Leader vs. Boss-Which Are You?

Everyone wants to be led by good managers. But what really makes someone a good leader, who motivates his team, gets results and is respected? Personality, patience, and a positive outlook are some of the qualities that make up a successful leader. An old saying is that leadership is learned and then earned.

People will follow someone who is a key part of the group. We’ve all heard the old adage ‘There is no “I” in team’ and it is still true today. The boss who uses “I” constantly may not get the same results as the leader who consistently says “we”.

Most have had a manager or two in their careers who inspired enthusiasm; and many have had the displeasure of working for someone that instilled nothing but fear. If you are in management, ask yourself: Am I someone that my employees really want to work for? Am I the one that says “Go” or “Let’s go”? Do I drive my people to get results or do I coach them to reach our mutual goals?

Poor management is one of the key reasons why employees quit. Leading by example is the most important thing. For example, who will earn the most respect: someone who will help fix a problem or someone who places the blame of the problem elsewhere? The obstacle is still there; it needs to get fixed either way. A collective effort between management and employees is the best and quickest way to solve.

Some people have been fortunate to have worked for (or are still working for) seemingly the best leaders out there. This is someone who gives people a little extra rope to try new things. Sometimes things don’t work, but a good leader understands that it’s a learning process. Maybe he challenges his team with projects or new ventures with genuine potential outcomes. The boss’ tactics routinely push for unrealistic results. No one wants to work on something if the goals are just idealistic and improbable to achieve.

There really is no right or wrong way to manage. But more leaders probably get better results by being fair and tough, but reasonable.

Life is too short for people to be unhappy. With the economy getting back on track, workers will go where they are appreciated (and compensated). Replacing employees is tough, time-consuming and costly. What if making a few changes in your management style could allow you to keep your team focused and energized. Would you do it?

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