Have you ever found yourself wondering whether your leadership style is too aggressive or too bossy? And when you felt that way, did you take a step back in your tone, messaging and direction?
I was leading an advanced leadership course when one of the participants brought up this very interesting aspect of leadership style.
She said, “Leslie, I often feel conflicted because of this fine line between leading my team and not wanting to come across as being too bossy.” She continued by saying, “I know they are looking to me to take charge and direct them on what to do … but I struggle with feeling like I’m being too bossy.”
What a courageous declaration! This is exactly the type of awareness we need to define our leadership style. And the solution is easy: It’s simply to have more awareness.
From the day you enroll a new business partner, you are accepting responsibility to be that person’s role model, advocate and mentor. As a leader you want to clearly, professionally, and with enthusiasm set the boundaries on how you and your partner will effectively work together.
I’ve always said, “Sponsors exist for a reason!” You bring high value to the table and play an important role in the development of your new partners. The key from the beginning is to get clear on what they want and then come to an agreement on exactly what it will take to make their dream a reality. This is how you show leadership that respects not only success on your terms … but success on their terms as well.
Now, getting back to the woman who was concerned about being bossy, I asked her if she had ever been in a corporate environment. Her response was, “My full-time job is in the corporate world!”
So, with further conversation, I pointed out that perhaps her mindset about “being bossy” was coming from her corporate work experience, not her Direct Selling experience. Perhaps she was transferring her corporate mindset onto her entrepreneurial mindset. What an ‘Aha’ moment for everyone!
Are you concerned with “bossing” vs. “leading”? Next week I’ll write more about solutions for this very important topic.
In the meantime, be aware of how you are leading and how you feel about your leadership. Through awareness and experience, you get to design your leadership style. It’s an exciting proposition … and I know you are up to the challenge.