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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 September 20, 2018

      How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

      How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

      If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

      Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

      But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

      Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

      If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

      1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

      For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

      Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

      If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

      But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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      So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

      Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

      In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

      2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

      Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

      Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

      Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

      Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

      For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

      Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

      Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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      For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

      Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

      Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

      Bonus:

      If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

      3. Take meaningful time for yourself

      We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

      Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

      If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

      Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

      This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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      No time for me-time? Try this:

      If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

      This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

      Bonus:

      Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

      4. Get productive and feel accomplished

      Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

      When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

      While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

      Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

      No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

      So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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      Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

      This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

      Try this:

      Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

      The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

      Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

      The bottom line

      There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

      The only question is — which tip will you try first?

      Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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