Don’t deny it, through out the years you’ve seen how a lot of group managers, area directors or event company presidents could only brag about being the boss but never about being a leader. You’ve heard them brag about the power they have over their teams because of the title they wear and you have profoundly criticize their huge lack of involvement with you and your colleagues.
For a long time you have broken down and gossiped about your bosses every little fault, every single mistake, his rudeness, his abuse of power, his work style and his lack of decision making, plus his lack of knowledge and ability to do his job and his misunderstanding of yours.
But now something is different, you can’t quite tell what…oh wait right! Now you remember! Now you are the boss.
Now you are on the position that, closer or farther, you always aspired to. Now you are on the spot, subject to all the scrutiny and the toughest analysis. But don’t worry becuase now you also have the enormous opportunity of choosing whether you want to be just another manager or become a great leader for your team.
Of course, there are a lot of people (and this is the ideal situation) who act as leaders no matter whether they have the formal title within their organization or not.
But just like you today, they once had to choose to become a leader, and the decision is really not that hard. Choosing what path to walk is easier than you think, you just have to choose between option A) being a boss or B) being a leader.
A) A boss give orders and instructions, he micromanages each project and continually asks for performance reports in which to look for the slightest opportunity to reprehend his team so he can show them why only he is capable of doing the job of “the boss”.
A boss never gets involved with his team mates, some times he won’t even know their full name, much less their history.
A boss when ordering a task imposes his time line, even when he knows, or even worse when he doesn’t know how long that task really takes.
A boss constantly criticizes his team and, sometimes without even realizing it, will leave the team feeling bad, because he simply is not connected to his collaborators.
A boss imposes his vision, his decisions and his way of doing things.
And a boss lasts a very short period in his position and even a shorter time in the memory of his team.
B) A leader involves all of his team when developing their vision, as a group.
A leader is a facilitator to his team, he never imposes a way to do something, he teaches, shares his opinion and makes suggestions and then he lets his team use their own talents, experience, knowledge and creativity to get things done, and by this, a leader helps his team develop their skills, while at the same time learns from them.
A leader really gets involved with his team, and even if he doesn’t become a close friend of them, he knows and understands their history, their dreams, needs and aspirations, their family and even their friends, and by this a leader helps his team realize their personal dreams.
A leader, when asking for a new project, will not impose his timings, he will ask the owners of the project how long they will need and what resources they’ll require, and not only this, but he will make sure they get them.
A leader never criticizes the weaknesses of his teammates, on the contrary he identifies their greatest strengths and helps them develop and maximize them, and with their opportunity areas, he knows how to address them without being insensitive and, more frequent than not, he will work with them to surpass them.
A leader does not need to have an official director, manager, president or CEO title to act as a leader; he will be a leader from any position in the organization.
A leader, just like a simple boss, might not last too long in a position, but he will always remain in the minds and heart of his team.
And yes, like I said, choosing what to be is a very easy decision to make, a no brainer really. But once you choose, what’s really hard is acting with integrity, congruency and consistency with your decision of becoming a true leader. Sure, sometimes you’ll make your share of mistakes, but what’s important is to start each day with the absolute conviction of acting as a leader and an authentic calling to serve your team and help them realize their full potential.
So, what will you choose to be?