Being a leader and being a boss is not the one and the same thing. A boss may demand while the leader coaches. A boss takes credit, whereas a leader gives it to those deserving. A boss places the blame, whereas a leader accepts it. Most importantly, a boss says “Go!”, whereas a leader says “Let’s go!” Therefore, it comes as no surprise to learn that being a leader tends to be more effective than being a boss. However, is it possible to become a great leader or is it something you have to be born with? Let’s find out!
Show people that you care about them
One of the greatest misconceptions about charisma is the idea that it is something inborn, something that a person either has or doesn’t have. In reality, things are much simpler. According to Robert Brault: “Charisma is not just saying hello. It’s dropping what you’re doing to say hello.” Being a leader is about knowing the name of every single person in your employ, as well as what it is that they’re currently doing.
When you show people that you, as their boss, have shown a genuine interest in them, they will feel more motivated to go that extra mile. Not for the sake of the company but in order not to let you down. On the other hand, people are also more inclined to leave a bad boss than to simply quit their job. That being said, more people quit their bosses than their jobs, which is yet another reason to show some interest in your employees.
Give and receive a feedback
When you’re a leader, it is inevitable to step on some toes. Sure, you don’t want to make enemies around the office, yet, being everyone’s friend isn’t a real option either. In order to see some improvement, you need to be free to speak your mind, however, you should also be ready to listen to what people have to say about you, as well. If there’s something that people around you are displeased with, they need to feel free to tell you so, without any fear of retribution. Needless to say, this is a privilege that only the leaders who don’t build their company on the atmosphere of fear can rely on.
If a member of your team is outperforming your expectation don’t just assume they know you’ve noticed – tell them so. More importantly, if someone is lagging behind in a certain field of their job, you need to let them know. How else are they going to improve? Still, you shouldn’t outright bash your way into their office casting blame. Instead, do this with a bit more diplomacy. You can start by addressing all the fields in which they are performing admirably and then continue to state that they could still make some improvement someplace else. In this way, you will preserve their dignity, while effectively delivering your message at the same time.
Invest in professional self-growth
Most importantly, you need to understand that, as a leader, you need to be on a constant path of self-improvement. Here, we’re not just talking about your managerial skills or your knowledge about the job. Your people skills, general knowledge of the industry and IT skills also need to improve. Furthermore, for all the non-native speakers, attending general English courses is a must. In the era of the global market, remote workers and offshoring, English language knowledge is a must-have.
Even though you can learn quite a bit through practice, you simply cannot afford to ignore the advantages of formal education and coaching. Learning from your own mistakes is often quite expensive, which is why you should always use an opportunity to learn through courses and seminars when you have the option available.
At the end of the day, a powerful leader is the one that is aware of their own limitations, as well as one that is not afraid of pushing them. Admitting you have a weak side is definitely not a sign of weakness, it is an indication that you are self-aware which is always a positive thing. Needless to say, this is one of the things that keeps driving you forward and helps you become a truly powerful leader.