How to be a Leader not a Boss?


There are distinct differences between a boss and a leader. To find out what you are let’s begin with defining the two.

A boss is a supervisor, superior, or one who is in charge. It is to command, or to exercise control over.

To lead is to go first, or one having the authority to direct. Leader is synonymous with a guide or chief.

So what is the distinction here? Well as one podcast put it a Boss has an Ego. They are superior to others, criticize others, demand results, and talk more than they listen. With a leader It is about guiding, seeking solutions, encouraging, recognizing natural gifts in others, and achieving greatness in them. So now we have a basic distinction between the two.

Now about amazing leaders there have been a lot less of those over the years. But as I think about it with all those I worked for there were times when they were leaders and times when they were bosses. It was a question of how much time they spend being a leader and how much they spent being a boss. A leader inspires others to be complete and their best. They talk and pass on their ideas just like a boss, but the difference is they listen and have some trust to those that work for them. They accept that they can use the skills and knowledge of those around them to make themselves more than what they can be alone. They care about others and want all to be successful. It is not about them or their ego. It is about the team. A leader is not above performing any of the jobs needed to help out. They appreciate the abilities that others bring and that they complete the team, so that the quality can be more than if the boss did everything on his own. Do you spend more time leading or more time bossing.

People will follow a boss for a while, This happens in both work and home life. There are reasons people will give in and they will allow themselves to be bossed. When a child is small they can be intimidated or forced into following the orders you give. But in both family and business there is a time when bossing will lose its effectiveness. With the Boss I spoke about he would lose people often. Both in his personal life and his professional one and he couldn’t understand why they would leave. This boss did not show others that he cared about or trusted his employees. He had certain expectations of some people and not of others so that only a few people could perform to the level he had created. This boss struggled to communicate well with people to get them to buy into and build a shared dream with him. It stunted the growth of his company. Because he was focused mostly on himself and his needs. Bosses tend to rely on a perception of power, this doesn’t  present a whole or fair place to be for others. But with their knowledge and charisma they can often get others to follow them for a while.

Leadership seldom loses its effectiveness. In fact a leader can increase their effectiveness by becoming a better leader. The leader will gain a bigger following when they help others get the things that they want. A leader creates everything that they need. There will be those that come to be a part of the leaders organization just to be mentored by the leader. Leadership is what will grow your influence without a downside. Becoming a leader is more work than becoming a boss. A leader must spend a lot of time on themselves and learning and becoming more than they are, and learning how to uplift those around them. Becoming a leader pays unbelievable dividends.

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