Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
Speaking Information at (727) 467-0202 or e-mail

Is Your Role to Boss or Lead?


Is your role to boss or lead? Bossing may work at the lower levels, but if you want to ascend to the greater positions of influence, your role has to be to lead.

So many of the leaders I interviewed for my books took jobs in areas where they had no expertise, and they credit their ultimate success to those risky moves.The way they survived and actually succeeded wildly in those situations was by leading people, not managing minutiae.

Once you attain a certain level on the hierarchy, it doesn’t matter whether you know the technical details. It matters that you know human nature and have the right people around you who do know the details. It matters that your people want to help you succeed because they know you will help them succeed. It matters that you have a vision and can communicate it and build the alignment to execute it.

Also, share the glory—or just give it away. When your people succeed, you succeed. You don’t have to put your name on every victory, and when someone else deserves credit, boost them up by sending notes of kudos up the chain.

Appreciate everyone, from the janitor to the CEO You can’t boss people to excellence. You influence them by valuing them.

Time and again, I was told how important it is to value every single person in your organization, from the janitor to the president. Talk to and get to know as many people as you can—at every level.

I keep thinking of the story former Sara Lee CEO Brenda Barnes told about her first post-college job—on the night shift at the post office. The bosses were inhumane, and that taught her everything about how not to lead. She knew she was nothing without every level of employee contributing and serving to their greatest potential.

People want to be heard and valued. They want to know that the organization appreciates them and will grow them. Do the small things to show how much you value your team. Praise. Say thank you. Remember anniversaries, birthdays, and special occasions. Recognize the “whole person” who is coming to work. Get to know their families.

Be human. Be approachable. You don’t own the team — you lead it.

Fawn Germer works with organizations that want more courageous and creative performance from their people To book Fawn, write: or call 727-467-0202.

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