Three Questions to Determine if You are a Boss or a Leader

Though you may refer to yourself as a boss at work, it’s your ability to lead that largely determines whether you’re a successful manager. True leadership is a skill that can be acquired with the right amount of dedication, self-awareness and effort. Leaders take the time to make sure their team is achieving the best results in the best way possible, while a boss is more keen to focus on getting tasks done and little else.

First, it’s important to ask yourself this question: are you a boss or a leader? Before jumping to any conclusions, take some time to think about your behavior and actions when managing others. As you do some self-reflection, here’s a breakdown of questions you should ask yourself.

1. Do you seek solutions?

A typical boss is someone who thinks they know it all, while a true leader is one who continually seeks solutions to problems or challenges. You must be honest with yourself when contemplating how much effort you make to learn new things and overcome difficulties on the job.

For example, do you ask employees for their input when handling certain situations, or do you dismiss the opinions of others and refer only to your own limited scope of knowledge? A commitment to professional growth and learning will always be one of the hallmark signs of an effective leader.

2. Do you provide coaching and guidance?

Unlike stereotypical bosses who spend most of their time delegating to others, leaders are those who empower their teams through coaching and guidance. Offering support to your employees along the way of completing tasks is key to helping them learn and meet your business goals productively as a team. Staying involved and engaged with your team also sets the stage for high morale, in which every person is given the tools to thrive and reach their greatest potential.

3. Do you inspire performance?

If you’re solely focused on results – rather than inspiring performance – you’ll quickly lose the attention and respect of your employees. Effective leaders drive success by providing a vision for the future and giving their team the opportunity to contribute their talents in the most innovative ways possible. Articulating your company values and involving everybody in company decisions will ultimately inspire your employees to work harder and achieve greater results.

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