Everybody wants to be the boss, right? You get to decide what to do boss or a leader, who does what and gets all the glory! Indeed, many managers and C-suite executives think they are supposed to or perhaps born to tell other people what to do. This is the hallmark of the boss: They tell you what to do, demand things of you and may have a license to be an asshole from their boss.
Leaders Are Chosen
Leaders, however, are not anointed, hired or self-selected. They are chosen by those who follow them and no other. To achieve this, leaders must inspire others with forward thinking, be honest, and walk the walk of their followers.
Use Ideas as Motivation, Not Money
Leaders use ideas as motivation instead of money. Leaders offer a set of ideas or values that people can connect to and become part of. Belonging to something clearly different in some important way. People who opt into group activities for their own reasons are far more committed and likely to bring their friends.
Motivate with Autonomy
Teams are motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose as well as social dynamics. Give them the autonomy to choose their leader for a given purpose that they believe in and a chance to do something great for the cause through practice and expertise, they will stay a long time.
Lie to them, even once, and you will lose their trust even if you are a good leader otherwise.
Once you start hiring, it becomes abundantly clear why being a leader is much more important than being a boss. Many people do appreciate clear direction from their ‘boss’.
Coming from someone who really cares about their team and has everyone is rowing towards the same agreed-upon goal, direction feels like efficiency. When the *boss* tells them to do something but not why they should do it, they have no energy for the work and efficiency flags while they seek other things to do with their time. Eventually, when they discover something inspiring, they will move on to a leader who brings what we all crave: belonging and a positive purpose in the world.
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