We all know there’s a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Bosses are generally awful, yell at you to work harder while they practice their golf putt in their office, and make you wonder whether the rest of your life will be like this. Leaders are down in the trenches with you, they treat you like a valuable part of the team, and they make you feel inspired to do your best work, which helps you to feel passionate about your career. In fact, 94% of employees with leaders instead of bosses feel passionate about their careers, while only 59% of those working for a bad boss feel the same way. The proof is in the pudding, and if you want your team to be full of people who are passionate about what they do, it starts with great leadership.
An employee’s level of engagement at work has a lot to do with the kind of leadership they encounter there on a daily basis – as much as 14% of engagement comes from great leadership. Nearly two in three people have left jobs because of a bad boss or manager, and 77% of people with bad managers say they currently plan to leave their jobs in the next year.
So what makes a boss or manager bad? Employees describe bad bosses and managers as self-absorbed, lazy, rude, selfish, untrustworthy, and arrogant. Bad bosses micromanage people to level that there’s no point in hiring that person to do a job if you can’t trust them to do it. Bad bosses want to take all the credit for team efforts, failing to recognize it takes everyone working together to produce the end result.
What leaders feel passionate about
Leaders are more effective because they are capable of delegating and trust people to do the jobs they were hired for. They are honest, trustworthy, supportive, respectful, and they actively keep the lines of communication open. If you aren’t sure whether you have a leader or a boss, ask yourself how you would feel telling your boss bad news or revealing something personal that you are struggling with.
If you want to become a better boss, there are a few things you can start to do differently:
- Build a strong team – only hire people who are capable of doing their jobs without being micromanaged and hire people with strengths that are different from your own
- Focus on relationships – build your network so you always know the right person to call on in your time of need
- Empower employees – make sure the people working for you know they have the power to take initiative and get things done
- Don’t micromanage – let people do the jobs you hired them to do
- Share the credit – remember nothing gets accomplished alone
- Learn from mistakes – take time to discuss what went wrong so it can go right the next time
Learn more about the habits of highly effective leaders from the infographic below.