There are times it is nice to have a boss, the times when we do not know what to do or when we want someone else to take the blame. But in our personal lives we do not have that luxury. Any 10 year old will tell you the same, "You're not the boss of me." If you're not the boss of me, then who is? Me, that's who.
Bosses are leaders and leadership comes with a responsibility to those who are led and to those who benefit. This responsibility is to do as little harm as possible, to keep those you lead safe and secure while increasing the power, wealth or prominence of the organization. Leadership on the personal level should focus on the same things, our safety and security, doing as little harm to ourselves as possible and making ourselves better while living the life we want to live.
So what does a leader need to be able to do?
Make decisions. More than anything this is the most important function of leadership, being able to make choices and decisions when they need to be made. A leader may ask for reports and go looking for information, but once they have it they will make a choice on how to act.
Find a direction. A leader must also know what the goal is and how the team is getting there. In our one person team we have to play this role as well. We have to make choices based on where we are going, not what feels good at the moment.
Be accountable. We have to be willing to accept the consequencea of our actions and to keep them in mind when we are making choices. Bosses get paid to make the hard choices, but they also have to suffer the consequence of their errors whether that is a downturn in profit or the loss of their job. They are on the hook not just for what they do but for what those people under them do. We may have a staff of one but we still have to be accountable.
Maintain the working environment. A boss has to keep moral up and productivity up. In our one man operation that means knowing when to rest and knowing when to work, knowing when to splurge and knowing when to be frugal.
In business bad leaders get fired, but we do not have that luxury in our own lives. Instead we have to work with the boss we have and get him or her the training they need to be a better boss. Before that happens, however, we have to accept that we are the boss and at the end of the day there is no person we can run to who is more responsible for our situation then we are. It can be a hard realisation to bear but once we understand that we are the top of the decision making food chain in our own lives we can begin to accept the responsibility of leadership