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What it Means to be a True Leader and not Simply a Boss

What it Means to be a True Leader and not Simply a Boss

When you’re on a highly responsible position such as the very top of a company, no matter whether it’s big or small, you need to be extraordinarily introspective. The reason that supports this statement alone is quite simple – a leader will either drive the whole thing right into the ground or elevate a business to new heights, which is something a boss can’t do.

That being said, it’s quite important for you to realize what separates these two professions, so to speak, because there’s a very thick crowbar of separation here. If you do want to be a leader who people around you will want to follow, you need to work on yourself.

Know the Difference

A person you’d use the word boss for is that intimidating someone you only know exists because you see them walking down the office every now and then when they head towards their huge office designed by an overpriced brand.

A leader is a person you’re comfortable being around and you have no issues trust-wise, so you can share your biggest fears and the most creative ideas with them without a second thought.

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Influence Instead of Authority

A true leader never says “because I said so”. This argument barely works on children, let alone grown adults who got educated in order to become qualified for a certain job position, so it’s everything but common sense to boss them around.

What characterizes leaders is their ability to influence. The phrase you’re look for is “let me show you” which is exactly what can turn indifferent employees into loyal followers that share your goal.

Radiate Integrity

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    Charisma is another important feature in leaders – it’s significantly less difficult to make a circle of loyal employees if you’re born with it. However, this is another skill you can learn and develop in time, so don’t worry.

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    Anyway, with the development of this kind of influence on people around you comes a great responsibility. As a head of a business, people will look up to you, whether they realize it or not, and your behavior is a role model to them. Therefore – the very next time you feel like you have the power to make a change in the life of your employee, make sure it’s positive. The bottom line is that your whole office will imitate your work ethics and you should be aware of that.

    Don’t Hog the Spotlight

    Greedy bosses watch their team like if it were manpower that will take them to billions overnight and they won’t stop with the exploitation until they get there – this is one certain recipe that will take any company, no matter how promising its future is, to bankruptcy. Mistreated employees will realize their position in time and they most definitely will try their luck someplace else.

    On the other hand, a leader shares their spotlight and they don’t have a problem with sharing their money, as well. Another important feature of true leaders is they actually listen to their team members and make room for them to grow and develop, which will reflect on the business itself.

    Be a Part of Your Team

    It’s not nearly enough for you to mingle occasionally through your office and exchange a pleasantry or two with the people who work for you. This expression is wrong actually – you work together and each member should be equally appreciated.

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    A boss finds it easy to fire and replace members of their staff at the first sign of trouble. Opposed to that, a leader will examine a particular situation closely, draw out objective conclusions and make a decision that’s unselfish and fair.

    You as a leader should not attempt to find people that share your mindset, your qualities and your ideas – a business can flourish when a company is based on a variety of expert knowledge and points of view. I recently read a very interesting article on Forbes on this subject, and an entrepreneur named Per Wickstrom offered an observation I’d like to share with you.

    “The problem with the pacesetter is they are unable to see the business from the point of view of the employee. It’s difficult for them to accept that nobody is ever going to be as passionate or as hard working as them because it’s their child. I believe that business owners should be employees rather than bosses so they can understand this point of view.”

    Long-Term Commitment

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      This article I mentioned also speaks about why various startups which have great chances for success fail – bosses who run them only have investors in mind, which prevents them from taking good care of their team and that can only lead to further neglecting.

      When leading a business, you need to commit to it and treat as if it were your legacy and do so even in the early stages. It’s like planting a delicate plant – you need to nurture it until it grows into a strong fruitful three.

      Put Out the Fires

      People working together results in a conflict every now and then. No matter if its nature is social, professional or moral, you should treat each situation patiently and with a desire to discover its source and resolve it accordingly.

      A boss would pass on this problem to the right department and let them deal with conflict, but not all situations can be subjected to a company policy and my sincere suggestion is to get involved yourself. This scale begins with gossips and ends with rights violation, which is why it’s quite a necessity to be aware of both sides of a story so your conscious is clear.

      Many people worldwide go to bed and spend hours dreaming about how much they would enjoy a prestigious position like this, and although the title is tempting its job description is very extensive. Being a leader requires personal sacrifice and constant development, and it’s not a job anyone can do – so, be careful what you wish for.

      Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 66.media.tumblr.com

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      Last Updated on March 29, 2021

      5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

      5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

      When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

      What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

      The Dream Type Of Manager

      My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

      I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

      My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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      “Okay…”

      That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

      I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

      The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

      The Bully

      My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

      However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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      The Invisible Boss

      This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

      It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

      The Micro Manager

      The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

      Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

      The Over Promoted Boss

      The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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      You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

      The Credit Stealer

      The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

      Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

      3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

      Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

      1. Keep evidence

      Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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      Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

      Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

      2. Hold regular meetings

      Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

      3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

      Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

      However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

      Good luck!

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