- Sonja Herger
If you try to think of a leader at your workplace, you might think of your boss, the guy in the tasteful office at the end of the hall. However,such "bosses" are not the...
...only leaders in the company and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Perhaps the best leader you know is the one colleague who is always helpful and forward-looking. After all, a real leader is someone who does his job and still works to strengthen and motivate the people he interacts with every day. A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of always focusing on the negative. Let's take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader and find out why leadership development is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.
A boss says "Go!" - A leader says, "Let's get started"
A true leader is never just a person who gives orders and uses the power that comes from his position. He or she will guide and support employees to achieve the desired end goal. A leader will set the direction and, above all, be part of the journey that brings everyone to their destination. While the focus is still on completing the necessary tasks, such a leadership style focuses not only on the result but also on the process. In a sense, the role of such a "leader" is more motivating than supervisory. Three major, fundamental behavioural changes illustrate the challenge of cultivating this leadership style, each representing a deep break with the typical way in which companies and businesses have long encouraged leaders to behave. So what do today's leaders need to do differently than yesterday's bosses and leaders?
Ask questions instead of giving answers
One of the main tasks of a manager is to coach his teams and employees effectively. However, learning how to listen, reflect and trust employees takes practice and time. Moreover, managers simply too often see their main value to the company in providing answers. To a certain extent, a manager's main priority is also to efficiently remove tasks from the company's to-do list. Some of you may even think that coaching actually means just that. What is certain, however, is that at some point successful managers will have to give up the idea that they should be at the heart of problem solving.
Looking for the causes of problems rather than quick solutions
If problems are not completely solved, they inevitably create more problems at some point that could have been avoided. But the discipline and time needed to solve problems at their root are not necessarily always available to busy executives. In such situations, the temptation naturally increases to redirect efforts to measures with more immediate effects. But showing what it means to eliminate a problem rather than hiding it is an essential part of a leader's role model function. Similarly, a leader's ability to identify potential and create synergies is also important.
Connecting the future with the present
This does not mean making big promises. A leader is able to translate the purpose and business goals of the company into practical goals that employees can work towards every day. This ongoing cycle requires more than just setting goals. It requires leaders to understand and explain how their employees' work contributes to the goals of the organization. And they must also understand their employees' goals and recognize that work is more attractive when it has meaning for the individual.
Any boss can become a leader
A boss leads his employees, while a leader inspires them to be innovative, think creatively and strive for perfection. Every team has a boss. What people really need, however, is a leader who helps them recognize and achieve their potential. Some people may use the terms "boss" and "leader" synonymously, but as we have just seen, this is not quite correct. The truth is that some bosses are just that - superiors. They have taken a position in the leadership part of the corporate pyramid. They have a nice office and a designated parking space. They make decisions that affect the direction of the company and often control how the money is spent. However, none of this makes them a leader. The good news, however, is that bosses can become leaders and this should become a priority for anyone who wants to lead effectively in the workplace.