But Are You Really A Leader, Though?

Rowan Blair Colver
3 min readOct 12, 2020
Lucid Leadership by Rowan B Colver
Lucid Leadership by Rowan B Colver

Let’s face it, we like some people and we don’t like others. There is always a factor of taste at play, we find some characteristics more amicable than others at different ratios. However, there comes a point where an individual is or is not good at leading. We can all be managers, setting guidelines and telling people what to do is easy. Provided we have the money to pay them, that is. But what is the difference between a leader and a manager? A leader doesn’t just manage, they literally lead the way. What does that mean? It means that the people they lead are happy and willing already. They don’t need extra incentives to get up and work. A leader makes people passionate about what they are doing. People don’t like leaders who they don’t like as people and that is where many managers fail. They forget their manners and start making people feel awkward and uncomfortable. They are generally rude, overbearing, and manipulative individuals who we grow to dislike. Ugh. Be a leader by not being like that. Here are some archetypal characteristics that help make this happen.

It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

Your feelings and opinions are not tools that make people behave in certain ways. Their thoughts and feelings are. By communicating in a way that puts your team in the front and puts you in the back, they will feel taken seriously. A connection is more easily made when we put down our barriers and stop making things personal. We can’t approach a team in a way that makes the team feel sidelined or utilised. Doing things together means that someone has to glue the individuals into one working shape. We can’t do that if we act like one of those individuals.

Connect Further

We can get on everyone’s good side as long as we take the time to learn about them and what they like. If we can make an effort to cater for people on a personal level by using analogies, rewards, and prompts that they personally identify with, they will feel a much more human connection with you. Be likeable and kind, put things in a tone that accepts the human side to your team. These aren’t naughty school children kept behind after class, they’re your willing participants. Get to know your people and show them that you have made an effort to demonstrate it.

They Have To Trust You

Trust isn’t just about secrets and bank accounts. Of course, trust means that we don’t blab when asked not to, we don’t make life harder than it needs to be, we don’t take what isn’t ours, but there is much more. There are whole books on building trust however it boils down to how safe people feel with you. Are you the kind of person who snaps at mistakes or offensive words? Are your team safe to express themselves and are they safe to make mistakes? We don’t want mistakes but we all make them. Reminding someone to pay attention is not the same as chortling and sneering.

After all of this, do you know what you are doing? Have you studied and researched your ideas to the point where the process is simple for you? The blind leading the blind is a situation no one wants to be in.

You Have To Like These People

In general, we like people who like us first. It feels good to sense that someone likes us and it makes us instantly like them in return. So this is what really makes someone likeable, they like you first. When we like someone, we respect their feelings and their desires. Liking a person means that we make reasonable expectations and have loose boundaries. We let them know we have faith in them and confidence in them, and this is returned. There are going to be the odd red-herring in which some people will never like us no matter how gracious we are, be careful not to make excuses for unavoidable attitude problems and sort them out firmly and fairly. Your team will be better without this influence. So if it truly becomes impossible to like a person, the chances are that your team feels the same way.. Time to get the pruners out, maybe.

Rowan Blair Colver is the Editor of Homunculus Media



Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome. ko-fi.com/rowanblaircolver