Using “The Four Cs of Leadership” to Take Yourself From Manager to Leader

What’s the difference between a manager and a true leader? In his experience as a corporate trainer and speaker, recent Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast guest Dr. Andy Nellie has found four characteristics that make the difference between a leader and a manager—and they all begin with C!

#1: Character

If you want to be a good leader, you first have to be a good person. If you show up on the manufacturing floor every day and exhibit bad management or negative behavior, like blowing up at your team over small issues, you’ll quickly lose the respect and goodwill of your team. You’ll show you’re not a person people want to work with, which can lead to low productivity, high turnover, and an unhappy work environment. On the other hand, a leader with good character can inspire their team, set a powerful example, and create an organization where everyone feels valued and empowered.

#2: Conviction

Even for leaders with great character traits, leadership isn’t always a walk in the park. Being a leader means stepping up to daily challenges, whether it’s delivering tough feedback to an employee or shifting your mindset to tackle an issue on the floor. As a strong leader, you need to have the conviction to step up and face challenges with bravery and curiosity. It’s your responsibility to take care of issues and look out for the bottom line of your organization, even when it means having hard conversations or taking steps to improve your own mindset or behavior.

#3: Competence

As a leader, you represent the rest of your team. This means you should always put your best foot forward. For example, if your team sees you shunning challenges instead of stepping up to overcome them, they might start to doubt your competent and confidence as a leader. Showing competence is also especially important when it comes to helping your team members grow and thrive. If you write off a team member as unfixable, you lose your ability to act as a leader for them. But if you make a decision—whether that decision is to help them grow or let them go—it proves you’re willing to lead, rather than sit back and manage.

#4: Covenant

Many leaders love to say their team is like their family. But while it is important to show support and respect for your team, you still have a commitment to production goals, profits, and the outward facing responsibilities of your organization. Since a family doesn’t have outward facing goals, this means an organization is never technically a “family,” according to Dr. Andy’s podcast. However, you can still form bonds with your team and show your appreciation—and commitment to them—by offering genuine feedback, extending grace after mistakes, and giving them the support, they need to grow.

Learn More on the Podcast

To hear more stories and insights from Dr. Andy Neillie, listen to his podcast here.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.