• Westwood International

What Is A People Leader?

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

What do you think it means to be a people leader? We frequently use this phrase because we believe that a people leader prioritizes the three C’s: Community, Connection, and Common Goals. However, many people ask us about the difference between a manager and a people leader, so we’re here to break it down and share three helpful ways that you can lead with purpose and truly embody the Three C’s.

First, let’s define what it means to be a people leader.

According to Forbes, “Leadership can mean many different things to different people, but it often directly ties back to how a person’s contributions impact a business’s bottom line...” People often assume that a manager and a people leader are the same, but the main difference is their mindset. A manager is considered a part of traditional leadership styles that focus primarily on outcomes, levels of authority, and tangible results. In contrast, people leaders focus on the people, building relationships, and working together towards a common goal with coaching and influential motivation.

At Westwood International, we focus on people. When people experience true growth from within, we see that they lead with passion, heart, and purpose - no matter what may come. So, when it comes to your business’s bottom line, to see success in more ways than one, focus on coming together as a team, fostering a sense of connection, and working towards the common goal.

The Three C’s: Community, Connection, and Common Goals.

The three C’s are our simple approach to positively impacting and empowering your team to be their best and do their best.

  1. Community. Work to create a strong community within your team by focusing on mindfulness, wellbeing, motivation, empowerment, and whatever else your team needs to succeed. Regardless of how long you’ve been with your team, there’s always time to set your intentions. Host a meeting and create a list of expectations and intentions together and define your vision for this community. Communicate, inspire, motivate, and hold each other accountable.

  2. Connection. By building relationships, you can unlock your team’s greatest potential, boost productivity, spark creativity, and achieve a stronger work-life balance.

  3. Common Goals. Come together as a team and set goals that you can all work towards individually together. Determine what that shared vision looks like, and outline the steps to achieve it. Trust your team and allow them to pull from their experiences and expertise to deliver outstanding results. Make it a new norm to ask, “how did you get there?” or “what inspired you to take that approach” to learn more about how your team members think and navigate challenges to offer innovative solutions.

What are your leadership challenges?

Whether you are an organization wanting to empower and develop your leaders, a people leader wishing to thrive in your new role, or a young professional charting a new career, we have the tips and tools to get to the root cause and create lasting change. Click here to get started and learn more about our approach.


Understand the skills that future leaders need to seamlessly adapt to upcoming challenges.

Our latest whitepaper further defines a people leader, explores their role in the future, and shares pivotal tools to unlock your team’s greatest potential.


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