Most managers take the responsibility of being in a leadership role for granted, some don’t even give it a second thought. Unfortunately, the leadership of a manager determines the workplace satisfaction levels and productivity in negative ways. Managers are sometimes branded as bad bosses or great leaders. Managers will fall on either side of that line of mediocrity and more often than not, leaders are the exception and not the rule. Therefore, if you are in the position of management, you should strive to be seen as a leader and not a boss. Research has shown that less than a third of Americans are positively engaged within their work environments in any given year. This statistic is directly influenced by their managers, which is a concerning trend in the American economy. But what makes a good leader and how can one achieve the status of a good leader instead of a boss? Let’s take a look.
The Difference Between A Boss And A Leader
Anyone can be a boss but not everyone can be a leader. Leaders not only take the lead in being the change they would like to see within the organization, but they inspire, encourage, and motivate their employees to do the same. A boss is more concerned with status and power than teamwork, a boss would demand performance instead of encouraging it. A boss has the tendency to rather control his/her workforce instead of leading by example and motivating employees to succeed.
Leaders are cultivators of good workplace culture, they tend to listen more, communicate better and instill a sense of accountability within their employees. Demands, instructions, and micro-managing are negative leadership skills whereas cooperation, collaboration and trust are better ways to lead. The emphasis should be on lead, a leader leads whereas a boss demands, criticizes and commands in order to achieve a certain goal.
The old adage of employees not leaving jobs but rather leaving managers is definitely true. A manager has the power and ability to set either a positive or negative tone in their department, which will influence their employees similarly.
- Upskill Yourself
Imparting knowledge and leading by example takes a skilled and knowledgeable manager, so one has to have the proper qualifications in order to be respected in their position. Upskilling or advancing yourself in your career can be the right mix of ambition and authority to secure your ranking as a respected leader.
Consider furthering your education and getting your Masters Degree with online MBA programs in Michigan in order to elevate your skillset and abilities. Kettering University Online offers an 18-month course that allows you to customize your MBA to suit your profession. A proper MBA qualification can increase your business credibility and enhance your leadership pedigree.
- Examine And Improve On Your Soft Skills
Now that you have your hard skills (knowledge, degrees, techniques, and experience) down to a tee, it is time to hone your soft skills. Soft skills can be described as a manager’s style and approach to teamwork, communication, creativity, and leadership. Soft skills, diversity or sensitivity training can go a long way to build good rapport, mutual respect, and empathy between yourself and your team.
If you find that you need to actively work on your listening, communication, approachability or business presence skills, enroll yourself in a soft skills training course and encourage the rest of the workforce to do the same. By trailblazing this approach, you will be leading by example, which is a great example of a good leader.
- Be A Mentor
Giving back to your community or workforce is equally as important as adding to the bottom line. Leaders are often mentor material because of the valuable skills and knowledge they can impart with children, young adults or colleagues in their environments. Mentoring employees who show potential to be great leaders themselves is not only developing and strengthening the business ethos but leaving a legacy to continue within the organization. Setting the standard for mentorship or coaching peers from the beginning is a positive and constructive process that can uplift many employees within a company.
- Identify Your Leadership Style
Did you even know there are at least seven different types of leadership styles? No? Well, you should because your leadership style determines how you grow and motivate your organization to reach business goals successfully. Once you have determined what leadership style you identify with, you can work on your strengths to motivate your workforce as well as on your weaknesses in order to improve your leadership style. Being mindful of your weaknesses and actively working on them is another difference in whether you are a boss or a leader. A leader is willing to admit to mistakes and work harder to not make them again, a boss does not learn from their mistakes and will not willingly admit to them either.
- Read And Research
Constant learning equals growth which is why Albert Einstein famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Continuously reading and researching ways in which to improve business and personal attributes is a notable way of empowering yourself, the business and your employees. Reading opens a plethora of ways to improve on situations, scenarios or circumstances. Reading provides the reader with the opportunity to absorb knowledge, apply knowledge, and develop thinking and problem-solving skills. The only way to exercise a brain is to stimulate it, reading, puzzle-solving, and meditation all play a vital role in keeping the brain active and productive. Constant reading and research are distinctive attributes every leader should embrace and possess.
Leadership has a significant effect on work-flows, business processes, team morale, employee motivation, work culture fulfillment, and productivity. The attitudes and discipline of a team can be put down to the type of boss they have and what type of energy they exude within the office, with all of this in mind, it is clear why a leader trumps a boss every time. Go from being just a boss to a great leader today.