Are You a Boss or Leader?

When you hear the terms boss and leader, you may assume they’re the same thing, with both describing someone in a management position. But that’s not actually the case. Here are the differences between the two and why a leader is better than a boss.

Letting Others Do All the Work vs. Leading By Example

A boss does just that. They boss their employees around, letting team members do all of the hard work. They’re reluctant to “get in the trenches” and get their hands dirty. A leader, however, isn’t afraid of hard work. They lead by example and work alongside team members, showing them what it takes to succeed.

“Seeing that a leader is as invested in a project as the team can inspire others to do their best work,” explains Villanova University. “Bosses like to sit on the sidelines and only interact to give orders,” which brings us to our next point.

Instructing vs. Mentoring

Another common trait of a boss is continually directing employees, telling them what to do. They tend to be harsh when delegating tasks, often micromanaging their staff. But a leader takes a more effective approach and acts more as a mentor who helps their employees unlock their potential. They prefer to coach team members and give them advice so they’re able to perform their job at a high level.

Self-Oriented vs. Team-Oriented

A boss is only in it for themselves and simply looking to advance their own career. There’s a certain amount of selfishness and disinterest in the greater good of the company. On the other hand, a leader is focused on the team and gets legitimate joy from seeing others succeed. They strive to create a harmonious working environment where everyone contributes and works as a cohesive unit.

Blame vs. Responsibility

Finally, a boss is quick to point out the shortcomings of team members and looks to put the blame on others. However, they’re slow to admit their own mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. But a leader always takes responsibility. They learn from their mistakes and use them as a springboard for improvement.

Stepping Up and Being a Leader

As you can see, it’s far better to be a leader than a boss. This creates a much more positive workplace atmosphere and inspires employees to be more productive. In the long run, this has some immense benefits including better company culture, improved morale and lower turnover.

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