Don’t be a boss, be a leader!

Most people have something to complain about regarding their boss. This is normal as human beings are not perfect and make mistakes. However, as managers our duty to the company and our staff is not to just reprimand and control, rather our duty is to inspire, mentor, and advance. Unfortunately, some managers only worry about the bottom line and don’t see the value in investing in people.

This past weekend, I spent time with friends in different sectors and industries. Most of them hold leadership positions and are experienced enough to mentor other employees. I found a common issue across our group, and likely your issue if you’re reading this, is the complaint that upper management is out of touch. The complaints aren’t usually about their certifications, academic knowledge or even on the job experience. Instead, the most common complaint revolves around leadership, emotional intelligence (great topic for another post!) and professional maturity.
The world is changing, and the character of the grumpy, strict, and heartless boss is disappearing. But, even for managers that believe they are doing a good job, there are some important behaviors that will undermine your ability to be a leader and can make some of your brightest employees want to leave.

Puppet Master – Don’t be a manager that only cares about looking good in front of others. A boss finds someone to blame while a leader stands up for their team. If you find yourself often blaming and over judging your employees or your team that might be the reason why your team is lacking motivation and passion in the workplace.

The Wizard – Some bosses seems to forget they were employees at some point in their careers and are consistently trying to “educate” the personnel. A good leader should be willing to listen to each employee, no matter their level of expertise. At the end of the day, the goal is to build a good relationship, so the team and company can grow strong.

The VIP – If you are making all of the decisions while ignoring any feedback you don’t like, you will become toxic to your employees. This will result in either losing their respect or destroying their motivation. Andy Stanley once said: ” Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” If your team is telling you something, odds are they might be right, so you owe them at least to genuinely take their points into consideration.

The Insecure – This , I believe, is the worst behavior of all. If you are continuously grilling, distrusting, and micromanaging employees without concrete motives, then you are on a path to suffocation, demoralization, and high turnover. Managers who don’t listen and don’t trust their employees end up alone. A true leader will always be open to listen, show empathy and will not manage by parachuting into situations.

In conclusion, my friends and I agreed that employees in managerial positions should avoid being a boss and become a leader that guides, inspires, listens, and coaches his or her employees. The best path forward is together.

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