There is a significant difference between being a boss and being a leader. In fact, you do not even necessarily have to be the boss, to be a leader. But in the cases where these two titles do intersect, it is important to understand why one, does not guarantee the other.
Some of the most prominent and reputable business leaders will tell you that great leadership is a process, and there are some things that simply cannot be skipped over. A constant juggling act, being someone that your team looks to as a person of mentorship in addition to a person of power takes practice. Here are some of the top things that great leaders know never to compromise.
If you want your team to perform for you, they have to trust you. When you are in a position of power, it can be easy to assume that everyone that works for you automatically trusts you, but trust is in fact, earned. This is one of the top qualities every good leader has because unfortunately it can be quite rare. You need to prove to your staff though example that you mean what you say, and say what you mean, and that your word can be taken as truth as proved by your actions.
Transparency is also critical. While there are always going to be upper-level executive topics that take time to trickle down, if they ever need to, in general your team is going to want to be in the know. This can apply to everything from upcoming software changes, to what your plans are for holiday bonuses, since it will inevitably affect them, they are going to be interested. This is not to suggest that you show all your cards but having an open-door policy in terms of making your staff feel like they can come to you with questions and curiosities and at least be acknowledged is going to keep satisfaction levels on the up and up.
Nobody wants to work for a company or a boss that makes things more complicated than they need to be, and this is something that has to start from the top down. If the top floor corner office, for lack of a better example, is unorganized and inefficient, every piece of work that stems from that leader, or group of leaders, is going to look the same. Industries that have tons of moving pieces, like logistics and transportation for example, understand this thoroughly.
Having a firm grip on where your business stands at any given moment is going to be a great way to allow you properly lead your team. Fleet professionals know they can utilize GPS fleet tracking software to track their fleet with real time GPS data. You will be able to gain an instant aerial view of your assets and be able to help your team succeed based off real time data and information. Successful leaders understand that their direct reports only grow frustrated when they are micromanaged with outdated information because their boss or manager did not take the time to efficiently gather information before coming to them.
There is nothing wrong with wanting your team to know that you are in charge, however, they are not going to respect or care about that fact if they do not feel like you are also one of them. To gain respect, the most successful leaders roll their sleeves up and get down on the ground with their staff. Collaboration is a truly powerful form of management and a critical element in building strong teams. This can also help in areas like communication and interaction.
If your team observes you using certain language, both verbal and nonverbal, they are going to subconsciously determine that it is ok and emulate it. If you show through example that it is acceptable to show up late for work every day, then attempt to enforce an attendance policy, the disconnect between what you say and what you do is going to discredit your reputation and leadership status. Conversely, be aware of the example that you set in terms of work life balance, you want to show your team that you value their time and lives outside of the office. The strongest leaders know that forcing employees to work long hours that lead to burnout rarely equals success.