Are You a True Leader or Just a Boss?
Well, I believe that being a good boss requires having a clear vision. A boss’s ability to successfully lead his or her team depends on having a clear view of what they want to do at work and where they want their team to go.
Attributes of an ideal boss
Not everyone knows how to improvise on the attributes of an ideal boss. But most can tell you a story about enduring a bad one. You may have heard many stories of bosses berating employees in front of other people, screaming at workers, or throwing temper tantrums.
This kind of behavior affects productivity (at least when the boss isn’t looking) and plays havoc on employee morale. When there is low morale, employees disengage – which contributes to undue stress. Employees who are forced to deal with a bad boss view the culture as “we” versus “them”. Not only do these hostile environments lower worker productivity, but they are also very difficult to manage.
We spend a third of our lives with our employees and co-workers so why not try to create a working environment that encourages fun and supports productivity. Also, I think working for a good boss is a very motivating experience. It makes one work even harder and gives their very best efforts at the workplace while at the same time enjoying your job. Not everyone knows how to develop some ideal boss characteristics, yet others have figured out what it takes to encourage and motivate employees.
5. Is available for employees
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia
Employees need constant feedback on how well they are meeting expectations. Help them understand when they are doing a good job and communicate when they are not meeting requirements. This can be achieved by coaching employees on a regular basis. If you see something that they are doing right, mention it. If you see something that needs to change mention it as soon as you are aware.
What are the differences between a boss and a leader?
Many professionals step into management or supervisory roles and find themselves wondering, “What are the qualities of a boss vs. a leader?” We spoke with leadership experts to discover the five key differences between the two.
1. Bosses command; leaders influence.
“A boss is there to ensure that employees follow the rules of an organization, but a leader will encourage others to think for themselves to achieve the desired ends,” Andrews told Business News Daily. “A boss will need to give orders to instruct others what to do, but a leader can inspire others to find the best way forward, whilst motivating them to maximize their potential.”
“You can grow your influences by caring for your team, listening to their thoughts and ideas, and sharing the ‘why’ behind the decisions and actions that you take,” said Gosnell. “This is a second step in leadership, but it makes all the difference, and people will follow you because they want to, and not just because they have to.”
2. Bosses explain; leaders inspire.
You shouldn’t just explain a task and leave it in your employee’s hands. According to Christine Macdonald, director of The Hub Events, a boss ensures you understand your work, while a leader supports and guides you through it.
Success takes passion; without the desire to complete tasks, workers won’t be as driven to give their best performances. As their leader, you should motivate them by letting them know the importance of their work.
3. Bosses discipline; leaders mentor.
Employees are human, and mistakes are to be expected. Who you are as a boss is evident in how you deal with mishaps. While bosses are more likely to use a reward/punishment system to discourage poor behavior, great leaders understand that employees benefit from encouragement and mentorship. If an employee performs well in a specific line of work, that strength should be recognized and mastered.
It’s important to note the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and mentor them independently. Rather than attacking skill gaps, work to patch them by guiding employees through their shortcomings and building their confidence in new areas.
4. Bosses delegate tasks; leaders delegate authority.
A boss focuses on the objectives of their department and is stringent in following protocol to achieve those goals. They think for the short term, delegate tasks to their subordinates and tend to micromanage.
“A boss gets results by telling people what to do and is concerned with doing it right,” she said. “A leader is skilled at results by enabling their team to figure out what to do, is concerned with doing what is right.”
Andrews added that leaders seek to drive commitment by setting an example for others to follow and inspire others by encouraging development. “They are comfortable delegating authority and avoid micromanaging, preferring to see others develop. Utilizing their excellent communication and negotiation skills, they will influence others for the overall benefit of the organization.”
5. Bosses are above the team; leaders are part of the team.
A boss doesn’t take the time to get to know their employees like a leader does. Eisinger said that bosses view their team members as subordinates, whereas leaders let go of this hierarchical distinction and view their team members as equal contributors.
“By getting to know your team better, you’ll be able to understand how to explain your vision in a way that will really connect with each person,” said Macdonald. “This means you can personalize the way you motivate people.”
She added that good leaders are genuine and loyal. You set an example for your company. If you lack passion or motivation, odds are your team will too. Don’t be afraid to be human – be real and express your emotions to connect with your workers.
How do you go from boss to leader?
To be a good boss or leader, you can incorporate a few key strategies into your behavior. Experts listed three of these strategies as thoughtfulness, communication and clear expectations for your employees.
“Leaders who lead for impact think first of their followers,” said Gosnell. “They know that if they are doing what is in the best interest of their followers, it will bring great results for the followers and the organization.”
“Listening leaders grow in influence and impact, while those who neglect to listen to their team will struggle with disengaged employees who won’t listen,” he added. “A leader who wants to be listened to should practicing listening to their people.”
Whether you see yourself as a boss or a leader, Andrews said, the key to your success is your staff seeing you as fair in your approach toward them. Set fair, clear employee expectations and be consistent in your manners so your staff knows what they can expect from you.
“This is essential in the workplace, as one of the greatest causes of employee stress is not knowing what to expect from their manager,” said Andrews. “Frequent changes in focus and conflicting priorities will leave staff feeling anxious. However, effective communication and a clear goal will ensure that teams all pull in the same direction.”
Be open for communication
How to be a good boss? Simple. Have an open-door system and be ready for juniors when they need you. Convenience is critical; it grants you an advantage because employees seem comfortable reaching out and communicating to you primarily before a problem occurs. Even if you are managing a remote team , make sure your online communication is flawless and you are easy to get to.
That way you don’t end up being a boss who is working around helter-skelter wildly setting out fires because employees were hesitant to approach you in the first place before the fire was inaugurated.
A friendly boss is committed more by juniors and develops a culture of high confidence and more comprehensive employee engagement in their work. That way the employer reduces the stress in the workplace and employees are more comfortable sharing with the boss their ideas, feedback, suggestions, clarifications, and opinions that could be relevant for the success of the company.