Why you should never be a “boss”

“Boss” originated in the early 19th century as a term used in place of calling someone “master.” As a noun, it is a person who exercises authority. When used as a verb it can mean, “authoritative and domineering.” Given these definitions, why would you ever want to use the term “boss” to describe your workplace title?

Today, the more positive term “leader” has replaced “boss” in most of our vocabularies. This term is perceived as a symbol of unity, trust and teamwork.

Those who lead are usually more successful than those who dictate. Leaders who have the ability to influence and inspire others to excel in their work instill belief and trust in those they lead. Those who approach their role with the mindset of a “boss” tend to experience more employee turnover, and they may only have a few strong employees who carry most of the weight on their team.

Here are 10 tips to becoming a better leader:

  • Lead by example – Leaders show a team what needs to be done, they give credit during success and create learning opportunities out of failure. Keep in mind that you will set the standard in your office.
  • Care more about your employees than you do yourself – If your intentions are pure and not forced, people will feel they are valued. How well do you really know your colleagues? If you truly care, you will know more than their birthday and kids’ names. Ask about their favorite color, food, hobby, etc. Getting more granular means gaining stronger loyalty.
  • Give value not reward – Feeling valued in their work motivates employees more than pay. Yes, pay is important, but the perception of achievement dissolves faster when people don’t feel valued.
  • Respect their time – As a leader, you set the precedent for all of your employees. You should be the hardest worker in your office, but if you lead properly, others will value your vision as much as you do.
  • Get off your high horse – Just because you are in a position of authority does not mean you know everything. Accept help from others and be available to give help when needed.
  • Be constructive, not destructive – Constructive feedback is beneficial in a working environment. Always be willing to give it to others, but more importantly, be prepared to accept it as well.
  • Encourage innovation – Build a culture where your team can thrive, and encourage them to offer ideas to grow your business. You may know how to lead a company, but each of your team members can provide valuable insight to help the company run smoothly.
  • Give credit when credit is due – Remember how you felt the last time someone told you what a great job you were doing? When employees go above and beyond take time to praise them and let them know you appreciate their hard work.
  • Get your hands dirty – In your position of leadership, do not be afraid to get in there and help your team. It builds character, respect and appreciation when you show you’re willing to be a hands-on leader.
  • Be available – As a leader, make yourself available and responsive to the needs of your team. Be welcoming and encouraging. Respond to emails in a timely manner and make yourself available when they request your time.

If you take the time to really lead your office, I think you’ll be surprised at how efficient your work environment becomes. It may not happen overnight, but in time, you will build the culture and environment you want for yourself and your team.

~Jason Watts, DMD

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

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