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Are You a Leader or a Boss? Your Answer Could Determine Your Success – Scale Up with Patricia

Are You a Leader or a Boss? Your Answer Could Determine Your Success

In this age of a fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, the need for team engagement with collaboration has never been more crucial, but quality communication and connection continue to remain elusive in most business cultures.

Because of the technology available to us, information travels at great speed. Truth, misinformation and assumptions also travel quickly. Without clear communication and connection between individuals and groups the misinformation can give impetus to the wrong direction or wrong conclusions about moving forward. Today’s business teams are globally located in different time zones with differing cultural norms. However, I have found it’s not the only situation in which quality communication and connection are difficult. This problem has been present even when teams are located in the same building. What is needed is a change in leadership mindset; the adoption of a different perspective and a reordering of priorities that support quality communication, collaboration and engagement throughout the organization

It is critically important that executives be more than just the boss, they must be a role model for leadership in order to motivate and drive their organization to achieve at a higher level.

Here’s what I mean:

When You’re Just the Boss

The boss is someone who sets the strategic plan and the team does what they can to satisfy and deliver results. Communication goes on without true connection because each person has a hidden agenda that is not approached. The hidden agenda of the team is to maintain their position and to hope that the boss will notice what they do. The agenda of the boss is to have the implementation happen and for the team to do what they are told to do. Communication and follow up does not occur so the team wonders if they are right about the conclusions they make.

This may seem to be an extreme scenario; and most bosses would deny that is their position. However, it is quite often what is experienced by the team, regardless of the boss’s intent.

In my experience working with leadership teams, while the boss is at least somewhat appreciative of the team, they often complain that their team does not own the strategy or are not strategic in their thinking. Yet, it is often the boss who needs to connect in a more meaningful way with the team members to engage them in the strategy, foster ownership, and get them thinking of creative solutions. Team members typically report their boss does not create time for interaction or follow up on decisions.

Most team members want to please the boss, however, they are not informed often enough when they do something well. When issues or concerns arise they may not be approached and resolved in a productive way because blame or a sense of being patronized is what is perceived by the team.

Result: the strategic process misses the creative input of the team who are often vying for position with the boss. Often what needs to be done is seen as a requirement rather than a creative opportunity because the team has not been engaged. Because there is lack of communication regarding issues or completions, the flow of work is interrupted or stalled.

This can occur at high levels in any organization.

When You’re The Leader

Communication and connection with the team is seen as a priority, not a soft skill or something to do at a dinner or a party. Regular connections occur which relate to strategic planning, implementation and individual development. This means that regular 1:1 meetings include the elements that go into a Performance Review, on an ongoing basis, and are tied to specific actions and results within a strategic plan.

The top priority of a leader is to hold the vision and strategy intact, while others bring forward results. If there are issues regarding results, they are addressed with the team as they occur. This allows the leader to attend to their own peer-leader relationships, enhancing the overall business performance of the organization. Delegation is seen as a priority, and there are integral processes set up for Strategic Planning, Accountability, and Solutions that are inclusive in accessing the resources of the entire team.

As a leader, the accountability process becomes a working solution with collaboration and partnership rather than competition. Accountability includes ownership which is established at the beginning of an initiative or set of goals. Leadership includes perceptiveness of the team members so that specific areas are addressed when necessary. This can now be done more effectively because time has been given for the creation of quality connection and trust within the team.

Leading inspires others to achieve more. Being just the boss can actually impair the engagement process of your team which will diminish progress, and sabotage your success.

If you have a leadership question or challenge you’d like to share, be sure to leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you!