You are the Boss but are you a good Leader?

I would like to share how we at ZW HR Consulting are building and shaping our leaders that will support our current and future growth.

What you are about to read is a very small part of our internal Leadership Training program, as an Executive Recruitment company, every team member is a leader.


Because every candidate they speak to or engage with they are leading them and coaching them into what could be a defining moment in their career. So you see leadership is not simply about those in charge of a group but also the consultants that help lead and coach their candidates through a potential mine field faced when considering their career.

Bossing people around is no longer effective and it’s what poor leaders do.

Leading people by setting goals, inspiring, supervising, coaching, training, and using power smartly and with empathy is what an effective leader does.

Although your position as a manager, supervisor, lead, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader, it simply makes you a boss.

Many people fail to understand that being the boss does not mean you are a good leader it simply puts you in a position that comes with power, it’s how you use this power to influence your teams and become a good leader.

Al Capone once said that “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” However, while almost anyone can use power, it takes skill to use leadership. Leadership power is much more than the use of force. Leadership is influencing others to truly WANT to achieve a goal, while power forces others to achieve a goal.

Power is the capacity that a person has to influence the behaviour of another so that he or she acts in accordance with the his or her’ wishes. While this power may exist, it does not have to be used to be effective.


An officer in the Army has certain powers over enlisted personal, but that power does not need to be used to be effective. The simple knowledge of an officer’s power by an enlisted person has an automatic influence over him or her.

Let’s take a look at the type of power a person uses to influence another.

o  Coercive Power — Power that is based on fear. A person with coercive power can make things difficult for people. These are the people that you want to avoid getting angry. Employees working under a coercive manager are unlikely to be committed, and more likely to resist the manager.

o  Reward Power — Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable. Able to give special benefits or rewards to people. You might find it advantageous to trade favours with him or her.

o  Legitimate Power — The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization. The person has the right, considering his or her position and your job responsibilities, to expect you to comply with legitimate requests.

o  Expert Power — Influence based on special skills or knowledge. This person earns respect by experience and knowledge. Expert power is the most strongly and consistently related to effective employee performance.

o  Referent Power — Influence based on possession by an individual or desirable resources or personal traits. This is often thought of as charisma, charm, or admiration. You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her.

o  Informational Power — Informational: Providing information to others that result in them thinking or taking acting in a new way.

The road to becoming a good leader is not a straight and easy one, it is fraught with challenges and requires you, the leader to take a close look at oneself, you must be open to listening and adapting in this fast past world, but maintain the fundamental understanding of what the leader must achieve.

Of course every leader is responsible for achieving the goal be it a sales target, a production deadline or any other goal defined by your company.

Note my usage of the word “GOAL”, this is a vital aspect of becoming a good leader, all people need goals of some form or another, it helps them focus and understand what and where they need to get to. Maybe it’s to lose weight, stop smoking, hit a sales target, meet the production deadline, etc but in our lives we all set goals and as a leader of people its your duty to set these goals, so your people are all aligned and pulling in the same direction.


It is vital that you and our company convey their vision and goal for the future. As a leader, you need to get your team(s) to trust you and be sold on this vision. To sell them on this vision, you need to portray energy and a positive attitude, this will become contagious. People want, no sorry need a strong vision of where they are going. No one wants to be stuck in a dead-end company going nowhere… or a company heading in the wrong direction. They want to be working with and for a winning company! And your team are the ones who will get you to that goal. You cannot do it alone!

When setting goals, keep these points in mind:

o  They should be realistic and attainable.

o  They should improve the organization (morale, monetary, etc.).

o  As many people as possible should be involved in the goal-setting process (they will feel a sense of ownership that will drive them to achieve it). While this can sometime create confusion in many large companies a person who represents the department or workforce should be used to engage and filter back to the team responsible for setting the companies goals.

o  A process should be developed to achieve each goal

As stated, this is a small part of our internal program that helps us develop our staff. So many companies I have encountered through the 13 years of recruitment here in China talk about leadership and training but few actually invest the time, energy and commitment required to deliver on this talk.

We at ZW are committed to ensuring our staff are supported through practical training and development, thus allowing them all to pass that skill and knowledge onto each and every person they encounter in their daily roles.

I will look to follow up with further insights into our program though further posts, but should anyone be interested in finding out more about our program and how we at ZW HR Consulting can help your company please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this first instalment.

Philip Clark