A business leader is an important part of any organisation; whether it be small or large. leadership is an all consuming job, it is 24 x 7. Not just a once off activity.
Do you consider yourself a leader or a boss? This question doesn’t just apply to the workplace, it can also refer to your personal relationships.
Do you lead people or just tell them what you want done without any consideration or explanation?
Are you striking the right balance between commanding respect and appearing accessible?
Do you encourage and develop your team, or do you use criticism and protect your own interests?
Are your employees responding well to your style of leadership? Are any of your actions breeding resentment in the office?
As a business leader, these are interesting questions that we often don’t stop and ask ourselves, and in my workshops I often get a variety of responses and always a great discussion.
The world is full of bosses. There are far too few leaders in business.
Leadership is the foundation of being the best person you can be. You need to learn leadership skills, and then be able to pass those skills to others.
According to a couple of studies I was reading, between 30 – 49% of employees surveyed quit a job due to a bad manager.
Being a leader can be hard, especially when you are not sure what it is that’s makes you a success. Since leaders are rather scarce, you can really make a name for yourself by becoming a good leader. You’ll enjoy more career opportunities and have far fewer challenges with your employees. a good leader, you should influence, inspire and mentor your team members.
Take advantage of these ideas and become a more effective leader:
- Lead by example. A boss likes to sit on the sidelines and allow others to do the hard work. A leader is out in front of their people showing the way. A leader is involved. A boss just makes a request (or even a demand) and walks away.
- Leaders are driven by a purpose. There is an overall goal or vision for the business or division. A leader communicates their clear vision. This allows the people following the leader to be inspired and empowered. The leader knows that people must understand the purpose of their work. This is very different to providing a to-do list without any context, as a boss is likely to do.
- Leaders delegate. Bosses micromanage. A leader listens, and trusts their people. They connect the daily tasks to the overall goal or mission. A boss, on the other hand struggles to relinquish any control. A leader has surrounded himself with people that complement their weaknesses and strengths. A boss hires people that don’t make him feel threatened.
- A boss always has a weaker team. The team can’t accomplish as much because they’re not empowered. The team is also weaker because the boss doesn’t want strong employees that might shine brighter than he does.
4. Leaders value respect. A boss wants to be feared. A leader is willing to use their enthusiasm, skill, and expertise to encourage others to respect and follow them. They are real, and encouraging. A leader offers real feedback and doesn’t fear difficult conversations. A boss uses fear and threats to gain compliance to their way. On the surface, they might appear to be similar, but the differences are striking.
- Leaders have the best wishes of their followers. Those that follow a boss secretly want him to fail.
5. A leader develops new leaders. A true leader is constantly creating employees with the knowledge and experience to take their place. They share their experiences and coach and mentor others. A boss is afraid of the competition. A boss is afraid he’ll be replaced and is too self-centered to be concerned about the career aspirations of their employees.
6. Leaders know how to motivate. They care about each employee and understand what motivates them. They know that no two employees are the same. They know their employees well enough to know how to inspire them. A boss simply says, “It is what it is. This is what needs to be done. You can always look for another job if you don’t like it.”
- Leaders use positive techniques for motivation, while bosses tend to criticize.
7. Leaders take responsibility, provides consistent feedback and coaching. When the team fails, the leader is still out in front taking the brunt of the criticism. A boss is trying to absolve himself of as much responsibility as possible. A boss is quick to blame others or the equipment, or weather or whatever else, just not them. On the other hand a leader is quick take responsibility and to work out ways to improve.
Think back over your work history and recall the people you loved working for, and ones you didn’t. Have you had plenty of bosses or maybe a couple of leaders? It’s not enjoyable to work for someone that fits into the boss category. You feel like you’re operating in the dark with little support and few development opportunities.
It’s much more enjoyable to work for a leader. Develop your leadership skills. You’ll be helping yourself, your employees, and maybe even your family.
If you would like to learn more about being a better business leader, improving your team, or business, or simply contact Merinda so that you can see how she can help you