Tools for Success
 Be A Leader – Not A Boss

The first article of this series listed several tactics that will make you more successful. The rest of the series will take a closer look at each of them.

How do you see yourself at work? Are you a boss or a leader? Think about how your employees see you.  Do they see you as a boss or a leader?  Do they see the other managers on your team as bosses or leaders? The difference may sound rhetoric, but it’s real.

Without leadership, you won’t get peak performance from your people. You won’t get close to the results you could.

Two things made me a leader and not a boss. One was hunger. We all have about the same natural ability. The real questions is how much desire we have. Desire is what makes one person stay at it until he or she reaches a difficult goal. 

You’re a leader because the people around you know you have that level of desire. You want to win, and you want the people you lead to play on a winning team.

When I was growing my salvage yards quickly, I used to get a question that tickled me: “Ron, how can you hire 100 employees? I can’t find six that are worth a crap.”

Whenever I hear that question, I always wonder whether the real source of the problem is the employer. As owners, after all, we create the work environment at the business. Employees can like working for us or not.

Of course, money is a big part of how they feel. However, getting happy, productive employees is about more than the right paycheck. Employees like to work for a growing, successful company. Do you and your management team project that image? Would a person who showed up for a job interview at your yard see the signs of growth and success?

The second thing that made me a leader was a willingness to invest money to improve myself. Leaders are willing to invest in making themselves and their team members better. Are you investing time to read books and magazine articles about leadership? Have you or your top managers gone to any training on effective team building? Leading teams? Effective hiring?

The investment in developing leadership skills will help go from boss to leader. You and your team should be going to a seminar on these topics once a quarter. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 per person, a little less if you send more people.

I have always been a great admirer of Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. He grew from one restaurant to two and two to three because he had so many people who wanted to come work for him at his new restaurant. They could have found a boss anywhere. What they wanted was to be part of creating a successful business and to work for an outstanding leader.

My advice: Be hungry for success. Project that hunger and the success you are building. Choose to be a leader, not a boss. Do these three things for long enough, and talent will come to find you.


Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies. Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as, countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for-performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625,

ext. 232,, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX. 76117.