5 Ways to becoming a good leader not just a boss
“LEADERSHIP is about resonance. To what degree are you able to resonate with the people who look to you for guidance?” asks the well-known Sydney-based entrepreneur Jack Delosa in his latest book ‘Unwritten’.
In his book, the BRW Young Rich List member and founder of The Entourage says leadership demands authenticity and is strongest when a person’s leadership style and behaviour are a natural extension of who they are.
In the old workplace, discipline was something managers emphasised. But in the modern workplace employees need much more than discipline. They need purpose.
Today, following direction is simply not enough to make people perform well.
The fine difference between a boss and a leader can influence staff morale and that, in turn, could have an impact on staff performance and company performance.
In other words, behaviours in the workplace can be reflected in the bottom line – depending on the leadership qualities of the person in charge.
When a person takes over as the boss, do they then automatically become a good leader? Not necessarily. Not all bosses are good leaders.
A boss could inspire fear and in extreme cases loathing, while a leader could bring out the best talents in an employee.
So how does one make that transition from being a person in charge who is looked on as the boss to a person who will take the company to new heights and be the person who is looked to for solutions?
Leading by example
Employees need leaders who lead by example.
They need to be able to look to somebody who can act as a beacon as to how to perform in the workplace.
When a good leader wants a certain path to be followed, he or she will not only tell the staff how to reach their goals, but he or she will live and breathe that path.
When staff see the boss behaving in a particular manner, they will follow suit.
For example, if there is a serious hurdle to be tackled, they would not head off for a long lunch break or take the afternoon off and expect others to toil away to overcome the issue. They will be in the thick of the problem, sleeves rolled up, trying to find a solution.
Listening is key
A good leader will listen and react when staff come up with great ideas.
Even lending a ear to their challenges and grievances can mean a lot.
No one wants a boss who shuts himself or herself away. They want an approachable leader who listens. A leader who does not think in terms of ‘I’ but about ‘we’ or ‘us’.
A company’s success down the line depends on the current challenges of staff. A leader who listens to these challenges could help do things today that will be great tomorrow.
Let your staff grow
When staff are micromanaged, they tend to feel they are not trusted. When every move is overseen and analysed, they feel they do not have room to grow.
Micromanaging to the point of suffocation could lead to some very unhappy employees.
You want them to blossom and come up with ideas and solutions when need be.
A good leader will not be insecure when staff take the initiative to tackle a problem head on. And a good leader will applaud staff when they put forth that solution.
Knowledge and vision
Good leaders know the vision of the enterprise. They know where the company is headed.
They also know the organisation inside out and can answer questions about decisions and ideals, rules and objectives.
And they know exactly where their team sits in the organisational structure of the broader enterprise.
Value of communication
How often do staff feel that goals and vision are not filtered down the line?
Or that they are floundering in a sea of red tape and buzzwords?
Feedback is key in keeping the channels open.
Good leaders not only tell staff when they are doing the right thing, and if they are doing it well. Leaders are able to subtly communicate in a constructive manner when decisions or behaviour are not in keeping with the enterprise’s values and ideals.
And these can be furthered only if there has been effective communication in the first place about what they are.