5 ways to change from being a boss to a being a leader in the workplace

Oct 19, 2023 | Uncategorised

By Paul Button, General Manager of award-winning business Rotorua Canopy Tours.

The workplace is a challenging environment for all involved, especially for those in charge. We all have different styles to manage and lead people. Being a ‘leader’ isn’t just a buzz word, but more of a paradigm shift in our workplace culture. I have included some top tips that I have found helpful to transform from being a boss to becoming a leader.

Paul Button Rotorua Canopy Tours
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Paul, General Manager of Rotorua Canopy Tours, has some top tips to share from leading one of the most award-winning tourism businesses in New Zealand.

1. Be willing to do any role within the business

You can gain respect from your employees, by respecting their roles and showing that the lines of hierarchy do not restrict your ability to muck in and help out, no matter what role they have been employed to do.

2. Create relationships

Take the time to learn something about every team member and reflect it back to them. Do you know what their kid’s names are or what their wife does for work, or do you know what their favourite weekend activity is? You don’t need to spend 30 minutes on a Monday morning debriefing their weekend, but simply asking them how their kids are, by name, can build stronger relationships, deeper trust and help the team to stay motivated.

3. Learn what your team’s motivations are

When you truly understand what motivates each individual, you have the magic formula to get the most out of an employee. We all need money to build our lives but that is very rarely our true motivation. Find out what makes your teams tick, and then use it to motivate them.

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4. Change how you refer to your managers

This is not the opportunity to give yourself a funky title that you have always wanted. But an opportunity to make a simple shift from referring to your managers and your management team, to your leaders and your leadership team. This will go a long way to empowering your leaders and encouraging them to be better leaders, as well as making them more approachable for your team to report to. It has often been said that you manage things, but you lead people.

5. Great leaders ask questions

Change your leadership from directing orders to asking questions of your team. Sure, there are times when a quick order needs to be given, in time crisis or safety-critical situations are good examples of this. But asking questions is an effective way of you leading your team. You may already know the answer, but coach them into knowing what to do in that same situation. It will suddenly become their idea, they will become more confident, empowered and autonomous.

Being a leader can be rewarding by building stronger relationships with your team, motivating them more effectively, and helping them grow as people. We all face challenges in business, I know this last year hasn’t been easy for us all with the new challenges of covid-19, but when you’re at work next time, always remember, bosses, say, “you go”, leaders say “let’s go”.

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