How to become a great boss: Strategies for high potential leaders

I’m appreciative for all of my bosses. From some I learnt how to lead and grow my teams and from others I learned what not to do as a leader.

In the early part of my corporate career when I worked at The World Bank, my boss Mr. Middleton, changed the trajectory of my life. He seemed to understand me better than anybody else, including myself. He would not accept anything less than encouraging me to come up with my own solutions and would often challenge me to keep trying all possibilities.

He fondly called me “Ms. Unflappable”. On the occasion of my 25th birthday, he gave me a SWATCH Watch and described its symbolic meaning. He saw me as a valuable member of the team whom he could trust and relied upon to complete tasks, because he knew I would do so to the best of my abilities.

If we work for a boss who is a true leader rather than just a manager, we can develop in ways that are unimaginable to us. These are leaders who take the elevated view of their team members, the organisations and business to go beyond the scope of the day to day management and have qualities of an Elevated Leader. Here are some traits that we can incorporate in our own leadership that have helped me elevate my leadership.

How can you elevate your teams and make great bosses?

  • By creating a welcoming atmosphere and culture where everyone feels comfortable speaking out and expressing their opinions
  • By encouraging innovation in an environment where new ideas are welcomed and heard fully without interference
  • By assigning tasks that capitalise the team’s strengths
  • By encouraging them to grow, by developing fresh initiatives that will feed their enthusiasm.
  • By being more flexible and receptive to achieving one’s potential
  • By inspiring them to exploring opportunities, so that they can develop their skills
  • By mentoring and sharing principles from one’s own perspective to empower and encourage others to seek the assistance they require.
  • By allowing them to make mistakes and grow, whilst supporting their recovery as a friend.

True leadership is about serving and empowering others and not merely taking on a position of authority or having power over others. Strong leaders inspire, guide and elevate their team members to realise their fullest potential.