A people manager does not a Leader make

Everyone in my opinion can be a leader.  You don’t need to hold that title to be considered a leader, nor do you need to have that prestigious accreditation behind your name.  We lead by example, by modeling core values, being a person of your word and maintaining trust. By showing empathy and being an active listener.  When we listen to understand and stay curious instead of jumping to conclusions, by using opportunities to coach and mentor and being open to a different point of view. And by communicating clearly our visions, goals and methodologies.   It is innate to want to surround ourselves with people like us because that is comfortable and safe, a true leader aspires to become comfortable with being uncomfortable and stays curious.  When people are consciously aware of the decisions they make and actively choose to surround themselves with diversity that is where the true fertilization in leadership has the potential to nurture development, growth and transformation exponentially.

As the business world evolves I have seen corporations expect more and more from their people managers year on year, not only are they responsible for the one P&L statements, maintain KPI’s and consistently producing growth, they are expected to manage a team of people who come with their own set of challenges.  In a fast paced, dynamic environment it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees, and if we only took pause for a moment, for reflection and introspection, we would have the ability to make better decisions.  When we know ourselves well, and by that I mean not only our traits or characteristics, I mean that everyone should stay curious and become consciously aware of their own belief systems, thoughts, and behaviors as well as knowing our strengths and areas of opportunity.  Mirroring that same awareness and practicing that with those around them, we would be cultivating a foundation that encourages an open exchange of ideas, constant learning and growth as well as a community of support. Once that foundation is established then would we have deeply rooted trees that we could clearly see. When asked when is the best time to plant a tree the answer is 10 years ago, the second best time is today.

Twanay is the Senior HR Advisor at a Fortune 500 company based in the UAE.