There is such a massive difference between being a boss and being a leader. Leaders are filled with vision and want the best for those for which they are entrusted. Bosses on the other hand want widgets that fit in, make them look better, and often times don’t intimidate them or question their position.

We have a responsibility to be proactive in becoming leaders

In our creative teams, we have a responsibility to be proactive in becoming leaders and beating insecurity. Insecurity influences us naturally, as artists, so we must be offensive with rooting it out whenever possible. As we are looking to add to our teams, we always need to be aware of the necessary types of people that create game changing teams, but when we are in the hiring process, how do we know that we are building great, quality, high performing teams?

Here are 12 ways to know if you’re a boss or a leader:

1. Surround yourself with people you like to work with but still challenge you. There is nothing worse than being in a high stress situation and not enjoying the team that you are doing life with, but you always want people who are better than you, challenge you, and make you a better leader!

2. Find people who care passionately. If members are renters and not owners, it will breed frustration. No one can care more about YOUR thing than you do! But there’s still a difference between those looking for a paycheck and those looking to invest in something bigger than themselves.

3. Respect uniqueness. Each person brings a different and unique tool box to the job each day. Respect the difference. Diversity creates better creative concepts.

4. Individuals united under one vision. Know where we are going, make it clear, repeat it often, and make sure everyone can buy into that direction. If not, they should move on.

5. Be clear. Define roles and expectations so everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them.

6. Trust Matters. If we can’t trust each other we will always start to wonder if intentions and motivations are pure. And questioning intentions, distracts our performance.

7. People who can talk. We have to have teammates who can communicate, be clear, and be willing to have real and sometimes uncomfortable conversations without it becoming personal, unless it’s personal.

8. Identify people who understand the opportunity in front of us and have a sense of urgency without having a sense of panic.

9. Learners. People who desire to learn. Learners find out what is coming, better ways of doing what we do, and make creative teams much more creative.

10. Talent matters too. You can have all nine of the above traits, but without talent, everyone will become frustrated. A level people like working with A level people.

11. Look for people who are result oriented not excuses oriented.

12. Find the freaks. Don’t settle for good, look for the freaks. The people who don’t fit but want to make a difference!


Are you a boss or a leader? And are there areas you can improve your own leadership to gain that high-performance team?