Every business has a boss, but not every team has a leader. The difference between managers and leaders are clear and important. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, there is a correlation between exceptional leaders and exceptional workers. This means that the faster bosses and managers can transform into leaders, the sooner work performance is likely enhanced. Many managers and bosses struggle with transitioning away from manager-focused ways, but here are a few small steps you can take to become less of a boss, and more of a leader.
Keep a Strong Vision
A strong vision is essential, and as a leader, you have to look forward and see where the company is headed. Vision helps a leader and the team plan for the future as well as keeps the company aligns during hard times. As a leader, a strong vision can also provide motivation and inspiration to your team. Leaders need to keep the end goals in mind. A leader’s vision must be strong enough to support the team through to the end. Otherwise, they will stop short of their goals. It is also vital that your vision is strong and not wishy-washy because every choice you make should keep the end picture for you and your company in mind.
Steve Griggs, the founder, and CEO of Steve Griggs Design, discovered that growth came with making faster and more decisive actions. “Start by evaluating ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ and ‘What’s my ultimate desired outcome?’” Griggs said. “Then, make a decision and sink or swim with the ship. At least you made a decision. Being an entrepreneur means you’re a leader and no one wants to see the leader be wishy-washy.”
Micromanaging is a dangerous habit that many managers and leaders have. The reasons behind micromanagement range from inexperience to lack of trust. However, as a leader, you must put trust into your team and take a step back because micromanagement hinders your team’s capacity to grow. Micromanaging can be a hard thing to overcome, but I recommend setting weekly meetings with your team to discusses goals, assess progress, and build trust.
Delegation is key to successful leadership. Not only does delegation save you time but it also allows your company to achieve more and helps develop your team. Another key to delegating is having the ability to provide direction but enable your team to take steps on their own. Delegating can help enhance your credibility as a leader. By allowing your teammate’s new ways to show their responsibility, you get their respect and loyalty.
Transitioning from a manager or boss to a leader can be difficult. However, the sooner you make these changes, you will build a team of exceptional workers. Check out my article series on Employee Engagement for more in depth analysis and suggestions for how you can approach this in your organization: Actively Disengaged at Work? A Leadership Challenge.