“A leader can be a manager but a manager is not always a leader. And a leader is not always a manager. Leaders are someone that people look to for guidance, and that can be anyone who exhibits qualities that people respect and like to follow. Leaders understand that people are not robots, that they have feelings and families and personal issues. They care about people. They know that happiness on the job results in more productivity, and more productivity means a better organization and more profitability.”

This is an excerpt from my latest book, Leadership in Animal Welfare Organizations: Using Positive Dog Training Philosophies to be Better Leaders. I’ve witnessed many people get promoted to management positions but have never received training to be a manager or a leader. What are the attributes of an excellent leader?

• Calm and in control without being dictatorial, panicked, or angry. Conveys confidence in the midst of crisis.
• Builds trust with integrity to his or her word. A good leader never lies. Once an employee, volunteer, or supporter catches the leader in a lie, all credibility is lost and he or she cannot be trusted again.
• Understands that people matter. An organization is just bricks and mortar if there is no staff to fill it. Without people, there is no organization.
• Knows that when people are treated with respect, they are better workers.
• Realizes that he/she cannot do everything himself/herself and therefore delegates to the staff.
• Takes the time to communicate individually with staff members, finding out what each person’s strengths and weaknesses are and capitalizes on them.
• Keeps the lines of communication open with staff. A good manager checks in with each one of his or her direct reports every day to find out if there is anything that the staff member needs.
• Leads by example. A good leader does not tell employees to do one thing and then does another.
• Sets understandable goals and priorities, and ensures that they are effectively communicated to everyone. There should be clearly developed job descriptions for every employee and reviewed with the employees so that there is no confusion about responsibilities.
• Encourages teamwork and collaboration.

These traits apply, regardless if you work in an animal welfare organization or not. We all need good leaders. Are you a manager or leader in an organization? Learn more in the book, available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I84HTIG