Leader vs. Boss: What Makes the Difference

Many people think of a boss and a leader as being the same. However, they are very different. It takes more than just having people report to you to earn the title “leader.” A leader is someone people want to follow not just someone to meet with weekly for status updates.

Bosses Instill Fear

Bosses use their authority and focus on employees’ fear for their jobs in getting what they want done when they want it done.

They Are Unappreciative

They operate with a lack of respect for the jobs performed by their subordinates, address their team(s) by barking out orders and insist on being “obeyed.” Their focus is on an outcome and want nothing to do with the process.

They Are Exclusionary

There are only a few (very short list) of employees they include in decision-making. These employees are not necessarily people they trust, but more likely people they know they can control. Employees not in the exclusive circle either offer ideas without ever receiving feedback or their ideas are never heard at all.

They Are Ineffective

They often start a project or initiative, lose interest when something else catches their attention (something that could potentially provide personal benefit) and leave those working toward the first task assigned with no instructions and an unfinished product— along with a new task that will likely be shelved as well.

They Are Competitive

Most aggressive managers are constantly trying to prove their relevancy and positional power within the company. They will go the distance to receive what he or she finds assuring often at the expense of employees who they feel are a threat because they possess knowledge or background in areas he or she does not.

Employees with these types of managers find it hard to come to work because they are constantly under attack, stifled in their duties, under-appreciated, and in some cases even belittled. This constant aggressive behavior eventually leads to these employees developing a poor attitude, losing initiative and becoming disengaged. This creates the “one foot out the door” syndrome.

Leaders Earn Respect

Leadership focuses on facilitating the growth of individuals that have potential but need guidance. They set an example, encourage growth, and help build confidence.

They Invest Time in Their People

Whether they are asking about their family, a vacation they took or an upcoming wedding, leaders listen and engage with their staff.

They Exude Confidence

They are capable of facing challenges while remaining positive.

They Motivate and Empower

Their goal is to grow their staff while keeping the success of the entire organization their priority. They never bark out orders, they give instructions.

They Are Innovative

Innovation is important and they are constantly fine-tuning their skills. They look toward the future to keep themselves and their organization relevant and are not above learning new things or staying involved when rolling them out.

They Are Selfless

They are humble enough to share the keys to their success in order to help bring the company vision to life instead of making boosting their professional brand the priority.

These men and women are more than just managers they are the pulse of the organization. Their management style is an infusion of trust, empathy, humility, compassion, innovation, capability, confidence, consistency and approachability. They never have to worry about the “one foot out the door syndrome” because they make themselves a valuable resource for their team.

Those of us lucky enough to have a manager that believes in humanizing their office and cultivating a dynamic team will have no problem moving up the ladder and doing so with a level of confidence and professionalism that will undoubtedly drive personal success and accomplishments. Most importantly, because of the positive and powerful traits learned from this leader we will be humble enough to say “Thank you.”

30 Years of Excellence