful. Still, have that 20%, but I am working on it 🙂 So yes, every day when I wake up I know I will have at least two clothing items that I can combine in this joyful, professional, classic or stylish way ultimately.

  1. Relax and recharge

We work so much and hard, that sometimes we don’t even realize how time flies. Now it’s Monday, now it’s Sunday. Even if it’s only reading a single chapter from a book on one day, an article from a business magazine, going to a movie on another day, spending quality time with your friends or family, or doing whatever you consider being helpful and relaxing for you, go for it. After all, we are humans and we do need to recharge once in a while.

So no matter if it’s only for twenty minutes or five hours on one day, the most important thing it’s to do quality things for you also. You deserve it!

  1. Going minimalist

In this never-ending busyness, sometimes we are so tempted to go after so many material things. Me included. But I try my best every time, first of all, to ask myself: “Do I really need this dress/jacket/set of pots/plates/teaspoons/casseroles/jewelry, etc.? I’m not saying not to buy anything and stay only with old clothes or any other old items. No. I’m just saying that investing more in things that maybe you already have, you could start saving more.

And again, I know that sometimes some small things can bring us a joyful moment. Me, just the other day I got a present as an urban food bag that has two casseroles included that are very practical for my everyday lunch.

So the main idea is to find an organize balance between spending too much money on things or accepting things that don’t serve you and things that you truly need.

 

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I have to admit that I can’t be organized with too many aspects for one day, because once in a while I feel the need a little bit of “carpe diem”. Precisely for this reason, I was writing about in here last week.

But for me, this list applies actually in every day of the week. And I got to that point when I implemented them so well, that I almost feel them like an automatic thinking. The outcome’s absolutely amazing for that matter.

I hope you could find an inspiration in these and thus saving time and effort that you could spend on so many other valuable actions!

New Year 2018 Resolutions

 

 

What better moment to start writing your goals and dreams if not at the beginning of the year? And yet, it is very important to acknowledge them properly, in order to balance between action, fulfillment, and interior peace. Being my first article on my brand new website makes it even more challenging and powerful for me.

I believe we can find many useful articles about setting goals, moving to action, having the SMART acronym related in mind, and so on and so forth. What I would like to remember through this article is the fact that every time you want to achieve something, to establish what you want from all points of view, your dreams or desires, is the fact to always be fair enough with yourself, and be aware that all those goals and dreams are yours.

More often than not we are so tempted to actually put others in front of our own feelings and desires, that we actually turn out to set for goals and actions that are actually not ours. No matter if you are the VP of an amazing international company, or you are just your own business owner. We all have feelings, desires, dreams, or goals. So stay genuine first of all to yourself.

How can you do that? Maybe just by starting to ask yourself questions. Are you sure that the black amazing car you want it’s really what you want? Are you sure that the extravagant trip you want to plan is not just for you to run away from yourself and all your fears? I’m not saying it’s not good for us to wish for different things. What I’m saying is the fact that it’s important to be aware of when those dreams are just for covering other tough interior feelings or when they are truly something that makes us good.

 

So coming back to my New Year 2018 resolutions, here they are, with the hope that maybe they will inspire you and be helpful for you too.

  1. Be grateful more often, because being grateful always reciprocates.
  2. Show appreciation every time I have the chance. Because more often than not we are more tempted to forget to show this amazing feeling to those around us. No matter if they are friends, family, or colleagues.
  3. Embrace the unknown. Because I will always be more comfortable in doing always what I know or interacting just with those people that I know. But this helps me too little to develop. So be courageous, be powerful, and trust my instinct.
  4. Again, listen to my instinct and take action accordingly. It’s very tough, I know. But in the end, that is a huge thing that will make a difference in my life.
  5. Read, read, read. And write once in a while also. It’s an extraordinary food for the brain, it helps me develop my emotional world, and gives me a boost of creativity that I will not even imagine. And definitely, these will help me in all areas of my life.
  6. Know new extraordinary people. It’s the only way I can realize with what kind of people I want to interact as much as possible. And who are the people that bring out the best in me. Again, here my instinct has so much to do with it.
  7. Learn new Excel sparkles 😉 Because it’s so helpful, for both my professional and personal life.
  8. Taking more pictures. Because I have always loved taking pictures, and last year it was a maximum reconfirmation for that. Both in front and behind the camera.
  9. Starting to be more fashionable again. After all, our exterior self do tell something about us, and do help us in becoming more aware of ourselves. Not to talk about the fact that it’s a sign of personal respect that can make a huge difference in this fast moving professional and personal world.
  10. Exactly like one great colleague has told me recently – Keep 20% for the unknown, love, glitter of life, enjoying new roles, learning new skills, discovering new things I could wish for along the way. In two words: “carpe diem” 🙂

And please remember what I’ve mentioned earlier and that my top 10 is just as an inspiration. After all, always have in mind to take what can be useful for you and adapt it accordingly.

So, I’m curious. What are your 2018 resolutions?

Happy New Year everyone!