Thriving businesses and corporate dream teams are almost never managed by a boss. A leader is usually at the wheel, not issuing decrees but providing direction, empowering and motivating their people. A boss is the one in the corner office, mildly disregarding their people’s needs while a leader could be the supervisor or the colleague an intern is sharing a stapler with. Real leaders are committed to making things better: the company’s bottom line, their people, the processes; but more importantly, they are the captains of the ship who refuse to view their people as means to an end and work tirelessly to boost productivity.
Unlike the rigidity of most bosses, true leaders are aware of the individuality of the people making up their teams and are always ready to adapt their expectations so that a person’s particular skill set can add value to the company.
Leading vs. Pushing
Leaders understand the adverse effects of pushing their people. Instead, they become forces of inspiration and belonging that provide direction and a relative degree of laissez faire. Their teams value this mindset and are always willing to follow.
Assuming responsibility and giving credit
True leaders are as far removed from egomania as fish from a mountain slope. They fully understand that growth depends on their people so they will never steal their thunder when goals are attained. Similarly, in the face of failure, they always blame themselves first.
When performance levels are on the line, a leader’s weapon of choice is never intimidation. Rather, they will zoom in on an employee to determine what motivates them, what boosts their confidence and will then capitalize on those factors. As a matter of fact, a great leader will find merit even in places others would never look.
A boss’s only concern is their own career advancement while a leader will focus on providing all the necessary resources to facilitate their people’s skill development. For them, growth is predicated on their people having a vested interested in the company’s future, so they focus on offering them such incentives.
Unlike bosses who avoid risk like the plague, leaders know that getting from A to B cannot occur without at least some risk-taking. Thus, they encourage their people to think outside the box and innovate without fear of failure.