Walking into work today I questioned myself about the kind of boss I am. Am I a boss or a leader? As the owner of a business that has been around for 10 years this is a good question. So, I started asking my employees past and present of what they thought of me as to the question.
I reached out to an old employee a forty-one-year retired vet ---we will call him Tim. Tim when you worked with me was I a boss or a leader? His response was a good one.
You fill both roles as the Owner with a one-man shop. You know your products and services. You can explain to customers what your abilities can do for what their expectations are on their vehicle. You give an amazing service and product to your customers for a fair price. You kept a clean serviceable shop, which promotes first opinion of you and your service.
Things that I wish I could have seen grow were guiding and giving instructions with patience. When your stressed reach out and talk to others and don't hold it in, most of all do not micro- manage. As I spoke to Tim, he opened my eyes to how I was.
I then reached out to Tony a 3yr Army vet who worked for my business for a year and a half. Tony, I have been reaching out to others that are working for me or have, and the question I ask is did you see me as a boss or a leader?
Tony- I seen you as both you were never afraid to get in the job with me. But as I made mistakes you calmly tell me what I did wrong and follow through with the proper ways complete the task. The side the made it hard was the times where you would hold in the anger to long. You could see it take a toll on you. After listening to this I finally decided to reach out to a present employee and ask her the same question.
Tyanna lee has worked on and off for me for about a year or so. She's a mom of two sons and has come a long way in this profession. Tyanna do you see me as a boss or a leader? Her response was.
You are both a leader and a boss. You are patient when teaching and you are very passionate about your work. You praise when needed and discipline when necessary. You don't take anyone's crap and if you see it you call it as you see it. You see the good in everyone and you try to help everyone better themselves who walks in your shop, even if they don't see the good in themselves. You try to make them see the bigger picture. You are a shoulder when someone needs you, but you bottle up your emotions until you can't take it anymore. You are the best of both worlds!
In all of this I learned a lot. I learned my flaws and accomplishments. I started to see the pattern in the biggest complaint from all three was keeping my anger in. They reminded me that even when you don't think everyone else can see you struggle, they can. reaching out to others has been difficult to me for I was not educated in who to reach out too. Did this make me less of a leader? I don't think so. What do I do from here? Well since talking to them and hearing their opinions. I feel that I can look into some groups that are more like my profession that I may be able to lean on as well. Talking and reaching out to others that have had similar problems. I have been part of a detailing organization called Detailing Success. This has been one of the most educational groups for me. They have been the spot for me to reach out to, to ask those hard questions like. "When is enough, enough?" or "how can I strengthen my bond to my employees?"
The snapshot to this story. We all start off as bosses we grow into leaders. This is not something that happens overnight nor can you expect it to. Place yourself amongst others that can help you be a better you but remember that someone working next to you looks at you as a leader. Their learning tools. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"Treat your men as you would your own sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley."---Sun Tzu----Art Of War