We’ve all heard that old saying: “Leaders are born, not made“. Are we sure about that? In a world that is constantly changing, it is essential to understand that leadership is a skill that can – and must – be perfected. But what makes a person a good leader? In this article we are going to see the difference between being a team leader and a “boss”, what are their main responsibilities, and what are the 10 fundamental leadership skills that make the difference between a good and a bad leader.
What does it mean to be a leader?
Getting into the concept of leadership can be complex. At first glance, one might think that being a leader is simply being in charge and making decisions. However, a leader is much more than that.
To begin with, a team leader is someone who guides, motivates and supports their members to achieve common goals, ensuring both collective success and individual development. And, to achieve this, it is essential to focus on building deep human relationships.
So, effective leaders are those who, beyond numbers, deadlines and objectives, also genuinely care about the well-being, motivation and personal and professional growth of their people.
They are the ones who recognize that each person is a unique piece of their workforce, and that success lies in teamwork, valuing individual contributions in a collaborative environment.
What is the difference between a leader and a boss?
Work dynamics in the contemporary world have shown that there is a fine line between being a boss and being a leader.
Now, if we dive into this distinction, we find that a boss is, essentially, a designation. It is someone who, by structure or rank, has authority over others and whose decisions are limited to assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and expecting performance. So this approach tends to be more about processes and less about people.
In contrast, a leader transcends mere position. It is someone who has an ability – which, remember, can be trained – to influence and motivate.
Team leaders see beyond tasks and immerse themselves in the human development of their members. They understand that success is not only measured in tangible results, but also in the growth and well-being of the individuals in their care.
While the boss might fall into the trap of micromanagement , the leader trusts and empowers. While the boss says “I have decided”, the leader asks “What do you think?”
It is this holistic and collaborative approach that truly differentiates leaders from bosses, and what turns teams into more resilient, innovative and committed entities.
What are the main responsibilities of a leader?
Just because a leader has a humanistic approach to managing people does not prevent them from also being responsible for directing them: they make decisions, guide, motivate and face challenges on a daily basis to ensure that the team moves towards clear and achievable objectives.
These are the tasks and responsibilities that make up the daily routine of an effective leader:
- Set priorities: Determine the most crucial tasks and allocate resources and personnel to address them.
- Review goals and progress: Monitor established objectives and verify the team’s progress towards their achievement.
- Daily meetings: Organize short meetings to review goals and resolve doubts.
- Provide guidance: When faced with challenges or blockages, act quickly by providing solutions and direction.
- Facilitate communication: Ensures that there are open channels of communication between team members and with other departments.
- Make decisions: Based on the information available, make decisions that move the team toward its objectives.
- Identify training and development needs: Recognize where the team needs more training or resources and take steps to provide them.
- Resolve conflicts: Act proactively in the face of any tension or disagreement, seeking solutions that benefit everyone.
- Recognize and celebrate achievements: Not everything is work. That’s why good leaders take the time to congratulate team members for their achievements and efforts.
- Prepare reports: Review progress and prepare reports to keep stakeholders updated.
- Continuous Feedback: Provides feedback, both positive and constructive.
- Planning for the future: Spend time thinking about the path forward, setting short- and long-term goals.
With every action, the team leader works tirelessly to create a productive and positive work environment.
The 10 key leadership skills to have a successful team
What characteristics distinguish a good leader? It’s not the position, it’s the attitude and the impact. It’s about inspiring, guiding and, above all, constantly learning.
And for this, it is essential to train certain qualities. Below, we present the ten main characteristics that an exemplary leader must possess:
- Empathy: It is not simply understanding, but putting yourself in the shoes of others. Capture their needs, emotions and aspirations.
- Resilience: In a world of constant change, the ability to adapt and stay focused in the face of challenges is essential.
- Integrity: The coherence between what is said and what is done, always acting with transparency and ethics.
- Listening skill: More than hearing words, it is interpreting the silences, emotions and underlying concerns.
- Future Vision: Think about the next steps, establishing long-term objectives and guiding the team towards them.
- Inspiration: Motivate and encourage staff to achieve their full potential by leading by example.
- Responsibility: Take control, not only of victories, but also of defeats, constantly learning and improving.
- Collaboration: Understand that the strength of the team lies in its cohesion and joint work, fostering an environment of cooperation.
- Curiosity: Maintain an open mind, always willing to learn, innovate and question the status quo.
- Trust: Believe in the team’s capabilities, delegating tasks and allowing them to make decisions, generating an environment of mutual trust.
How Team Insights helps improve your leadership
If you have made it this far, it is evident that you are in a continuous search for growth and improvement as a leader.
Having the right skills is essential, but so is having the best tools at your side.
Don’t know how a survey tool can help you? Take a look at this!
- Direct and anonymous feedback: Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their concerns face to face. Team Insights offers a channel where your team can express themselves freely, guaranteeing their privacy.
- Continuous pulse: Don’t wait for annual reviews. With Team Insights, you can get a constant pulse of your team’s mood, concerns and suggestions, allowing you to act proactively.
- Identification of areas for improvement: Through data analysis, this tool highlights areas where you can improve, from internal processes to leadership skills.
- Promote a culture of feedback: By regularly incorporating surveys, you establish a culture in which feedback is valued and considered a growth tool.
- Data-driven decisions: As a leader, your decisions have an impact . With Team Insights, you ensure that these decisions are based on real and current data, not assumptions.
Now that you know what Team Insights can do for you and your team, why not start using it? It’s free!