Boss to Leader
Many people think the term “boss” and “leader” means the same thing – but I tell you, they are very different. If you want to know which one you are, I would encourage you to answer the questions below:
- Do you see your subordinates/team members as an “annoying essential” that you have to deal with in order to achieve your day-to-day activities and goals?
- Do you sincerely enjoy working with your team members to meet your deliverables?
If you chose 1), then you are likely more of a boss and if you chose 2), you are likely more of a leader.
Entrepreneurs have studied work based on teams and results show that the team that produces the most operative and long-term results are the teams directed by leaders and not bosses.
Here are seven ways to shift from “boss” to “leader”.
- Love your team members.
It is impossible to lead a team that you don’t enjoy working with. Everybody in a team is unique; each person has different qualities, personalities, and talents. So as a leader, you must enjoy the working will different kinds of people, assisting and watching them grow.
- Guide, don’t micromanage.
Most bosses feel they need to closely observe and control every activity of the team. Leaders know that their team will achieve great success if they get adequate direction and support rather than control, so they create a structure in place, then empower their team members to get the work done.
- Be adaptable.
One major characteristic of a “boss” is they tend to be very rigid in their expectations of work done by team members and want things done in a specific way, but leaders recognize that they must adjust their personal style to their team members’ needs. They know the value of each team member’s individuality, outline deliverables clearly and maneuver their leadership approach as necessary.
Bosses are not good delegators because they don’t trust any of their team members to do the job as well as they can. Leaders actually delegate. They give tasks, and then let go but still follow up (though they still follow up from time to time to make sure their team members are on track to complete the desired result.
- Give credit, accept blame.
Bosses love to take all the credit for their teams’ success and they’re the first to chastise them when such goals are not attained as desired. Leaders, on the contrary, know there is generated from their teams’ efforts, so they manage their egos properly: They display their teams’ hard work when they succeed, and they admit personal responsibility when they fail.
- Practice risk acceptance.
Bosses try to avoid risks as much as possible because they are afraid of being perceived a failure so they play it safe. But leaders know that the successes come from taking risks. Leaders allow and encourage their teams members to try new things, and teach them to see every ”mistake” as a chance to make improvements.
Bosses motivate with fear. Leaders, on the other side motivate by finding out what makes each team member perform to their highest potential. Leaders also celebrate successes, small or large as their teams’ biggest fans.
Moving from “boss” to “leader” will make life and work more fun, less stressful and ultimately more fulfilling.