Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

img1

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    Advertising

    img2

      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

      More by this author

      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

      How to Stop Snoring Immediately: 3 Practical Ways To Get Back Your Peace How to Spend Hours at the Computer and Still Stay Healthy 3 Wonderfully Inspiring Lessons Learned from Classic Literature 5 Must-Have Apps for Students Struggling with Productivity 4 Fun Ways to Skyrocket Your Motivation and Confidence

      Trending in Entrepreneur

      1 Advice for Entrepreneurs: How To Find A Mentor Worth Listening To 2 How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide) 3 How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out 4 How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide) 5 15 Best Books for Entrepreneurs to Start Reading Right Now

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on March 25, 2019

      How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

      How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

      Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

      But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

      Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

      “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

      It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

      Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

      As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

      As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

      Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

      Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

      1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

      When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

      Advertising

      Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

      2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

      Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

      But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

      If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

      3. Go to All Office Networking Events

      Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

      If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

      Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

      Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

      The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

      Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

      4. Show Initiative

      Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

      Advertising

      Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

      Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

      5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

      Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

      Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

      6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

      A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

      Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

      Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

      A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

      Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

      Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

      These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

      Advertising

      Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

      7. Find a Mentor

      With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

      Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

      Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

      8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

      After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

      What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

      Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

      Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

      You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

      9. Set Your Professional Bar High

      Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

      Advertising

      Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

      Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

      Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

      The Bottom Line

      Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

      “Half of life is showing up.”

      The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

      Remember, your career is your business!

      More Resources About Ever-Growing

      Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

      Read Next