Are you a Leader or a Boss or are you both? To be a leader you must earn the trust of the people around you, to be a boss you just have to be appointed to a position of power and that’s about it. Yet you don’t really have to choose between them at all because you can be both a leader and a boss. That is what everyone wants to aspire to become one day, some have yet to realize that they are walking down the wrong path of leadership.
The Leader/ Boss sets the tone
It’s simple the Leader/ Boss sets the rules, the tone of the work place and leads by example whether he or she likes it or not. Let me explain, it is how your leader/ boss acts that lets you know what you should or shouldn’t do, he/she is the one who sets the stress level of the office environment and he/she is the one who molds the way his staff works because people react accordingly to the work environment that they are in. Therefore if you don’t want your staff to lie then you shouldn’t either, that seems simple right but it isn’t. Let’s say if a client calls you and you tell your staff to tell the client that you are not there, you just legitimize lying in the office. This might not be what you want but people will follow their Leader/ boss. Don’t be a hypocrite, your rules won’t seem so weighty to your staff if you are the first one to undermine it.
Build trust not fear
Using fear to get work done either by punishment, pay cuts or incentives could get a lot of work done can get you a long way in the business world but it will not be sustainable and you will never bring out the true potential of your staff. A boss will demand work from the staff while a Leader will ask, a boss tells their people what to do and micromanages them to ensure results while a leader will solicit opinions from their staff and coach them through their problems so that they can succeed and grow. A boss just wants to get the work done while a leader actually cares about his/her people and their success.
The act of caring is a very powerful thing, for if we do not feel that our boss cares for us then why should we care about them or their success. In the end we would just go through the process, keep our heads down so that we won’t get in trouble and just grind our way to the pay check. However when we know our leaders care about us we will give them our blood sweat and tears and make their cause our own because we trust our leaders. This willingness to act and give 110% can never be derived through fear.
A Leader will be a leader everywhere but a boss can only be a boss in their own workplace
A boss will cease to be a boss once he/ she leaves her environment of authority but a leader will always be a leader wherever he/ she goes, you are confused right? Let me explain, a leader is someone who cares about the people around them and intends to foster good relationships with his/her staff and wants them to succeed while the boss only wants to get results through his/ her people. Following this train of thought you can therefore be a leader to your family, your friends and so on. But if you act like a boss to your family or friends they might not let you.
So now we must reflect upon ourselves and who we are to the people around us, for you can have no authority yet you are a leader to the people around you because you empathize and care. Or you may have authority that is given to you by the management yet your staff only grudgingly do what you say only because you have power derived from your title. So who are you? But more importantly who do you want to become?