BEING A BOSS OR A LEADER?

May 7, 2019
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Being a “boss” is not the same as being a leader. A “boss”/a good manager/a supervisor will ensure that employees perform the tasks assigned to them. A leader will foster team spirit and will engage employees to achieve the company’s goals.

The impact of the decisions a leader makes is also fundamental. This is called the “span of decision” or “the scope of decisions.” The higher the management position, the greater the impact over time. For example, decisions made by a first-level supervisor can have an impact over a few months on the business. On the other hand, a good or bad decision made by a senior executive can ensure the growth of the company or create problems that will affect it for several years.

In 2018, Gallup estimated that the cost of poor leadership translated into employees with little commitment and into losses amounting to $960 billion to $1.2 trillion a year in the United States. Conversely, organizations where leaders created a sense of commitment saw greater productivity, loyalty, quality of products and services, reduced turnover and absenteeism, and generated revenues that were 23% higher than the average of other companies in the same industry.

It is therefore essential to surround oneself with managers who possess strong leadership skills and who inspire their employees. The use of valid assessment tools to make wise choices and to select or to assist in their development employees who have strong leadership, becomes a necessity. As a matter of fact, many companies have made the mistake of promoting an excellent professional only for the individual to become a poor manager. Being a content expert does not guarantee having the qualities required to mobilize employees.

Example: About two years ago, a Quebec company in the textile industry took the initiative to evaluate, by using psychometric tests, all its managers and to promote to management positions only those employees who demonstrated having both strong decision-making capabilities (span of decision) and the personality of a leader. What they were looking for: managers capable of demonstrating transformational leadership. In other words, leaders who earned respect, motivated employees to excel, to be innovative and to be both productive and satisfied.

Following the evaluations, each manager was able to identify the points they needed to develop. In addition, no management position was staffed unless individuals demonstrated that they had the leadership skills sought by the company. The result: an increase of 12% in revenues over a two-year period-an accomplishment in a sector in which the growth rate is lower than 1%.

 

André Durivage,

President, EPSI

Professor UQO

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