4 Ways to Be a Leader, Not a Boss

By Jade Anderson

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

A quality that is highly required to thrive within a managerial position is the quality of leadership.

Today, possessing leadership skills is becoming even more desired within organizations and stands as one of the key elements to being employed.

But what truly is the meaning of ‘leadership’, and what sets it apart from being a mere ‘boss’? The terms ‘boss’ and ‘leader’ are often found to be used interchangeably.

However, to be given a position of authority does not necessarily equate to becoming a leader. Managers, supervisors, and CEOs all have a responsibility to demonstrate leadership.

A Boss and a Leader

A boss is a person of authority who is in charge of an organization’s processes. Their responsibility is to communicate orders to workers to complete required tasks. By contrast, leaders are those who inspire their teams to achieve their individual and shared goals.

Their responsibility takes on a mentoring and influential role as opposed to a demanding and authoritative approach.

Effective leadership is critical to businesses as this will enable employees to work at their highest potential and use their greatest capabilities.

Thus, it is this distinct difference that will impact the productivity and efficiency of your business through the discrepancies in team dynamics and organizational culture.

Here are four ways you can be a leader and not a boss:

1. Empower

A great leader will be one that can empower their team to excel and achieve their individual and shared organizational goals. Their responsibility is to guide their team with direction and inspiration rather than controlling and dominating the actions of employees.

You must allow your employees an appropriate degree of freedom and responsibility and not fall into the management style of micromanagement.

Giving your team control of their individual actions will foster creativity and innovation as well as higher productivity as their efforts count towards important contributions to the organization.

Accountability and responsibility will lead to increased employee morale and satisfaction with their efforts being realized.

2. Communication

Giving orders is a simple task. But listening and taking in advice is an acknowledged skill to be developed. A true leader will ensure that there is a clear 2-way flow of communication from the manager to the team.

You must be open to listening to any concerns or ideas raised to ensure the most efficient and positive work environment.

Allowing employees to have their say will boost employee morale as they will feel highly considered by the organization in terms of accountability and contribution.

Leaders should also provide chances for employees to communicate outside of the office context.

For instance, opening opportunities to chat through introducing a Nespresso Coffee Machine, Healthy Vending Machine, or perhaps organizing a team lunch or after-work drinks.

Social work events will increase bonding within your team as well as increase prospects of underlying issues being solved.

3. Mentor

Rather than simply utilizing employees and taking advantage of their work, a leader will focus on developing an employee’s skills and boosting their capacity to work.

This will be efficient for the firm and will acknowledge an employee’s potential to grow within the organization.

A leader will stand as a support for their team and guide them towards attaining successful results. In order to accomplish this, a leader must have higher levels of self-empathy and awareness of their employees.

4. A Team Effort

A boss depicts themselves as superior to their employees. A leader sees themselves as part of the team.

As one who motivates their colleagues to achieve great results, leaders must ensure to give credit where it’s due.

A key to a great leader is also to actively learn and be inspired by their team regardless of their status. In the event a leader is at fault, they must take full responsibility for their own mistakes and communicate to their team.

It is this open transparency that develops trust within a team to work efficiently together.

No matter what position you hold, leadership is a quality that is essential to thriving successfully within your role.

Which tips will you develop to become a leader in your business?

How Can You Be a Leader, Not a Boss?

If you have ideas about how to be a leader, not a boss, that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Jade Anderson
Jade Anderson
Jade Anderson is an experienced In-house Editor at Upskilled. With a background in online marketing, Jade runs some successful websites of her own. Her passion for the education industry and content is displayed through the quality of work she offers.
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