We’ve all heard that people leave bosses, not jobs. And people love to count the different types of bad bosses there are, all of their bad characteristics and all the bad things bad bosses say. Then there’s a slew of experts who’ll tell people how to cope with those bad bosses and that bad bosses are the reason some employees are fat, lazy, and sad. If you’re a boss, you may be starting to feel sorry for yourself by now. It seems you just can’t win!
The bad news is that if you are a manager or team lead or in any way in charge of people, people think of you as a boss. But the good news is that you can change that perception. You can be a leader, not a boss! Just simply focus on certain things to become an inspirational leader.
Based on this infographic created by our friends at OfficeVibe, you can become a leader by focusing on your people in these 10 ways:
1. A boss is impersonal, while a leader is compassionate. You’ve got to get to know the people you’re working with. Know what’s important to them and what they’re dealing with on a personal level. That way, you can show you understand and care what they’re going through, thereby earning their trust. You can lead by serving your people.
2. A boss says “I,” while a leader says “we.” This is all about your perspective. Do you look at your employees and know their contribution is just as important as yours? If you truly believe the team’s success hinges upon each and every employee, you’ll be in it together.
3. A boss uses people, while a leader develops people. Your people know if you’re taking credit for their ideas or being promoted as they slave away in the back. Rather, real leaders want to see their people learn and grow and give them a way to do it. The best leaders are creating even more leaders!
4. A boss inspires fear, while a leader earns respect. If your people are afraid to tell you how things really are or feel they’re going to get in trouble every time you step into the room, then something’s not right. Your people will work harder for you when you’ve earned their respect.
5. A boss takes credit, while a leader gives credit. We’re talking about recognition. Real leaders give credit to those who they know have worked hard and have given it their all. Leaders want to bring out the best in the team. They are then inspired to work even harder in the future when they know they’re valued and their leader is noticing.
6. A boss micromanages, while a leader delegates. If you feel you need to keep close tabs on every person’s work, then there’s either something wrong with your team or with you. A leader lets employees have stretch goals and try to do new and hard things. Leaders give them room to fail and learn (when needed) but also celebrate when they achieve much more than they realized they could.
7. A boss says, “go,” while a leader says, “let’s go!” There’s nothing a leader asks employees to do that leaders shouldn’t do themselves. A boss might like to watch as the team does all the hard work beneath, but a leader chooses to be in the trenches with the team and working side-by-side.
8. A boss thinks short term, while a leader thinks long term. A boss cares more about this quarter’s numbers than about the people and doesn’t realize that investments often take time. A true leader builds people up today (even if that means you don’t reach this month’s goals) to pay out much larger dividends in the future.
9. A boss is “the boss,” while a leader is more of a colleague. The boss loves to feel superior to others and wants the team to know who’s boss. A leader doesn’t care so much about the label and would rather be another member of the team, working together to realize a common goal—no matter what it takes.
10. A boss is focused on process, while a leader is focused on people. While all successful companies know there should be processes, it’s not the most important part of a successful project. What really matters is that your people are engaged in doing meaningful work and care about how that work will benefit the company and the world. This comes down to people understanding the company vision, while the company understands that its people are the key to its success.
Those of us who manage people have a choice: We can perpetuate those nasty ideas of what a boss is or we can choose to be a leader. It’s all in how you approach your people and the work you’re doing together. Be careful what your actions are saying to those around you—because your people are listening.
This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the improve employee engagement software to help you improve your company culture.