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Be a Boss or Be a Leader

We all strive to be as successful as we possibly can be. Because of this, business owners have a tendency (rightfully so) to be very interested in how their team or staff is performing.

But, when it comes to being at the head of a group of people; how do you go forward? How do you give instruction? How do you get everyone progressing towards the same goal? How do you remedy poor performance?

How you answer some of these questions can be very telling about how you approach leading people. Chances are you might have had that one great teacher, professor or manager that got you productive and made you feel great. The reason is these people are usually awesome leaders, not just bosses.

What I’ve put together here are just a couple practices you can start using to become a great leader and not a bearish boss.

Get to Work… by Leading

Bosses will easily fall into a habit of sitting off to the sidelines while barking out orders. If your first reflex is to just tell someone what to do; that’s a red flag.

Instead of just telling someone what to do; take the time to instruct and mentor. Don’t be afraid to show someone how something is done. Lead by example. Show people why something has to be done and how to do it.

Authority doesn’t come by default with dominion. Taking the time to instruct and lead properly will make you an authority to your team.

Be Respected, Not Feared

If someone walks into your office and strikes fear into the hearts and minds of your employees; do you think they’ll be more productive? If you need help on this one, the answer is no! Fear doesn’t drive productivity; it almost always hinders it. With fear as a driving force, you can be sure people will be nervously making mistakes and never really hitting their potential.

On the other side of this coin is respect. People want to perform their best for leaders they truly respect and admire. When you’re respected, instead of feared, you’ll have an much easier time inspiring people and building morale.

When Necessary, Get in the Trenches

This is a bit of a callback to leading by example. When there’s a fire, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the muck. When your team sees that the leader is fighting right alongside them, you’ll earn respect and authority while building long-lasting morale.

Always Be Open to Learning

You’re going to make mistakes; it happens to all of us. The differences are in how you handle these situations.

A boss will be quick to place blame on someone or something, instead of looking at a faulty process. As businesses evolve, so will the workflows. It’s best to be open to the possibility that someone else might have some valuable ideas.

A leader is open to ideas and wants the whole team onboard to find a solution. It’s a theme we see time and time again in entrepreneurship; never stop learning.

If you want to get the best out of your team, start by looking at yourself. How can you improve to become a great leader? And, stop being (or never become) just a lame boss.


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