Do you consider yourself a leader or a boss? This question doesn’t just apply to the workplace, it can also refer to your home and personal relationships.

I was a manager and a leader for many years and the main thing is that their are qualities that you already have and there are skills and qualities that can be learned.

Do you lead people or do you just tell them what you want done?

Do you encourage and develop your team, or do you use criticism and protect your own interests?

The world is full of bosses. There are way too few leaders.

Since there is a dearth of leaders, you can really make a huge impact and by becoming a good leader. You’ll enjoy more career opportunities and have far fewer challenges with your employees.

Good leaders inspire, bad bosses have their own insecurities.

Take advantage of these ideas from my own experience and become a more effective leader:

  1. 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 and walks away.
  2. Purpose.
    • Leaders are often driven by a purpose. There is an overall goal or objective. The people following the leader must feel inspired and empowered. The people must understand the goal and objective. This is very different to providing a to-do email without any context.
  3. Leaders delegate. Bosses micro-manage.
    • A leader trusts their people, but a boss struggles to give up any control. A leader has surrounds themselves with people that complement the areas where they may be less strong. A boss recruits people that don’t make them feel threatened.
  4. A boss always has a weaker team.
    • The team won’t be effective as they’re not empowered. The team is also weaker because the boss doesn’t want strong employees that might shine brighter than they do.
  5. Respect.
    • Leaders value respect. A boss wants to be feared. On the surface, they might appear to be similar, but the differences are like night and day!. A leader is willing to use their enthusiasm, skill, and expertise to encourage others to respect and follow them. A boss uses fear and threats to gain compliance.
  6. Leaders have the best wishes of their teams.
    • Those that follow a boss secretly want them to fail.
  7. Development.
    • A leader develops new leaders. A true leader is constantly creating employees with the knowledge and experience to take their place. A boss is afraid of the competition. A boss is afraid that they will be replaced and are too self-centred to be concerned about the career aspirations of their employees.
  8. Motivation.
    • Leaders know how to motivate. 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, “JFDI. This is what needs to be done. You can always look for another job if you don’t like it.”
  9. Positivity.
    • Leaders use positive techniques for motivation, while bosses tend to criticise.
  10. Responsibility.
    • Leaders take responsibility. When the team are unsuccessful, the leader is still out in front taking responsibility and the criticism. A boss is trying to absolve himself of as much responsibility as possible. A boss is quick to blame his employees. A leader is quick to blame themselves.

Think back over your work history. You’ve had plenty of bosses and hopefully at least a couple of great 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 far more enjoyable to work for a leader. Develop your leadership skills. You’ll be helping yourself, your employees, and your family.

What can you do to develop those skills?

Give me a call.

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