In the world of business, being a great leader is a quality that will always be in high demand. Too often, however, managers are content to simply act as a boss to their employees. So what is the difference between a boss and a genuine leader? Here are just a few qualities that separate the two, and why embodying good leadership principles can make an enormous difference in a career and in the workplace.
1. An Investment in the Future
For good leaders, the ability to provide employees with a sense of direction is vital in the business world. When employees feel that their time at a company is leading to bigger and better things, they will be much more likely to perform to their full potential and find satisfaction in their work.
When they feel unappreciated or that their contribution to a company is negligible, however, employees will have no incentive to perform well in their jobs or stay with a company in the long-term. Good leaders must show employees that their efforts are valued, and that those efforts will lead to new opportunities within the company.
2. Bosses Demand; Leaders Set an Example
To really bring out the best in employees, it is simply not productive to issue employees with orders and then demand to be followed; great leaders inspire employees by setting a good example. In the business world, no one likes a boss who simply makes unrealistic demands on everyone around them; to truly inspire people to succeed, a leader must show others what is expected of them by demonstrating a high standard of behavior.
3. Good Leaders Listen and Empathize
In a toxic workplace, employees tend not to approach their boss with problems; accustomed to getting the short end of the stick when a new issue arises, these employees don’t feel comfortable confiding in higher-ups. This is why genuine leaders must demonstrate empathy and listening skills if they truly want to make a difference in the lives of those around them.
Becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight, but by setting a great example at work, listening to and empathizing with employees, and showing the people that we work with that their time is valued, we’ll be well on the way towards making a big difference in the lives of others. Truly, that is leadership at its best!