At some point in our lives, we all have the opportunity to “be the boss”. We might find ourselves overseeing a specific project, a manager, a supervisor, or a key role player in a situation. Whatever this might look like, at some point you will have authority of some kind over others. This next part might sound kind of ridiculous, but bear with me:

Don’t be the boss.

A boss is someone who directs people from a place of authority. Reading that may seem pretty great initially, but there is a fatal flaw attached to it. A boss comes from a “place” that is often separate from the work that is actually getting done. A boss may seem to have extreme authority and respect by workers, employees, and colleagues, but can easily be boiled down to the sense of fear that comes from being underneath a person’s reign of power. This may produce results initially but is not the most sustainable system for efficiency and productivity. I mean, even kings and governments get overthrown from time to time.

So, how do we change this “boss” mentality in order to get the best out of those who work for us and our endeavors?

1) Change how we view our position. When we change our mentality from being in authority over people and place ourselves alongside others it changes our authority structure. We become LEADERS, not just a boss. Leaders are people who are at the front of the pack and gaining respect, trust, and authority by doing — not just directing. They set the pace for excellence and, in turn, can rally others to success through example. This change in the ladder of authority adds validity to your individual status because it illustrates why you have the job you have: because you have earned it.

2) Change how we verbalize. Words are a huge deal. They have the power to build up or to tear down. When working toward being a leader, changing how we verbalize our requests, tasks, and perceptions of others are key adjustments that will change how people view the authority that you have. If we have already made the step to be leaders, then we have already put ourselves on the same playing field with those around us. It’s time we talk like it too. This all comes from a very vulnerable place of humility, which can be uncomfortable at first, but over time, you will see that the way you speak to others will change team dynamics, excitement to work, and ultimately your overall success. Remember always to “praise publicly, criticize privately.”

3) Embrace the mess. Leadership is significantly messier than being a boss. Leadership forces a person out of his or her comfort zone and creates a requirement to put your money where your mouth is. A leader is often in close interaction with other employees. This will create relationships and other dynamics that weren’t there or were strained before. And wherever there are real, authentic relationships, there will always be real, authentic life experiences being shared. This is not always happy and light-hearted, but is where rewarding and trust-building dynamics are built. So embrace the mess. The best work comes from people who are committed not just to a work or cause, but to each other.


So, get off the pedestal of being boss and join the ranks. Work hard to emote excellence out of those around you. Speak with encouragement, constructive criticism, and familiarity to others. Embrace the mess that comes from leading well. This is how Life can meet the Success that you want in your ventures.

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