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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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      Published on September 16, 2020

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

      Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

      Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

      Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

      Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

      Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

      1. Organization

      When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

      When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

      Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

      To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

      To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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      2. Flexibility

      You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

      Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

      For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

      To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

      3. Collaboration

      As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

      Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

      To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

      To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

      4. Poise

      Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

      When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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      What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

      To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

      To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

      5. Communication

      Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

      When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

      To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

      To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

      6. Good Computer Hygiene

      Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

      Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

      To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

      To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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      7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

      Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

      Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

      To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

      To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

      8. Respecting Feedback

      In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

      Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

      To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

      To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

      9. Project Management

      Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

      To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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      10. Staying up to Speed

      Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

      To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

      To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

      11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

      “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

      To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

      To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

      12. Teamwork

      Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

      Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

      To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

      To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

      Final Thoughts

      Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

      More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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