Leadership takes so much more than just a nice sounding title. It is about bringing the best out of people and inviting them to work for a mission you set for your business. We all have good days and not-so-good days at work but our behavior should mirror the traits of a leader at all times. Keep in mind these main differences between a boss and a leader and be your best self!
Leader: Shows example
Many of those who sit in a leader’s chair just give orders and take pride in people following them blindly. However, a real leader shows an example by demonstrating values and the right attitude that others will be excited to acquire. Being a leader takes being a role model and focusing on what you can give to your employees first, rather than the other way round.
You never know if the best idea for a solution comes from the leader board or from a newbie who brings a new perspective to the team. Encourage your team members to speak up at all times and make your workplace as democratic as you can. It will pay off later and it will create a positive working environment.
Boss: Whom people fear
Leader: Whom people respect
Leading by fear is only intimidation and it won’t make talented people stick to you for too long. However, if you gain their respect and appreciate them for their work, they will multiply their efforts to help your business thrive and even if they leave your company they will spread good words about you. It’s up to you how you want to be remembered.
Boss: Uses people
Leader: Develops people
The only thing that an employee will appreciate more than a high salary is the opportunity for growth. Investing in the development of your team’s skills should be a priority regardless of your cash flow because what they bring to the table will ultimately predict your future success or failure. Make trainings and learning sessions part of the monthly routine and you will attract people who are driven and future focused, just like you.
Boss: Says I
Leader: Says we
It is a common misconception that leadership is a solitary role. You cannot achieve great results if you operate separately from your team and if you act superior then people won’t have the courage to involve you into their thinking process. When you lead a team, you are still part of that team you just give more guidance to them.
Boss: Takes credit
Leader: Gives Credit
People thrive on appreciation. You could not have achieved success without them so make sure you mention their names as often as possible in front of others and tell a few good words about them. This is the single most efficient way to engage them and to create a happy work environment.
Sometimes things go wrong and it might be the fault of a single person or an entire team tossing responsibility and pointing fingers at each other. Either way, blame is a force of destruction in any company and you need to create an environment where people don’t go stressed out if they make a mistake but rather admit it before a small problem grows big and take responsibility for it, including you. If your team cooperates well then you don’t need to be afraid of facing a dormant issue that was swept under the carpet months ago.
Leaders have the ability to influence people around them with their energy, whether positive or negative. If you look stressed out and tired it will convey a message that people cannot count on you or that you cannot even take care of yourself which is not a favorable judgement… Mindfulness exercises can help you overcome stressful situations and stay positive and powerful so that you can be on the top of your game at all times. At the very least just optimize your sleeping and eating habits and learn how to manage anxiety. Even better if you coach your employees on it too!
Remember, your personality will represent your company for outsiders and your own employees alike so your personal growth should always be a focus. If you are balanced and fulfilled in your work then nothing can really go wrong.