Being a leader and being a boss is not the same thing – author Simon Sinek puts it best when explaining the fundamental difference between them:
“Being the boss means you have authority. Being a leader means you have taken responsibility for the people in your charge.”
So how do you make the leap to a great leader, rather than a boss? We’ve rounded up 5 qualities of a successful leader:
They love people
Leaders love people. They’re care-givers to their team, they’re invested in nurturing them, and supporting them to succeed. This means you need to genuinely enjoy working with your team and thrive on their successes.
They guide, not control
Leaders aren’t micromanagers. They’re open to new ideas and ways of doing things, even if they differ from how they’ve worked previously. Establish frameworks and structure to provide clear direction and support to your team – and then let them go!
They’re students, not experts
Leaders think of themselves as students, not experts. They leave their egos at the door, choosing instead to constantly learn and practice new skills, before implementing them. You can do this by reading about leadership (check your local library), talking about leadership (join a networking group), or watching videos about leadership (browse TED Talks).
Leaders are happy to delegate. Rather than believing that no one can do a better job than them, leaders enjoy assigning tasks. By following up at regular intervals, you can still ensure the task is on track and provide any necessary support.
They give credit and accept blame
Leaders know success comes from their team’s efforts. Instead of taking the glory of a brilliant result, showcase your team’s wins. If something goes wrong, accept the responsibility – as a great leader, you don’t blame your team. You’re all in this together.
Being a great leader is about developing skills that you need to practice, hone and refine throughout your entire career – good luck!