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09 Dec

Deepa Bhargava

Search Consultant

There is a gaping distinction between mediocre management and leadership. It wasn't until I worked for true leaders, that I realised this vast difference.

1. Managers control puppets- Leaders create more leaders

When a manager is insecure about their position and capabilities, they want to ensure they are in constant control of their employees. They want to be the puppet master, controlling the strings of their employees' everyday work. They want to be kept in the loop, they send condescending emails that reiterate their power and their need for control and they ensure they exert a feeling of superiority and dictatorship.

True leaders on the other hand, empower individuals in their team, by consulting them on their strengths and passions. Once committed to a project, employees are left to their own creativity, flare and timelines. This type of empowerment, allows employees to take ownership and accountability, ensuring they do a job well, because after all they were the ones who chose to do this piece of work.

2. Leaders give thorough, detailed praise

I have been told "Good girl", by a previous manager numerous times. This type of "praise" is the most condescending, invalid praise someone can give. It is vague, belittling and sounds like they are talking to their 5 year old daughter!

Leaders use EIC- Example, Impact, Continue. For example, if I gave a really good presentation, a leader would say- "Lydia that was an excellent presentation, you highlighted important techniques of communication and gave stories that made a clear impact on all the listeners. I'd love it if you can show your colleagues how you did that, we can definitely use this type of presenting in the future." To me that means that they were listening to what I had to say and wanted me to showcase my talents to the team- which is the highest form of recognition.

3. Leaders give away all the credit

If a manager is insecure about their position or capabilities, they will want all the credit given to them. They will ask their employees to do the work & never give mention to it. They feel that since they drive everything, they should naturally receive all the credit.

Leaders are confident and know that by giving credit where it is due, they are empowering trust and giving their employees an eager want to do more.

4. Leaders empower ideas

I've worked for managers who have pushed away most of my ideas, however, when proposed to others in the business, these ideas were met with enthusiasm and led to better business strategy. Wondering why my ideas were initially met with cynicism, I realised it was because of the manager's inability to come up with similar, innovative ideas. When I have proposed ideas to leaders, these are met with open arms, I am encouraged to be creative and explore new ventures and initiatives without limitations.


We can all be true leader, regardless of current titles. To do so, we need to empower others to do more, be more and gain more- creating more leaders rather than puppets.

"Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others"

- John C Maxwell

This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by Lydia Moussa

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