Are You Being a Boss or Leader at Home?

Are You Being a Boss or Leader at Home?

You have likely seen this picture or one like it. It is great self-reflection about how you are showing up with your team at work. There really is a huge difference between being a boss and being a leader and at some level we are all both, with the outcome to move towards being a better leader every day. The more self-aware we become about how we are being with others, the better we can make intentional choices to become a better leader. This isn’t just another blog about being a better leader at work… keep reading.

This is clearly not a new concept and you will find thousands of images on the internet if you Google Boss vs. Leader. However, it is an important topic and one that we incorporate into our High5 Leadership classes. Thanks to one of our team members, Vicki Werling, who is a leadership and training expert, we now take this learning to a whole new level. After facilitating the basic awareness between being a boss and a leader, like the ones in the picture above, I set up the next activity for the class I was teaching and walked to the back of the classroom. When I got back there, Vicki, a mom of three, suggested we ask them whether they are being a boss or leader at home. She said that their children deserved a leader too. I immediately got goosebumps thinking about how powerful that message was.

When I got back to the front of the classroom I had that exact conversation with the team. It was like the paparazzi were in the room with all of the light bulbs going off in everyone’s head. In some cases, it was a real “Oh S#%t” moment. It is these kinds of awarenesses that transform us.

We are going to dive into this with some examples in a moment, however it is critical that I address something that I hear way too often, “I’m not a leader because I don’t have anyone reporting to me”. First off, if you have people “reporting” to you then I suggest you really connect with this message because you are likely being more of a boss than a leader. It is when you accept responsibility for your team that you are truly stepping into leadership.

So who is a leader? I would offer that every last one of us is a leader to someone, if only to ourselves. I would also offer that one of the most important leadership roles, go to those moms and dads who choose to stay home to raise their children. Too many times I’ve had a stay at home mom tell me she doesn’t need leadership training because she isn’t a leader. Every choice she makes is shaping our future leaders. Leadership is not about business; leadership is about life! A question I would have you ask yourself, are you being a boss or a leader to yourself? When you start to lead yourself, it will be easier to lead others.

Can you be honest with yourself about whether you are being a boss or leader at home? The transformation happens when we have the courage to look at ourselves and be real. When you go home at the end of your work day how are you showing up? Look at the picture again. Are you demanding or are you coaching (think about things like homework and helping with chores)? Are you issuing ultimatums or are you generating enthusiasm? Are you telling or showing? Are you telling them to stop playing video games and go outside and play, while you are sitting in front of the TV or on your computer? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable with them in order to create a safe place for them to tell you what is going on in their lives? You are their role model and they deserve for you to be a leader. It starts with you. It isn’t always easy, however if you make the choice to truly lead it will be transformational for everyone in your life, starting with you.