Leading or Taking Charge

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Have you given thought to the idea of leadership versus being in charge? Sometimes people confuse the two as the same thing. If we dig a little deeper it becomes clear that leadership is a vastly different concept than taking charge to get the job done.

Think about a time when there was someone in charge of your department, group, class, etc. Did you consider them your leader, or just someone who told you what to do and made sure things were finished in a timely fashion? Too many times there are people who perceive themselves as a leader when in reality they should be known as a taskmaster. I have been guilty of this myself on more than one occasion. When faced with deadlines and a growing pile of work, it can be easy to just take charge and give everyone a task to complete without first consulting with the group.

Are you really leading when you look at your team as a group of people waiting to jump on every task you provide them? Of course at some point in your leadership career, you will need to assign tasks to your team members. This does not make you a taskmaster if you view your team as smart, talented individuals who can make meaningful contributions to the group. Over time, many who lead instead of dictate find they are in a better position to turn a project over to their team and in turn the team determines the best way to complete the task. Leadership by encouraging collaboration and inclusion bring people together to do great things.

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