Musthafa Ebadi
Are You A Boss or A Leader!
by Musthafa Ebadi on March 17th, 2014

Do your employees perceive you as a "boss" or a "leader"? Personally I rather they perceive me as a leader than a Boss. Few years ago I had someone on my team working out of Atlanta and everytime I called him he would answer with “Boss!” and we would spend 60 seconds dissecting why I don’t like that term.  We would go back and forth and at the end he would agree to call me by name but few days later he would answer the phone the same way.

What your employees call you is also going to be determined by what you call yourself and the words you use around them. I would always encourage my people to call me by name and if they had to talk about me at worst they could call me their manager but never a boss.

To me a boss is someone who bosses around whereas a leader leads.

And as a leader we have another responsibility which is to coach our people and continue to develop and grow them. One of my favorite quotes is a leader’s job isn’t to attract followers but rather develop more leaders.

Coaching is all about providing ongoing education for our people and following up to make sure they understand and apply what they have learned. Coaching also lets the employees know why they should make the change, instead of just telling them what to change. Its getting to learn the process of how to do something than what to do – its to nurture and develop their thinking, analyzing, and decision making skills.

It is also very important to "inspect what you expect" from people. If you do not follow up on what you have coached them on, they might perceive that you do not care, which could lead them to not caring as well.

Coaching your people is an investment that you make in them which in turn gets you return of better and more effective performance from them. Their enhanced performance will improve you team/organization which in turn will increase your value!

As I have always said to run a high impact team it requires countless hours of hardwork, dedication, and time investment on a leader’s part. A high impact team is also reflection of a high impact leader.

Its also worth noting that for your people to perceive you as their leader you will have to act as a leader and not just say that you are a leader. How to act as a leader? That is a topic for another blog post but for now Google (or Bing)  “qualities of leader” and you will see a list of 5 – 7 qualities in the search results.  

Assess yourself against those qualities and you will get an indication of where you stand on the scale of being Boss – Leader!

Its an honor to lead and serve people so lets do it right!

Feel free to agree, disagree, or share your perspective using the comment section of this post. 

Thanks for reading! 

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