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To Lead is to Inspire Followers

There is a general consensus that being a boss does not instantly make you a leader. They are different.  A person becomes a leader by inspiring others to follow.  A person becomes a boss because of a hierarchy within a company.

There are all sorts of books out there that make claims to help you become a great leader, but in general, it is the humanness of us all that help us become better leaders.  Here are some tips on how to lead your employees to greatness:

  1. Set reasonable goals. Don’t over delegate workloads and manage the flow of work on your team.  Assess each member’s skills and assign accordingly.  Keep notes or mental notes of strengths and weaknesses and reassign duties as needed.
  2. Lead by example. Respect authority, inspire your followers to perform at a high level and take pride in your work and theirs.  Empower your workers.
  3. Don’t focus on the negative. Too many bosses spend their time correcting issues, faults and errors of employees.  Instead, focus your efforts on the positive to create an inspiring atmosphere.  Mention behavior that needs to be corrected, but praise achievements.
  4. Analyze your performance. Being in charge gives you autonomy with your workers and how you are performing, but you must still be transparent to find room for improvement and inspire others by identifying your weaknesses and finding solutions.
  5. Encourage others to problem solve. As the boss you may believe that your solutions or ideas are the best fix, but maybe you haven’t thought of all the options.  By bringing others in to discuss and brainstorm with you, you may discover solutions that had previously not been on your radar.
  6. Listen. Listen to ideas and thinking processes, don’t let people become dependent on you to lead them to ideas.  Explore problems with employees and hear their thoughts.

To be a great leader, it is important to really hear and understand the issues people face daily.  Every worker is different, so are their struggles and their strengths.  Hear it, understand it and embrace it.