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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

When it comes to discussing today’s job force and environment, people tend to focus on Millennials and the different ways in which they work. There is much conversation regarding work ethic, entitlement, and general opinions. But the truth is that the job force has undergone plenty of changes, one of which surrounds the idea of “The Boss.”

No longer is the man in charge an illusive figure-head in the corner office. In fact, the boss isn’t always a man. More so, the idea of giving orders and simply being the one who delegates has been replaced by a more collaborative approach – the idea of a Leader, rather than a Boss.

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A true leader opens up communication with their members.

The idea of being able to collaborate with a leader and feel they truly have an “open door policy” is not just a hip thought, it’s a helpful one. Studies show that when employees voice their concerns freely, organizations see increased retention and stronger performance.[1]

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Unfortunately though, if people are working beneath a leader who induces fear of speaking out or working together, employees become afraid to speak up and instead find ways to justify their silence. This only makes things worse. Sure, HR exists to help employees speak up when they feel like they can’t, but if you’re encouraged to make suggestions anonymously, doesn’t that just enforce the idea that it isn’t safe to speak up openly?

If you happen to be the leader, you may be thinking you don’t fall into this category of scary bosses because your employees come to you; you are already serving as a cooperative leader and not a dictator. But the truth is that despite the issues your employees may come to you with, there may still be a handful they don’t feel comfortable bringing to you.

Instead of becoming the leader you want to be, be what your team needs.

Thankfully, there are ways to change your habits when it comes to being the leader your team needs you to be. And if you aren’t a manager or a boss, you can still try to find ways to incorporate these things into your daily actions to inspire your boss to follow suite.

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“Very few managers are leaders [2]. The difference between the two? A manager is someone who has people reporting to him. A leader is someone who people will follow, even if they don’t report to him. What separates the two is the trust and respect of his people.” – Ekaterina Walter

The following sections will highlight the behaviors needed to display to your team that you are truly a leader who wants to stand beside your team, not just give the commands.

Show your team you’re human.

It’s 100% okay to make mistakes. You’re only human. It’s 110% okay to admit to those mistakes when you realize them. When you admit you were wrong or that you are not satisfied with something you did, it doesn’t make you look weak, or like you aren’t worthy of your position in the company. In fact, it shows your team how strong you are and how much you trust them.

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“Build a team around you that complements you – and each other – in knowledge, skill sets, and capabilities. Don’t try to do everything. Let your team members drive certain projects and outcomes. That will make them feel valued and will make you look good. But always have their back when something doesn’t go according to plan.” – Ekaterina Walter [3]

Utilize each team member’s talent.

You hired everyone on your team because you knew they were the right fit for the job. This meant you accepted that they were capable and willing. If you want your team to trust you, then you need to trust them. When you’re trying to be one with your team, it can become difficult to delegate, because you don’t want them to think you’re being too bossy…but you are the boss.

Being a leader just means you have leadership traits and you’re respected and followed. It doesn’t mean you have to be the “cool boss” [4] who does all the work and lets the employees slack off.

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Be fair to everyone no matter what.

Every company has policy and procedures, and there’s a reason they are rules, not suggestions. Working as a team and respecting each other also means the employees respect the rules. Again, if you are leading by example, this will most likely not be an issue. But if you do notice someone foregoing the dress code or not arriving to work on time, don’t allow it to become a habit.

Separate friendship and professionalism.

When you are a leader rather than a boss, you may find yourself having casual conversations with your team. While this is excellent and helps to build trust, it’s important to know when to separate friendship and professionalism. If an employee does something wrong or something which negatively impacts the businesses, don’t assume you can approach them in front of the team simply because you all get along. Know when to have conversations behind closed doors.

Remember, your team needs you and you need your team too.

Even if you feel you already do everything you can to be respected and appreciated, sit back and truly reflect on whether that’s true. There is always room for improvement. After all, if you were perfect, you wouldn’t need that team of yours.

Reference

More by this author

Heather Poole

Technical writer

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best

What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best

What separates highly successful people from the “average crowd?” This is a topic that is widely discussed.

If you want to be successful, you have to watch carefully what other successful people do and imitate them. While every successful person has his or her own unique approach, there are a couple thoughts and actions they have in common.

Here are 7 habits many successful people have!

1. They make a difference

If you have an idea, that idea has to change peoples life’s. As long as you’re not helping other people, it’s useless. Don’t start with an activity or business primarily to make money, it won’t work. When you create fans by offering your expertise, they are willing to pay for it. The problem with today’s entrepreneurial mindset is that’s all about “quick” money and not necessarily about making a difference.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein

2. They focus on productivity instead of on being busy

Do you know those people who always say they can’t meet up with you or help with a certain thing because they’re always busy? I do, and to be honest I was one of them.

When I look back, I don’t actually know with what I was being busy. I thought I was being busy, but now I realize I could have done many things in a much more productive way.

Is 8 hours of work actually 8 hours when you’re checking your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram updates every 30 minutes? It’s necessary to take a rest once a while, but don’t get lost in hundreds of status updates that make you forget about your priorities.

Looking for some tips? Check out this infographic: How to be productive by doing more and working less

3. They keep setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

You can never reach the success you want if you’re not setting goals. The trick is to set up a couple small, achievable goals and a couple of bigger ones. If you only set up huge, unachievable goals, you’ll get unmotivated and fall back into your old mindset. The small goals keep you motivated and give you the feeling you’re being productive once you achieve them.

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Try setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, which is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. These goals are concrete and well-defined measures of your progress.

A while ago, I asked a friend of mine what his goal was this year. He told me he wanted a sports car. I told him he will have much trouble reaching that goal because it isn’t specific. He needs to know the brand, the model, the color, what kind of rims etc. Only then he can define how long it’s going to take and what he needs to do in order to buy that car.

4. They take action

There is a big difference between talking or actually taking action. I’m pretty sure you have people around you who’ve said, “This year, I’m going to lose weight, become fit, and look like I’ve never looked before!” Or, “I’ve got such a good idea, I’m planning to start a new business, but first I’m going to do some research,” which probably results in never taking any action.

Many of those people do take action, but the majority do not. It could be many things that keep them from taking action, like fear, no money, or no motivation. The trick is to make a plan and take action right from the start—choose to put in the effort to overcome those obstacles.

5. They exercise and eat right

The better you treat your body, the better you will feel, which results in better results. Successful people take time to prepare healthy meals and work out for at least 30 minutes a day.

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Not having time to work out or prepare a healthy meal is nonsense. If you have time to watch TV or check your social media profile, you also have time to care about your body.

You don’t necessarily need to lose weight or gain muscle, but try to stay in shape and watch your junk food intake.

6. They always step out of their comfort-zone

Successful people are willing to do everything they have to succeed. If they fail, they try it again and learn from it. The vast majority of people think differently and want to stay in their comfort zone.

You can’t expect magic is going to happen when you always do the same things over and over again. You need to step up and start doing new things. The fear of failure is usually the reason that keeps people from acting.

Think about something you’ve done in the past. Something that was so scary that it made you sweat, feel nauseous, or become overly nervous. That could be giving a speech in front of a big crowd or asking someone on a date. In the end, it wasn’t as scary and difficult as you thought, right? And you’ve learned from it.

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Approach everything in your life this way. If you really want to become successful, you need to step out of your comfort zone.

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” — Brian Tracy

7. They lead

Successful people are also incredibly good leaders. How can you stand out of the crowd if you follow the herd like anyone else does? The main thing successful people do differently is that they think and act differently from the rest. But they do it in a way that creates fans who follow and support them.

You don’t have to be a born leader, but you can learn to be one. An example of a great leader and entrepreneur is Elon Musk. He is the founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Zip2, PayPal, and Tesla Motors. By following his example, you just might find the great leader inside you.

Have these tips helped you? Share them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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