Being a boss doesn’t automatically make you a leader. Sure, as a business owner, you might have a team of employees who work for you, but are you leading them? Do you encourage, inspire, and motivate your team to strive for success? To accomplish the greatness you know they’re capable of? And the goals that will help the entire business succeed?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions—you might not be leading your team.
So, boss, we’re going to make you a leader.
Boss vs. Leader
It’s important to differentiate between a boss and a true leader. A boss simply manages their employees. They provide their staff with tasks, give them direction, and focus on the results, penalizing employees if they’re not completed on time or adequately. On the other hand, a leader guides their team to success by showing, not just telling. They lead by example and support their team through both challenges and accomplishments. A leader knows that when everyone succeeds, the business succeeds.
Top Qualities of a Leader
If you’re ready to be a strong leader and lead your team to greatness, here are some of the qualities you should implement within your daily interactions with your team:
Without authentic and effective communication, a boss cannot lead. Team members should understand exactly what is expected of them and feel comfortable going to their leader to clarify if they need it. Communicate well on your end and allow your door (physically or figuratively) to remain open should your staff need anything from you. But, don’t just leave it at that—check in with your employees regularly to discuss progress, then give AND get feedback.
All good leaders have to leave their egos behind. Treat your employees with respect – as equals. Sure, you might be their senior in business and have a higher pay rate, but if you don’t respect your employees and they don’t respect you, you’re not a leader. Leaders never ask subordinates to perform tasks that they themselves wouldn’t complete. Remember, a leader is in the trenches with their team, not just directing them.
Leaders truly care about the personal development and improvement of their team. By bettering each member of the team, the team itself can grow stronger and more successful. So, ask your employees which aspects of the job they’re passionate about, then teach them more about that topic. Encourage them to pursue higher education or certifications that will instill confidence in them while helping the business grow. Develop a program that provides staff with funds to attend job-related conferences or workshops.
Lead With Heart
Great leaders understand that the team is only as strong as the weakest team member. And even if you don’t feel like you were one of those people who are “born leaders,” it’s possible to learn how to lead. Embrace your role as a leader to guide and support your entire enterprise to success. What quality makes you an amazing leader?