In today’s competitive market, a business plagued by low morale can mean the difference between success and failure. The archetypal boss who rules by fear and intimidation is no longer the way forward when it comes to management.
Here we look at what you should be doing to ensure that you’re a leader, not just a boss and how this will positively impact your business.
Leaders are holistic thinkers, seeing themselves as part of whole, not as an individual in authority. Whereas a boss makes arbitrary decisions, a leader will ask for input, consult about upcoming change and encourage feedback and opinions.
Don’t dictate to your team; involve them in major decisions and listen to what they have to say. Never think of your staff as being beneath you, but as standing alongside you helping to shape the future of the business.
In a recent survey, a massive 69% of managers reported feeling uncomfortable or unable to communicate with their employees. True leaders are born communicators. They have no interest in publicly asserting their authority and when difficult situations arise, they’re not afraid to discuss them.
If there’s an awkward discussion to be had with a member of your team, do it face to face, not via email and never air grievances in public. Spend time with people you know are struggling and ensure that they know you’re there to help. Because leadership, like life, is largely a matter of paying attention.
DON’T BE ONE DIMENSIONAL
Leaders understand that the culture of a company is directly connected to its productivity. They know that employees need to be respected and happy in the workplace if they are to achieve their goals.
Resist being single-minded. Yes there’s work to be done and deadlines to be met, but neither will happen if your staff feel undervalued. Make the happiness of your employees a priority – a great leader is empathetic and has emotional intelligence in abundance.
HAVE A VISION
True leaders create a vision for their business and make their decisions with the future in mind. They give themselves and their employees something to strive for, so that together they can create something to be proud of.
If you’re fire-fighting problems and treading water week on week, then get back to basics. Re-visit your company vision and keep it fresh in your mind. This will help you to future-proof your business and deal with challenges seamlessly.
NEVER STOP LEARNING
Leaders never stop learning. They know that change is par the course in business and adapt to stay ahead of the game. Leaders aren’t intimidated by people who know more than they do. They’re eager to learn from them and let their business benefit from their input.
Always take the time to develop your people. Invest in training, delegate and be sure to tell your team that they’re appreciated.
It’s said that people don’t leave companies; they leave managers. And it’s true. People will always want to work for a good leader because their main aim is to motivate and inspire those around them to succeed and lead by example.
If you’re still unsure whether you’re a leader or a boss, we’ll leave you with the words of John Quincy Adams: “If you’re actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more YOU ARE A LEADER”.
 Autry 2001