Are You A Leader Or A Boss?

You must have heard or come across the cliche “be a leader, not a boss” and you may have wondered what’s so wrong with being a boss. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with being a boss. In fact, the dictionary defines a boss as a person who is in charge of a worker, group, or organization.

There’s simply nothing wrong with the term “boss”. We have bosses at our places of work or even we are bosses and have subordinates. Being a boss doesn’t make us bad people but the kind of boss you are is what makes the difference.
A leader does not necessarily have to be a boss just as a boss doesn’t have to be a leader. In the same light, having a leader in a boss is a cherry on top of the cake.

Are you the type of boss that only give orders and is never open to others’ opinion? Are you the very inconsiderate and manipulative boss? Are you the kind of boss who never gives people credit for their hard work, lacks empathy and never leads by example? Then you are not a leader, just a boss. It means that you are in charge of the workers or organization but you do not add to their productivity or empower them in any way.

On the other hand, a leader is a person who leads his followers and guides them on different matters. He can influence and lead others by example holds a dominant position with a vision and stays committed to his goal.

Any good leader can be a boss, but every boss cannot be a leader! This role is something you embrace mentally and emotionally that inspires your company and employees to greater heights.

There are several stories about leadership, but I will share from these interesting perspectives I read about. Stories about leadership by example and leadership by empathy.

There was a young boy who had become addicted to eating sugar. His mother decided to get help from Gandhiji and took the long and hot journey with her son walking many miles and hours under the scorching sun.

She finally reached Gandhiji’s Ashram and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar; it wasn’t good for his health. Gandhiji replied,

“I cannot tell him that. But you may bring him back in a few weeks and then I will talk to him.”

The mother was confused and upset and took the boy home.

Two weeks later she came back. This time Gandhiji looked directly at the boy and said you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health. The boy nodded his head and promised he wouldn’t.

The boy’s mother was puzzled. She asked “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here. Gandhiji smiled and said, “Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”

I chose to share this perspective because I have realised that one of the most effective ways people learn is by emulation. If you want your employees to quit missing deadlines, you must first start by meeting deadlines.
Leaders must model the behaviour they ask of their employees. If employees see their leaders stand up and lead by example, they will feel more engaged and will be more willing to do their best work.

In March 2020, the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern hosted a Facebook Live ahead of New Zealand’s lockdown. Apologising for her casual dress, she began by explaining she had just put her child to bed and wanted to “check-in” with everyone. Her messages have been clear and consistent and people have listened. New Zealand has been one of the very few countries in the world to have appeared to have successfully managed the pandemic.

This is an example of leadership through empathy.

This is a good time for you to define the type of boss you are. Are you a leader or are you just a boss? In your office, at home with your siblings, at the church with your members, do you only dictate what should be done or do you actively follow through and ensure that it is effectively done?

It is easy to condemn the government and our leaders. It is easy to spell out their inadequacies. But, to the big question, what are you as a leader doing in the small unit you manage? How do we carry people along to achieve a purpose? What qualities do you possess that score you as a leader and not just a boss?

Today’s competitive marketplace demands that you produce extraordinary results. How you choose to do that is up to you. But you may already have a leadership style in place that isn’t the best for you or your team. Even if it has worked up until this point, it’s important to seriously consider where you are now and where you’d like to be.

To discover if you are a leader or just a boss, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I hold myself to the same standards I’ve set for my team? 
  • Are you leading by example? 
  • Are you approachable?
  • Are you just result-oriented or are you people-oriented?

Leadership is such an important skill to possess, but unfortunately, not everyone can be a leader.
A recent study by Robert Half reveals that about 49% of all professionals surveyed left their company due to a bad boss.

As a leader, it’s essential to understand the distinction of “boss vs. leader” and understand how you can offer effective leadership that inspires, regardless of your official title.
The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them as leaders and continually develops them.

Giving Your 100% Percent

Most of us live a half/a quarter/or a fraction of our life because we try to achieve many things in life, in the process of becoming super-human by simultaneously focusing on multiple projects, we do manage to achieve quite a bit in many areas but the level of our accomplishments is mediocre.

Have you found yourself feeling you are not putting in your best effort? Have you ever done a task and after its completion, you are sure that wasn’t your best input and that you could have done it better? Said it better or maybe cared enough to have given it deeper thoughts before reacting? We have all been there.

When it comes to the discussion of giving our 100%, it covers every aspect of life that we are involved in. whether in our jobs, private lives or relationships. The reluctance to put in our best effort into whatever we are doing streams from a variety of reasons like a lack of motivation, lack of clarity of goals, lack of skills, fear for failure or a natural lackadaisical attitude towards almost everything. Whatever the reason is, we must understand that putting 100% effort into tasks is important for a successful, peaceful and fulfilled life.

The 100-per cent rule says that if you want to achieve personal success in any endeavour, you must be 100 per cent committed to it.

There was a boy who had a great collection of marbles and a girl who had a collection of sweets. Each looked at what the other had and was envious. So they agreed on an exchange: the boy to give the girl his marbles, and the girl to give her sweets.

The boy kept the biggest and the particularly attractive marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised.

That night, the girl went off to a pleasant sleep. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

Giving your 100% in tasks that involve you is important because when you give yourself a better chance to succeed. Also, you won’t have any regrets even if you fail.
Imagine that your proposal could have been accepted if you had only double-checked for errors in the figures. Imagine that relationship could have worked out if you only rendered a few acts of service or you would have still had your job if you always sent in your deliverables before the deadlines.

Bear in mind, input equals output same as the level of input determines the degree of output.
Although this article has advised that you give your 100% to tasks that involve you, you equally need to identify things that deserve your 100% because guess what? Not everything needs it. And if you give everything 100 per cent, you’re giving the important stuff less than that. And that’s where your frustrations and niggles are coming from.

Johann Wolfgang Von said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” You should give your 100 per cent to the things that matter most to you, as simple as that.

Where to give your 100%? And where not to give 100%? This is important because the first and biggest reason for our inability to give 100 % is because our energy is divided into too many things. Do you think you can give your 100 % in preparing an important presentation when 10 other things are asking for your attention? For this reason, you need to separate the urgent from the important and the unimportant.

You cannot give your 100 per cent to everyone’s requests. You have to have your tasks written down and prioritize them based on their importance. Once prioritized, you should give your 100 per cent to the most important task.

Secondly, create a to-do list. After you have separated your urgent from important tasks or identified your goals. You must write down the tasks that you need to carry out to achieve your goal. This is important because it helps you focus on high-value activities first while you are still energetic and pumped for it. Once you have a list of things you need to do, it’s much easier to prioritize the tasks on it. This will ensure you’re always working on the right things. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall into a circle of doing what seems easiest or most urgent. Doing this may result in skipping important things that don’t require your immediate attention.

Also, Limit interruptions. What are those sidelines that distract you when you should be focusing on achieving goals? It could be chit-chat, social media, hangouts and games or even as simple as a phone notification beep.
By limiting distractions, you increase your ability to concentrate on the task at hand, increasing the odds that you can focus until it’s completed. This makes you more efficient and, in turn, more productive. You’ll be able to do more in less time, all because your thought processes aren’t interrupted.

Giving it 100% means doing your best. It means giving the work everything you have to give. It pays to dedicate effort to tasks that are important for your success. Learn to give your 100%. You cannot make up for a poor effort today by giving your 110% tomorrow. You only have 100% and that is what you should give today.

What Are Your Basic Life Principles?

As children, we were brought up with a shedload of principles and values instilled in us by family, teachers, guardians etc. We were told what was acceptable and what wasn’t, what we should comprise on and what we should stand firm on. Somehow, these principles have shaped us to be who we are not at least until we are old enough to bisect and make our principles based on first-hand experiences we have had.
Ever heard someone say, “I can never take or bribe anyone”
“I can never do an illegal business”
“I can never cheat anyone out of their own money”
“I must wake up at 4 AM to be productive”

These are principles and life ethics people have set for themselves with hopes to abide by them forever.

Principles simply mean a rule of conduct. It is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of, or proper practices for, an individual, party or organization. Your life principles are peculiar to you. What code of conduct do you live by? What are those things you can never compromise on? What are your principles for wealth or even health? What are your principles for relationships?

Every success story is grounded in life principles, values, and beliefs. Every successful person has principles they live by. Everything in life is established on principles just as every sector has its guiding principles and code of conduct. Accomplishing all that we aspire towards gives us contentment and affirms that all of our efforts were worth it. However, for one to prosper in life, it is important to have personal guiding convictions to direct you.

Here’s a good story that buttresses ethics.

He was eleven years old and went fishing every chance he got from the dock at his family’s cabin on an island in the middle of a New Hampshire lake.

On the day before the bass season opened, he and his father were fishing early in the evening, catching sunfish and perch with worms. Then he tied a small silver lure and practised casting. The lure struck the water and caused coloured ripples in the sunset, then silver ripples as the moon rose over the lake.

When his pole doubled over, he knew something huge was on the other end. His father watched with admiration as the boy skillfully worked the fish alongside the dock.

Finally, he very gingerly lifted the exhausted fish from the water. It was the largest one he had ever seen, but it was a bass.

The boy and his father looked at the handsome fish, gills playing back and forth in the moonlight. The father lit a match and looked at his watch. It was 10 P.M. – two hours before the season opened. He looked at the fish, then at the boy.

“You’ll have to put it back, son,” he said.

“Dad!” cried the boy.

“There will be other fish,” said his father.

“Not as big as this one,” cried the boy.

He looked around the lake. No other fishermen or boats were anywhere around in the moonlight. He looked again at his father.

Even though no one had seen them, nor could anyone ever know what time he caught the fish, the boy could tell by the clarity of his father’s voice that the decision was not negotiable. He slowly worked the hook out of the lip of the huge bass and lowered it into the black water.

The creature swished its powerful body and disappeared. The boy suspected that he would never again see such a great fish.

And he was right. He has never again caught such a magnificent fish as the one he landed that night long ago. But he does see that same fish – again and again – every time he comes up against a question of ethics.

You see, when you base your life on principles, most of your life’s decisions are already taken before you encounter them.

In our world today, there seem to be more people living carelessly without principles than people living a principle-centred life. Some people will go with anything, do anything and be known for everything. They do not have boundaries or ethics. They are like a ship without a compass; changing direction with every change of the wind.

For you to build your principles, you need to first shift your paradigm because you can’t set effective principles, values, or goals if they’re based on an inaccurate reality. The ability to be honest with yourself and challenge your beliefs will help you to develop a more informed, objective, and accurate perception of reality. This will help you to shift your paradigm away from a lens that was developed unto you, and towards a lens that was developed by you.

Secondly, write down your principles. Writing down your principles makes you mindfully aware of them and it’ll become easier to embody them.
Lastly, identify your core values. Core values help you define and accomplish specific objectives and ultimately reflect the current and potentially alterable goals of your professional, family, and personal life.

Values and Principles are important because they are used to drive decision-making in one’s life. This new year, make it a part of your resolution to life a principle-centred life and stick by it.

In matters of style, swim
with the current. In matters of principles, stand like a rock.