To many people, the terms leader and boss are interchangeable. However, there are significant differences between the two. Effective business owners should be looking towards leaders – not bosses – to keep the company running smoothly. Naturally, that means that they should strive to become a leader.
According to a recent study run by Robert Half, nearly half of all professions have experienced a bad boss in their career. Ultimately, for these responders, this experience resulted in their resignation.
Boss vs. Leader
There are several key differences between being a leader and being a boss. A boss inherently sees themself as being above their employees – a separate entity, in a way.
Conversely, a leader will consider themselves to be a part of the team. They’ll work with their employees and even work to raise them all to the best version of themselves. Think of all the negative stereotypes that come from management – those are all bosses. To put it simply: bosses command, leaders influence.
How to Become a Leader
Now that leadership benefits have been explained; it’s time to work on those leadership skills! The best starting piece of advice to new leaders: listen. A good leader knows how to listen to their employees.
It’s more than merely lending an ear but applying an empathetic nature and a willingness to implement lessons learned through these conversations. For example, a leader will listen to constructive criticism on a task and consider making changes, both for efficiency and for the morale boost. Meanwhile, a boss is more likely to ignore the complaint, assuming they heard it at all.
Another critical lesson to convert from boss to leadership? Learn to see your employees as individuals. They’re people first, employees second. Remembering this and treating them with the basic respect they deserve will go a long way in earning respect.
Leaders take this a step further by implementing tactics that will take the team into account. They’ll encourage employees to better themselves, focus on positive reinforcement, and avoid unnecessary criticism.
Finally, a leader should be willing to set expectations for their employees. This makes it easier for employees to understand what is wanted of them, and overall it can result in pride for all. It’s a win-win situation.