The statistics show proof that in any organization it is critical to sustained success for the top person to be a leader, not a boss. In fact, a study has shown that most businesses are only 50% as productive as they should be. This is mainly because the leadership practices of the organizations are not effective.
So what do I mean by this differentiation of a leader from a boss? That’s what this podcast episode is all about!
Join in to discover the differences…
The terms “bosses” and “leaders” are often used interchangeably, but they’re distinctly different. A boss oversees the employees, typically sets themselves apart from, and above, the other employees, and sees a distinct hierarchy with significant separation. In addition, a boss typically makes all the decisions and the others must follow and simply do as they are told.
A leader, on the other hand, does not only look to supervise the employees but also inspires them to be creative and innovative. A leader will see employees as “team members”, each with a key role to play and one that works interactively with the leader and the rest of the team. Leader is involved, empowers the team, and delegates work to be done without dictating the exact manner in which it is done.
Bosses are typically focused on adherence to their commands, while leaders are people-oriented and seek to lead the team to wins. Leaders earn respect in organizations through their character, while bosses demand respect for their authority.
With that backdrop, it’s clear that being a leader will help an organization thrive and accomplish more than will acting out the behaviors of a boss. Now let’s dive into 5 key characteristics of a leader that you can reflect on related to how you operate in your current role.
The key to becoming a good leader is having the following qualities.
A leader will recognize that a team will thrive best through collaboration, encouragement, and having each person contributing their best. This means a leader can acknowledge they do not have all the answers and will seek input from the team. A humble leader can learn from his employees and admit that he or she does not know everything.
As well, a leader walking in humility serves the team, has their back, and is their biggest cheerleader. The team members feel free to approach the leader and are not fearful of the leader. Instead, they feel cared for and respected by the leader.
How would your team rate you on humility?
To be a good and effective leader, you need to inspire a vision for your company that the team can rally around. This can be a sales goal for the year or specific achievements that help the company fulfill its mission. Good leaders know where they’re going and are ready to create a vision of the path that will help the team understand the vision, embrace the vision, and be inspired to contribute to the vision as well as see how their role fits and can contribute to the vision. This is strategy with inspiration and rationale.
How is your vision-casting? Does your team know what the big goal is?
To become a good leader, you need to lead by example. Honesty in everything you do internally and externally creates trust. Your team will watch you and will follow your footsteps. By them seeing you operate on a foundation of truthfulness and this will then pervade and become the standard in your organization.
Would your team members say you walk your talk?
A boss dictates the steps that employees must take while a leader recognizes that we can go further if delegation with empowerment is made. This gets team members involved, frees the leader from overseeing everything, and delegates responsibility with the appropriate freedoms and creativity to the team member in charge of that area.
People are happiest when trusted and they are most invested when depended upon. The opposite holds true as well...employee satisfaction is low when they are forced to adhere to rules and have no creative input or responsibility.
How are you doing with delegating and empowering your team?
Leaders know the importance of keeping the team up-to-date on what is going on. When team members know and understand, they feel included. Conversely, when bosses withhold information and share little, employees feel distrusted and suspicious.
Communication needs to be regular, helpful, and add value to the team and also help them keep in touch with the vision that has been shared. This can be in person, via email, chat, etc. When team members feel connected, they are ready to contribute.
How would your team rate your communication?
If you’re in charge, you should consider carefully whether you will operate as a boss or a leader. Here are the reasons why you should choose being a leader.
Millennials are reshaping the work environment. By 2020, millennials are projected to form 35% of the workforce. Millennials prefer an inclusive kind of leadership at the workplace as opposed to authoritarian management (boss model). The millennials want a direct connection with the management. They prefer an environment where everyone is accessible, and collaboration is encouraged.
Baby boomers retire every year in large numbers and are being replaced by millennials. To retain them in your organization, you should embrace the idea of being less of a boss and more of a leader. That way, you’ll coach them to exceptional performance and the overall success of your business.
A leader is focused on motivating and encouraging people to achieve better results. A boss is focused on getting a result they want done. Bringing your team onboard emotionally is necessary to achieve your business goals. You can inspire your team by leading by example and clearly communicating your mission. A leader is able to instill a sense of ownership in the employees through collaboration and empowerment. Organizational objectives are better met when the people have a vision and feel they have an active role to contribute towards the success of it.
By being a leader, you develop a strong team. With that, you are bound to achieve more. Leaders empower their teams, and they do not feel threatened.
Being a leader helps other people develop their skills. Through collaboration and teamwork, you’re able to achieve more in your organization and create an environment where employees enjoy being present. The opposite impact results from the boss mentality. Turnover is high, morale is low, and the team results are less.
It's not enough to develop a strong team but it's about making sure that leadership development is an integral part of the process. Helping people to collaborate is vital but it's nothing if you don't understand that you need to improve your skills too. A great leader never stops learning. When someone is playing the role of boss there can be an unwillingness to learn or deviate from the norm. Leaders actively encourage improvement in and around themselves.
Take some time and evaluate your leadership in your spheres of influence today! Contact Mike to discuss organizational and team consulting as well as leadership coaching to improve your business this year.
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I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn't. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.
That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!
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