Everyone’s heard or has a story about a bad boss, and loves telling it to anyone who will listen. Ask anyone who claims to work for a tyrant, and you’ll likely hear how the manager is to blame for every negative turn his or her life has taken.
No employee or manager likes to think of their staff feeling this way about them. The good news is, however, you can change the way people think.
You can become an inspirational leader rather than a controlling boss, and here’s how:
1. Be Generous and Focus on Employee Satisfaction
Bosses give orders and criticize, while leaders set examples, encourage, and earn loyalty.
One way to lead rather than boss is to be generous. Give of yourself, your expertise, and your praise to guide your team to success.
For example, when someone does exceptional work, let them know you appreciate it by giving branded corporate gifts. Remember, happy employees are loyal employees who stick around for a long time, so make an effort to make them feel appreciated.
2. Use the Right Language
Bosses tend to use the word “I,” while leaders use “we.” Leaders realize that every person contributes to the success of the company.
From the mailroom on up, every employee is part of the team. Using “we” instead of “I” instils a sense of community that inspires people to work harder for the good of the group.
3. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
A boss takes credit for a job well-done, whereas a leader gives accolades freely to those who work hard and put the effort forth.
A real leader brings out the good in the team, which encourages the team to give it their all because they feel valued and know their leader notices.
4. Know When to Delegate
Bosses micromanage – leaders delegate. If you feel the need to oversee every little detail of your employees’ work, there’s a problem – either with your employees or with you.
A good leader encourages his employees to work toward lofty goals that challenge them to do new and harder things. They are allowed to fail and learn and are celebrated when they achieve their goals.
5. Learn to Invest in the Future
Bosses live in the here and now, but leaders strive for a better tomorrow. While it’s certainly important to achieve positive results at the end of the quarter, it’s also important to strive for even better results in the long term.
Leaders know good investments (good employees) often take time, and they are willing to put in the extra effort today to reap big benefits in the future. They do this even if it means not reaching this month’s goals because they know they’ll get much richer dividends in the long run.
As a manager, you have a choice. You can be all those things people hate about bosses, or you can choose to be a leader who inspires people to work hard and do better. It’s all about how you approach your people and the work you do together.
Be mindful of the way you deal with your people by following the five ways to go from boss to leader above.