Are you looking for how to be a leader and not just a boss? When you are in business, good advice is a priceless commodity. At the top, you’re going to have to deal with issues that include isolation and knowing your limits. Despite that, many people at the top have an over-inflated sense of self-confidence, which can lead to poor decisions and the failure to ask for advice when it’s needed. For such people, there is a great degree of responsibility they must deal with and often finding a new perspective can help. Advice from others can open up new doors, help you solve problems and ensures effective decision making. Here’s how to be a leader and gain more satisfaction and success than from just being the boss.
Once you realize that you have flaws, the question becomes how you are going to address those flaws. That largely involves finding the right support. When you seek this person out, there are some criteria you should use to choose the right supporter.
1. Choose the Right Person
Choose someone who understands the business. They must have more than a degree. They must also understand how you’ve organized your business.
2. Look for an outside Perspective
Beyond an understanding of the business, this helps you get creative when it comes to problem solving.
3. Understand Your Support Person
This will ensure a good working relationship between the two of you.
4. Watch for a Code of Ethics
This helps you both work toward a proper solution if a situation arises that isn’t covered by your contract.
5. Ask about a Positive ROI
You need to be sure that your support person will give you a financial return on your investment, but also a supportive and encouraging return on your investment as a support provider.
Now the trick is being able to use advice when it’s given to you. Because many leaders must use their best judgment, they can be reluctant to see an outside perspective. Leaders are also guilty of wanting all the glory for their own ideas. The support provider is also going to have to earn the trust and respect of the leader. Here’s how to go about that.
1. There Should Be No Overstepping Invisible Boundaries
A leader is still the leader and support providers should avoid trying to take over and make their own decisions without input from the leader.
2. Support Providers Will Be Held Accountable
If this person makes a questionable decision, it can affect the leader and lead to legal action.
3. A Support Provider Must Have Reasoning for His Advice
i.e. They should understand why they are giving that piece of advice. Does it come from a position of authority (experience and knowledge)?
4. A Support Provider Must Communicate Effectively
Being able to articulate the advice so that it is completely understood is paramount.
5. There Should Be No Decision Making or Advice Given without Asking More Questions
The bottom line is that leaders need to realize that they need support and support providers need to have a consistent approach to giving advice and solving problems.
Being a leader is very different to being a boss. A boss tells and people do. A leader shows and people follow. You can make the choice to be either. If you’re just a boss, you need leaders in your team.
I worked in professional environments for 25+ years, in industries from banking to retail to education. The advice I have provided above comes from my experience of dealing with many bosses and many leaders over many years.