Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you're a good leader. Just ask your employees. Being a leader isn't easy and it isn't always something that comes naturally.
Ritch K. Eich, owner of Eich Associated, a California-based leadership, marketing and communications firm has a few tips designed to help you become a better leader. Eich's book, "Real Leaders Don't Boss," (Career Press, 2012), is out this month.
Eich's three steps to becoming a better leader are:
Pick the right people. Real leaders, especially executives of small businesses and startups, are wise to surround themselves with people who are smarter, have more versatility, are more talented and are less bound by conformity. You should choose people who can rally around your vision.
Have a clear message. Having a clear, easily understood and oft-repeated vision is essential to being a real leader. As the great former president of the University of Notre Dame said: "The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."
Be humble. Real leaders are humble, aren't afraid to show their humanity, their genuine concern for their employees. Real leaders create a culture of "belonging" — one where associates feel important, desired and valued.
Dr. Ritch K. Eich has spent the last four decades studying the philosophies and fundamentals of true leaders. Eich has held leadership positions at Stanford University Medical Center, Blue Shield of California, the University of Michigan and many other institutions. He’s worked with or for a "who's who" of world leaders, from Howard Holmes ("Jiffy" Mixes) to Tom Monaghan (Domino's Pizza founder) to Charles Walgreen, Jr. (Walgreen Drug Stores). Eich achieved the rank of Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve, and has served in the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO (South), the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets (Commands), as well as other joint commands.