Are you a Boss or a Leader?

Through the struggling years of our work life, all of us want to become a boss, or should I say a leader. The two terms sound similar, right? Well, the reality is further away. Most of us, when promoted, become bosses but only a few become successful leaders. While a boss would know how to get the work done, the leader would get it done effectively along with his subordinate’s immense satisfaction in it. Let us highlight a few characteristics that a boss should understand and entrench in order to lead at the front.

boss or leader 1 - Are you a Boss or a Leader?

  1. The strength of Positivity: Every now and then, we face hurdles in our work. And, as a regular practice, we lookout for possible solutions or resolve it with the help of our boss. A good leader would be the one who does not consider these hurdles as problems; instead converts them into teaching lessons for the team. This sign of positivity would lead to the building of a successful team.
  2. The power of Delegation: Responsibility always comes best with the Authority. While a team normally could put in all its efforts to complete a project, it would be much satisfied and happy to deliver the same project when it is given the authority to take all the decisions with regards to that project as well. However, the leader should never take advantage of getting his own official work, under the project, done from his subordinates. For instance, if preparing annual revenue report of the project is the manager’s responsibility, he must not delegate it to his subordinate in the name of assigning responsibility and authority.
  3. The role of Communication: Communication is one powerful weapon which can build or destroy a subordinate’s confidence and performance. A leader must communicate all the information (related to the project as well as the company). He should further discuss all the areas and decide on the future points accordingly.
  4. The importance of Personal Life: We all know that as a working class we are struggling to maintain work-life balance. We are unable to prioritize our personal lives when needed utterly, mostly because of our bosses. A good leader is the one who can not only understand but empathize with his employee’s personal requirements and allow him for leaves/work from home in days of need. Moreover, he should allow some space during office hours for him to take care of a few personal things, if mandatory.
  5. The must-have ‘Encouragement’ trait: Every boss wants the best performing subordinate to stay with the company for long and the unproductive resources to go. However, a leader would always encourage the low performing resources to perform better by understanding their reasons of inefficiency. The employees should further be encouraged for achieving milestones and success, even when it requires them to switch their jobs.
  6. The Result-Oriented Goal: A leader should always have the mindset of striving towards the overall growth of the organization over the departmental growth. A lot of bosses compare their department with others and run their team on ‘us versus them’ thought process. Great managers have the ability to see the bigger picture and work towards the goal of organizational growth.
  7. The benefit of Discussions: The organizations which have bosses who are open for healthy personal and professional discussions and who make their subordinates feel comfortable at work are always the prospering ones. The managers must discuss their employees’ performance and performance appraisals, whenever necessary. They should also be open to listening to the feedback from the employees in order to improve in an overall sense.
  8. The ability to see ‘Way Forward’: Leaders always know where their team and they are leading to. They should have a clear vision of the path that they are going to follow and lead their team to walk towards the same road accordingly. They should be able to discuss the scope of the project and the role of each team member in undertaking the same.
  9. The power of Decision Making: A strong leader is educated and (or) experienced in the field in which he is working. He has the skill of taking independent decisions and backing the same always, even when the taken decision does not lead to the success of the project. He also makes sure that everyone in his team understands the reason behind the decision taken.
  10. The sense of Praising: Most of the times, when a team accomplishes a target or achieves new heights, it is the boss that owns up the success. However, a leader would always put the team forward to give credits for that accomplishment. He would highlight the team member(s) for their individual performances and the areas where all his subordinate(s) have done a great job. This brings content in the employees and positivity in the environment.

It is easy to be a boss but not a great leader unless you have the capability to create it in yourself. Therefore, a leader must understand and hold certain qualities in order to cater to the problems of his subordinates and make the company flourish in not only in length but in the short run as well.

Manya Kakkar

Academic Associate, ICoFP

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