Being a boss and a leader isn’t the same, no matter how much you try to convince yourself. The thing is – anybody can be a boss. While effective leadership is a rocky path not everyone is willing to undertake.
So what’s the difference between a boss and a leader? Bosses are self-centered and their only motivation is to get stuff done. While someone with effective leadership knows how to guide, inspire and motivate.
Employees aren’t just a workforce for leaders, they are individuals who deserve better than being crushed by workplace hierarchies.
So a boss isn’t a leader and a leader isn’t a boss. But can a boss become a leader? Absolutely. If you’re hesitating to which side you belong, take a look at the effective leadership characteristics below to find out.
Leaders give direction
To grow themselves and benefit the company employees need guidance, so give it to them. Crushing your employees with deadlines might create the illusion of going forward, while it’s the opposite.
Pushing someone without giving guidance will eliminate any motivation. Effective leadership is all about working besides your employees and making them feel safe and their voices heard.
Being a leader doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any expectations and deadlines. It just means you should make sure you communicate those clearly, are open to any inquiries and most importantly never pressure.
Leaders know how to listen
In any kind of relationship, the number one rule is to listen. Bosses love to command. But successful decision making is always a two way street and a good leader knows that.
For an employees seeing that their ideas are considered and implemented is just another productivity booster.
Leaders never discriminate
Picking a couple of favorite employees and showcasing special treatment is something bosses may think is OK. But such scenario will plant its seeds before they even notice. The tension among the team will grow bringing all collective efforts to confrontations instead of productive brainstorming.
A leader will never do that. A good leader knows the true value of equality.
Leaders are always in the game
Imagine there’s a campaign to be launched. What a boss is likely to do is to supervise. While a leader will walk into a fire, willingly, and take the initiative.
Seeing the goal direction and investment on behalf of the leader, will motivate the team to get even more into the process.
Leaders know how to criticize
Criticism should be constructive. Shouting and scolding just doesn’t work. You will be surprised but some bosses scold their employees in public. This is humiliation and a true leader will do nothing remotely close to that.
Effective leadership is about knowing how one’s criticism can foster someone’s development.
Leaders are never scary
They are someone you want to be around with. Not someone who makes you want to disappear when they enter the room.
If you are intimidating, forget about getting things done. Effective leadership is about throwing in a spark rather than making employees close to getting a panic attack.
Leaders value learning
Effective leadership is all about self-development all day everyday. And who said the only source for that are the fancy self-development books? Learning from people around you is a habit you will never regret. And so do leaders – they’re never afraid to learn from their employees.
One has to keep the balance between taking and giving. And successful leaders will give as much as they take.
Now you know what lies at the foundation of effective leadership. The conclusion is simple – bosses are more likely to fail, leaders are much likely to succeed. Being a leader is tough and you will go through many ups and downs while trying to be one, but it’s extremely rewarding for you and for the people you work with!