A wise mentor once said to me this: Leadership has two parts.
- Make sure everybody understands the right thing to do and wants to do it.
- Let everybody do what they want.
He emphasized that if you neglect either of these, you have a big mess on your hands.
Your boss is urging you to speak with a commander's voice. But, that doesn't sound like a natural fit for your present leadership style. Commanding people is risky, because then they will do what they think YOU want rather than what THEY want. Most people want to do the right thing, and have a very good understanding of how to do it. If they do what they think you want, they might not do the right thing.
You describe yourself as servile. Lose that word and keep that attitude! A leader's job, especially a coordinating leader like you, is to serve the people doing the work and make them able to succeed. (You're also serving the customers, suppliers, and shareholders of your company of course.) You're serving them by making sure they, well,
- Understand the right thing to do and want to do it.
- Have the freedom to do what they want.
It sounds like your leadership style is to work on the first point -- explain, motivate, measure -- with great diligence and care. That is an excellent leadership style. You may have to say harsh things, like:
We have to ship this order by 2 pm Monday. Last time we shipped to this
customer, there were 5% defective parts. We cannot do that again, or
they'll be unhappy and our business will have serious trouble.
But then you have to say:
What does it take to get this order done right and ready to ship at 2pm Monday? Do you have
what you need to get that done? What help do you need?
If there's a decision to make about how to do the work, usually it will be obvious which choice to make when everybody understands the right thing to do. If it is obvious, it's your job to name the decision: the right thing to do. If it isn't, then it's your job to decide crisply to overcome the indecision: to say something like,
Well, we could wait until Monday morning to pack everything, or we could pack
each crate when it's ready. Let's pack each crate when it's ready.
By making decisions crisply and explaining them, you set people free to do their work.
Finally, when the team gets the job done, go around and say "I knew you could do it!" You can even say "what did you learn by hitting that deadline?"
Now look: if somebody refuses to understand the right thing, or does the wrong thing even when they know the right thing, then you have to exercise your authority. You may have to say, "do this job again, do it now, and do it right." You have to speak the truth to them, and maybe see to it that they aren't able to mess up your business. You may have to sack them. But these folks are very rare.