Leadership Skills Idea: Lighten Up!

By Dr. Mary Kay

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Lighten up! Leaders are proactive. And if you want to keep good employees, that is what you have to become. Building leadership skills is a way for managers at all levels to have more fun getting things done, influencing others to do their best, and genuinely enjoy working with people.

What Keeps Managers from Becoming Leaders?

People problems such as:

  • Employees who come to work late or don’t show up at all
  • Employees who make mistakes and don’t speak up when they don’t understand
  • Employees who don’t take responsibility for tasks that have been assigned to them

As a Manager, How Do You Respond?

If you are like most managers, you probably react to these crises by working longer hours, micromanaging projects, and, because you are so busy, appearing to be inaccessible or indifferent. This is reactive management.

You can’t ever seem to leave the work area for a minute or the whole thing will fall apart. Reactive management causes a downward turn in productivity, morale, and turnover. When you have reactionary management, you lose the good people, and the ineffective people stay.

What reactive managers see as the most productive use of their time (getting the job done) is, in reality, an enormous waste of productivity.

This is because the atmosphere it fosters is so dysfunctional that the same mistakes are made over and over. Thus, most problems are rarely resolved.

It’s not that you’re a bad manager. You think you’re doing the right thing. But you’re actually using the same skill set to deal with people that you use to deal with equipment, processes, and procedures. The problem is that people don’t want to be fixed, managed, or told what to do. They want to be led.

Leadership Challenge

If this sounds like what you’re going through, consider yourself what we call a reactive manager. You’re stuck in a rut that can be hard to get out of.

Stop managing people and start leading them. Be more accessible and relaxed with people and less uptight and focused on “the task.”

How Can You Lighten Up?

If you have ideas about leaders lightening up that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Dr. Mary Kay
Dr. Mary Kay
Dr. Mary Kay is a business leadership strategist, executive coach, trainer, author, and co-founder of the About Leaders community. She’s consulted with hundreds of companies and trained over 30,000 leaders. Her Ultimate Leader Masterclass helps managers become more confident, decisive leaders.
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