How to Be a Leader Not a Boss

shutterstock_300539966What kind of a leader are you? That question is not an easy one to answer honestly. We all like to think that we are effective at what we do. There is a meme floating around social media that says a leader shows you how to do something, a boss tells you to do it. If you are the type that bosses instead of leads, it is time to rethink the way you go about your job.

Engaging leaders encourage employees and make them feel valued. Employees that feel valued work harder, are more productive, and are more likely to stay with you for the long haul. Here are four traits of an engaging leader:


If you hope to be an engaging leader, you have to have emotional stability. You should possess the ability to stay cool under pressure, and you should do your best to maintain a positive outlook no matter what is thrown at you. Remember, your employees are watching.


Always challenge your teams to reach new goals, but don’t forget to challenge yourself. Again, you should be an example to your employees. Do not expect to be able to sit behind a desk all day while your employees work to put money in your pocket. Do not be the “idea person,” be the “doer.”

Interpersonal Skills

Do you focus more on your employees than on yourself? If so, than you are doing it right. Just as you would put your children first, put your employees first. Concern yourself with their likes and dislikes, be understanding of needed time off, stay in tune with their thoughts and feelings.

Excellent Communicator

Never be the boss that takes more than a day to respond to an email. Do not be the boss who works behind a closed door. And never offer to listen to an employee’s suggestion or complaint if you are only doing so to appease them.

If the above traits seem fitting, then you can consider yourself an engaging leader. If, on the other hand, you are excitable, overly cautious, lazy, egocentric, or manipulative, you are, in effect, ruining your business. Take an honest look at your leadership habits and adjust them as necessary.


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