“So, are you a leader? Leadership is an interesting experience. Being a leader presents you the opportunity to work with people towards a goal, setting an example through your words, and particularly your deeds. With leadership comes the thrill of teamwork. And as Helen Keller agrees, “…together we can do so much.”
Leadership isn’t a glitz and glamour experience. However, most professionals who step into management roles consider the responsibility of leading more tasking than they imagined. Working with people suddenly doesn’t pose much excitement. As a leader, you learn that you could be a boss without understanding the workings of leadership.
Leadership is influence, says John Maxwell. Employees can differentiate between leadership management and bossy management, and the latter is one reason why employees leave the workplace. Many employees can relate to the experience of a bad boss.
There are many differences between an effective leader, and a get-the-job-done boss. Below, we highlight some of these:
1. Leaders are involved, bosses are distant: This, perhaps, is the most crucial note about effective leadership. Leaders make the extra efforts of getting acquainted with their team. They believe the best way to get leaders to work is to get involved in the work with them. Leaders value positive relationships with their colleagues. They can create connections with individual members of the team. They are concerned about the work but much more about the individual getting the work done. Where bosses would show nonchalance, leader show interest and desire.
2. Leaders influence, bosses instruct: True leadership revolves around driving a team towards a goal, towards change. A boss rolls out a list of instructions to help with execution, but a leader finds ways to inspire the team to work. Leaders are big on feedback. They are eagerly acceptive of opinions. They believe that when everyone understands why a decision is being taken, why a project is being executed, following through becomes easy. Through their openness to learning, leaders allow their employees to work with self-worth, a feeling of being appreciated, being valuable.
3. Leaders care about the culture: Most organisations practice organisational cultures, and leaders know best how to relate this uniqueness to all team members. How? They simplify the value systems of the organization such that members learn to cherish what the company cherishes. Leaders are the biggest inspiration. Employees are excited to get started on a work assigned by a leader. Leaders know that passion determines execution, and they are able to relate this to their team members.
Top leaders are intentional about learning to lead from a winning perspective. To be a good leader, pay attention to listening to your employees. When you listen to people, then it becomes easier to be listened to. You can develop your leadership abilities through deliberate action. Effective leadership is possible with you.