5 Tips on How to be a Good Boss and a Great Leader

6 min read
Jan 6, 2017
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Leadership lessons: how to be a good boss

The worst thing about being a bad boss is that you don’t realize it.

You think that your employees like you, enjoy working with and call you a good boss. Then, it suddenly turns out that conversations stop when you’re entering a room. And that you’re the only person that’s not invited to a party.

You start to wonder what your staff members think about you and you finally come to a conclusion that people dislike you only because you’re a manager. Who likes people that tell you what to do, right?

But what if I tell you that being a boss is a serious business and it’s not as easy as it is commonly believed?

Below tips will help you to enhance your leadership skills, but first, let's try to figure out what's the difference between being a boss and being a leader.

The difference between a boss and a leader

A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.

Charles Erwin Wilson

While it might sound similar, a "boss" and a "leader" have slightly different meanings.

Being a boss means that you're in charge of a team or the whole organization. A boss is supposed to assign tasks, have control over employees and make crucial decisions.

Being a leader means being able to influence and aspire others, to make the best of them. It's a person that leads others by example, has a vision and stays committed to his goals.

Both descriptions sound like two sides of one coin, right? Unfortunately, not every boss is a leader, and not every leader is a boss.

The good thing is that if it happened that you're in a management position, it doesn't mean that you cannot be a leader. On the contrary; if you want to be a good boss, you should be a good leader.

Here are five tips that will help you to achieve that.

1. Build a bond of trust

Without trust we don’t truly collaborate; we merely coordinate or, at best, cooperate. It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team.

Stephen M.R. Covey

The most important part of being a boss is constant work on building a bond of trust in your team. There are several benefits of building trust: effective communication, employee engagement and better job performance.

How to build trust:

2. Praise your employees

A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

Recognition at the workplace cannot be underestimated. Just look at these statistics:

It means that employee recognition is essential if you want to have a well motivated, efficient team. There are more benefits as well! For example, thanks to recognition your employees will be more loyal and satisfied, their individual productivity will increase and their retention will be lowered.

How to recognize your employees:

3. Inspire your employees

I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.

Albert Einstein

Inspiration at work is about commitment and passion. If your employees love what they do, they will need only a little bit of help from your side to spread their wings.

How to inspire your employees:

#4. Let your employees to be themselves

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Oscar Wild

If you don’t accept your employees as they are, you cannot expect that they will feel comfortable in a workplace. If you want for your employees to be highly motivated, you cannot increase the division between home and work. You need to integrate them.

Let them be themselves:

5. Value feedback

We all need good people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.

Bill Gates

There are no perfect people as there are no perfect workers. That’s exactly why you should encourage an open, honest communication in your company. Don’t be afraid of it! Even if you hear something unpleasant, treat it as an opportunity to develop. Research shows that people who are better at handling negative feedback tend to be more successful!

How to encourage employees to give feedback:


How to be a good boss

Being a boss is a tough job, because there is no formula on how to do this right and there are no pre-defined qualities of a good boss.

Do you know that 75% of people leaving jobs, in fact, don’t quit their jobs, but they quit their bosses?

It’s true that some people are natural born leaders who intuitively know how to make the best of each employee, but most of us need to learn it.

It’s a bit like playing with a shape-sorting cube. Every employee has their unique shape and a good boss needs to be able to find a suitable role for each of their employees and match them with the cube.

Luckily, with a bit of patience and perseverance, you will be able to shape this wild variety of personalities into a well-working team.

Photo credits: NBC/Netflix and via courtesy of The Office-ism.

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