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Sometimes it’s difficult to feel fulfilled as a leader when you are currently working as a manager.

Sure, your bosses want you to be a leader (or so they tell you in your annual performance reviews), but real leadership involves having the freedom to envision the future and having the authority to make tough decisions that hopefully end up with results like “driving growth”, “reducing costs”, “streamlining operations”, or any other corporate buzz-phrase that sounds like you just stepped out of a powerful board meeting.  But let’s face it, when you are a manager, your sole responsibility is to “manage” the day-to-day tasks as required by your boss.

You can be a leader when you're not a leader

Image by James Beene

So what’s a mid-level manager to do with all of their passion to lead and no real outlet to lead in?

One of the best ways to engage your team and ensure that they are really working towards the success of your business is to craft a vision that your team can believe in and can buy into. As leaders, we need to focus on what we are trying to accomplish and how our teams can get involved. This rings painstakingly true on an everyday basis.

It is our responsibility as leaders to craft a vision that is clear, consistent, inspirational, and aligned with our core values. With clarity, team members not only feel comforted in investing themselves fully but that compelling vision also helps disengaged workers find their connection point within the team and engage.

Vision is important

For over 200 years, the United States Constitution has been the litmus test of liberty in our country. It has helped “We the People” remain free in a world that can quickly devolve into tyranny. Our forefathers, the writers of this document, tried to put as many protocols in place to balance the leadership of the United States. They saw the dangers of giving one person, or even one body, all the power, so they in turn created three separate but equal branches of government – the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

Do You Know How Great Organizations Lead from the Past, Present, and Future.

Just like our very own country, most organizations need a balance of power. This isn’t just true in the structure of an organization, but also with the strengths of each individual leader in it. Try working for an organization where no leader is gifted in administration skills, and you will quickly see why balance is needed for success.

In order to lead, one must first look within.

Good leaders can be defined by their emotional intelligence, which according to Psychology Today, requires an individual to manage both their own emotions and the emotions of his or her team. It might sound easy, but it’s not.

A December 2014 report in Forbes magazine explains that emotional intelligence is the act of understanding and responding to one’s own emotions and dealing with and overcoming stress, while knowing that their words and actions at a critical moment will directly impact the overall composure of the team.

Essentially, there are four key components of emotional intelligence: Self-assessment, self-management, empathy and/or social awareness and relationship management.

Self-awareness might seem like an intangible quality, but it’s actually a cornerstone of success, according to Mark Connelly, a counseling psychologist and certified life coach based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Throughout these past four months, I’ve experienced such a gratifying feeling due to the evolving nature of my writing craft, and my overall outlook on life.

For so long, I’ve had writer’s block. The only writing I did for a long while was writing about my day to day routine in my journal. Although I’ve done some writing for various other writing sites, for a long while, I had stopped submitting work, because my well of ideas for stories, poetry, etc…had run dry.

Then, back in October of last year, I got involved with a site that dealt with writing prompts to get the well of inspiration filled again. The writing prompts were done through the use of photographs, or a phrase. Through utilizing the tools allotted from the site, my memory was refreshed on how to properly write Haiku and Limerick poetry with the writing tips they provided. From October of 2014 through January 2015, I created a large body of work.