Posted in Management Best Practices
Are you a leader or just a boss?
There’s a difference:
· A boss is someone you report to; a leader is someone you look up to.
· A boss relies on authority; a leader relies on cooperation.
· A boss creates fear in staff; a leader builds confidence.
The best managers are certainly bosses, but a fundamentally different approach to work makes them something greater. Geoffrey James examines the differences that set true leaders apart from average bosses in his recent Inc.com article. Here are a few of his key points:
A company is a community, not a machine. The average boss views employees as cogs in a machine and seeks to maintain control with rigid rules. The extraordinary leader views the company as a collection of hopes and dreams connected to a higher purpose. Leading by example, he inspires employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers, their company and the community at large.
Management is service, not control. The average boss wants workers to do exactly as they’re told. Anything short of that smacks of insubordination. Instead of squelching initiative, the extraordinary boss sets direction and then commits himself to providing the resources employees need to get the job done.
Employees are peers, not children. The extraordinary leader treats each employee as if he were the most important person in the organization – regardless of his position. Instead of viewing workers as inferior, immature people who can’t be trusted, the leader expects excellence from his staff. His expectations create a different mindset in employees, encouraging idea sharing and sparking innovation.
Change equals growth, not pain. Whereas the typical boss views change as complicated and unwelcome, the true leader embraces it. He knows that change is an inevitable part of life and is therefore open to new ways of thinking and doing business.
To pursue true management excellence, strive to lead – not rule. Aim to serve and support, instead of merely demanding compliance. Most of all, recognize the value of your individual team members and ensure their talents are being used in the most effective manner.
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