Anyone Can Be a Boss, But Not Every Boss is a Leader
More often than not, in the media especially, bosses are portrayed in a very negative light. They’re seen as demanding, disrespectful, constantly aggravated, and a lot of times just flat out frightening. Whether you’ve heard it from a friend or seen it on TV, you know to beware of the boss. However, this is not an effective way to run a company. To be a good boss, you have to be a good leader.
How can you become a good leader? Here’s some advice:
1.) First things first: You have to love people. Your employees are not robots waiting on a command; they’re people with feelings and different personalities that you’re going to need to adapt to. You have to take the time to get to know them and see where they best fit; each employee has a different skill set. You can’t put a mathematician in the art department and then scold him for only being able to draw stick figures. This leads into my next point which is…
2.) Take responsibility where it’s due. Bosses are all too quick to point their finger at employees when something goes wrong. Leaders know that everything is done through teamwork. When the company succeeds, a leader shares in that success rather than taking all the credit for him/herself. When the company takes a nose dive to rock bottom, a leader accepts personal responsibility for what happened rather than solely scolding the employees. However, sometimes a bit of constructive criticism is needed…
3.) Motivate, don’t discourage. Many bosses/people in power feel it is okay to humiliate others beneath them; this is NEVER the case. When a situation arises where constructive criticism is due: DO NOT shout at an employee, especially in public. Call him or her into your office and speak calmly with them in private. Whether you’re addressing a single employee or a group of employees, you need to show empathy and offer direction and support. Help guide your employees to success, do not try to intimidate and control them. And when an employee has something to say, listen and then speak rather than shoot down and ignore; this gives the employee confidence knowing you regarded their suggestion or statement as important and builds up trust. However, in order to really listen and appreciate what your employees have to say, you must…
4.) Be open to change. Bosses often have a set way of how they want things done and that’s the only way they’ll allow. However, a leader knows that they have to adapt their style to the style of their employees. No two people are exactly the same, and as a leader it is your responsibility to figure out what kind of people you’re dealing with. It is not an easy task, but it is an important one to be able to find a system that works for everyone.
5.) Lastly, you must form equal relationships. Do not take part in favoritism. A good leader tries to treat everyone equally, and does not let personal thoughts or feelings get in the way. When other employees see you giving too much attention to one person, it is sure to cause tension amongst them, which could greatly affect your company’s productivity. Angela may like the same sports team as you, and you may have run into Jeff at your favorite band’s concert last weekend, but you cannot give them any special treatment.
To be a great leader, you must find a happy medium:
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
- Jim Rohn
About the Author: My name is Danielle Shaw and I am currently a college student majoring in journalism. I am the proud owner of a Pitbull/Labrador mix named Riley and we live together in South Florida. Writing has always been a passion of mine since I was a child and I am excited to be making a career out of it.