Stop being a boss, and start being a leader
Every business has a boss or owner, but whether or not that person is a leader as well, is an entirely different discussion. Whilst the two may be similar in some ways, they are essentially two different things, and at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you act like a boss or like a leader.
Every business has a boss or owner, but whether or not that person is a leader as well, is an entirely different discussion. Whilst the two may be similar in some ways, they are essentially two different things, and at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you act like a boss or like a leader. There’s no denying that in the fast-paced world of business that exists today, it’s a challenge for business owners to channel their inner leaders, but if you make the effort to lead rather than boss, chances are you’ll find your team performing better and enthusiasm levels increasing. Here are some tips on how you can stop being a boss, and start being a leader.
Leaders lead, bosses rule
As the leader of a business, it’s your job to be by your team’s side, leading them forwards and moving along with them. You’re not there just to oversee – a true leader gets involved and is in the trenches together with everyone else, setting an example and leading with strength. They coach people towards their best performance and drive them to succeed every day. Essentially, it’s about the “we” and not the “I”.
Leaders motivate, bosses frighten
Team members are far more likely to do a good job and complete projects successfully if they’re motivated to do so. This is where a leader steps in – he inspires and motivates the people within the business, something that will inevitably lead to high levels of enthusiasm. When people are feeling enthusiastic and excited about something, they are far more likely to put more effort into it, thus performing at their best. As a business owner, you should aim to encourage your employees instead of instilling fear in them. Fear does not equate respect.
Leaders listen, bosses command
There will be times when the head of a business has to give orders to others, but for the rest of the time, an effort should be made to listen. By listening to what others have to say, it automatically shows that you value them and care about their opinions. Feedback and discussion should be welcomed and encouraged by every business leader because in that way, people are far more likely to feel appreciated and their confidence in you as a leader will only be strengthened.
Leaders teach/learn, bosses expect
A true leader acknowledges the value in learning from others and the fact that there’s always something new to learn. He is able to put ego aside and absorb relevant information from a range of different sources. Leaders pay attention to what their colleagues have to say and are more than happy to share their experience and knowledge with others as well. The relationship between a leader and his employees is a two-way street: it is about give and take, not just take.
Leaders help repair damage, bosses blame
As we’ve mentioned already, leaders are those who take the initiative and dive right in alongside their colleagues. They become part of the solution, rather than blaming others for the problems. When it comes to being a strong leader, it’s not about throwing your hands up in the air or pointing a finger, but rather about being proactive and helping those around you to repair any damage. A leader is part of the team and not just the representative for it.
If you run your own small business, strive to be a leader rather than just a boss – people will respond better to you and as a result, perform at their optimum and help lead your business to success.
Many business leaders trust Sage One, a leader in the online accounting and payroll software industry, when it comes to managing their business optimally. Contact Sage One today to find out more about its range of impressive products and how it can help you achieve greatness as a small business leader.
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Robin Sharma on leadership I Career advice
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event. Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective. Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of.
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event.
Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective.
Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of:
Gordon Institute of Business Science
Close to Sandton’s business hub, The University of Pretoria is a leading a business school in the heart of Illovo. Ranging from short courses to certificate programs, one can study and enhance in social entrepreneurship, management development, thought leadership, networking and so much more.
Social events like Tomorrow Entrepreneur
10th July, OPEN hosted the first of many inspirational and informative Tomorrow Entrepreneur events.
Free of charge a person can book their seat and enjoy an evening with 5 key speakers that will give inside information, talk about their experiences and advise on how South Africa is progressing while in the meantime encouraging you as a young entrepreneur or small business owner to take that step and make the change.
Never underestimate the need for good public speaking
As a leader, you need to come across strong, confident and make people want to hear what you have to say.
Monash offers a 3-day course, training the new speaker to be able to provide guidance for his or her new employees, how to be more productive in your business through effective communication and most important how to invoke the leader in you.
The African Leadership Academy
The African Leadership Academy for young entrepreneurs or students., allows you to take a gap, reevaluate your position in your career or future career and study speciality leadershop courses. You can attend for a year or meet with them and organise a customizable program that fits your lifestyle.
How to lead by example
There’s that saying that goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but in reality, people do tend to form opinions quickly about others based on their demeanour and the image they convey. That’s why as a leader within a business, whether you’re a manager or the CEO, you need to be mindful of how you behave and the persona you project.
There’s that saying that goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but in reality, people do tend to form opinions quickly about others based on their demeanour and the image they convey. That’s why as a leader within a business, whether you’re a manager or the CEO, you need to be mindful of how you behave and the persona you project. Your employees in particular will expect you to lead by example but it’s also important that you convey the image you’d like to your colleagues, customers and suppliers as well. Bear these tips in mind the next time you set foot in the office or a meeting:
Get stuck in
Showing your team or employees that you have a strong work ethic and that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into a job is a great way to show your dedication to the business. As someone higher up in the company you are sure to have many responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work alongside your colleagues and set the standard for how they should be working on a daily basis. When they see you working hard, the chances are they’ll be inspired to follow suit.
Dress for the part
The clothes you wear as well as how you carry yourself can speak volumes about who you are. Essentially, your wardrobe presents to the world a non-verbal version of your image, so you want to make sure that it communicates the desired message to others. It’s important that you remember that your appearance needs to reflect the business, so if you’re trying to tell those around you that you’re a confident, capable and successful, then be sure to dress accordingly.
Always take responsibility
Things do go wrong and people do make mistakes, so when it’s you who’s at fault, take responsibility. By showing your employees that you can admit to making a mistake and that you’re willing to be accountable, you’ll hopefully set an example for future situations in which others should consider doing the same. It shows strength of character to admit when you’ve made an error and you’ll garner more respect as a leader if you’re willing to show that you’re fine with owning your mistakes.
By arriving late to work or meetings you’ll be giving others the impression that it’s acceptable for them to do the same. Be sure you’re always on time or even early – when your employees see you hard at work bright and early in the morning, they may just feel compelled to mirror that behaviour. You want to embody those characteristics that you wish your employees to have in the hopes that they will see the things you value and then do what they can to display those themselves.
Hone those listening skills
As a leader of a business, you want to make sure that you always listen to those around you. Not only is it a sign of respect for the person you’re listening to, but by listening you can often gain valuable insights into your company and its staff. You want to be seen as someone approachable and a person who is attentive and engaging. When someone is talking to you, make eye contact with them, nod every so often and ask questions – this shows you are not just listening, but hearing what is being said. Your employees will appreciate this.
Praise, praise, praise
When one of your employees does something great, don’t hold back – praise them! Giving credit where it’s due will encourage others to try harder to achieve their goals and give those already excelling another reason to keep working hard. You want to be the kind of leader who inspires and motivates people to do their best and when people know that their work is being acknowledged, they’ll only want to continue producing praise-worthy products.
Small business leaders rely on Sage One Payroll for a hassle-free monthly payroll experience.
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Five characteristics all leaders have in common
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” — Lao Tzu Being seen as a leader is an ideal that many strive for and one that can often seem indistinct. But what exactly makes up a leader?
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” — Lao Tzu
Being seen as a leader is an ideal that many strive for and one that can often seem indistinct. But what exactly makes up a leader? From Churchill to Zedong, here are a few characteristics that all leaders seem to have in common.
They have a clear vision
Being a leader means being able to confidently communicate your vision or idea to the people you want to lead. In order to do this, you will need to completely understand your vision and be able to paint a vivid picture of it. Having a clear vision will give you direction and make achieving your goal that much easier.
They have an insatiable passion
Once your employees have successfully bought into your vision, they will be willing to work on it as their own. Selling your vision requires a huge amount of passion that is palpable to everyone around you. It’s this fiery passion that will inspire your employees to keep working and growing towards the end goal. Passion is undeniably infectious – if you can ignite this in those whom you want to lead, then you and your team will be unstoppable.
They have a “team” mentality
There’s a big difference between being seen as a boss and being seen as a leader. Having a team mentality means showing those around you that you don’t see yourself as being superior, but rather as being a member of the same team as them. You’re all there to work together and ultimately achieve the same result. Develop your team by instilling confidence in them and let them know at every opportunity that you’re there to support them in any crisis.
They are decisive
Being the leader means making tough decisions. This can be very difficult at times but the reality is that it comes with the territory. When making decisions, good leaders are clear and firm and understand that they cannot please everyone. People will admire you more if you show that you’re able to make informed decisions and stick to them.
They are optimistic
Great leaders are those individuals who are exude positive energy. They have an intrinsic desire to help people and offer valuable feedback that inspires and provides reassurance when needed. These are the people that you want to be around and will motivate the team. It’s easier for employees to soldier on during tough times when their leader remains positive and pushes through.
Leaders in business are those who inspire, motivate and encourage employees day after day, but they’re also people who make the best possible decisions for their business. Choosing Sage One for all your accounting and payroll needs can be one of those great decisions.
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