Boss vs. Leader: What's the difference?
There is a big difference between a boss and a leader. Good leaders not only motivate and inspire their teams to perform at their best, but are also part of the team themselves. They find a healthy balance between managing, leading and helping out when needed. They are also constantly exploring new methods and ways to be a better leader.
People look to good leaders to work for and turn to them for advice and encouragement. A few words about the differences between a boss and a manager, and what responsibilities every great manager and business owner should have on their list if they want to make leaps and bounds to company-wide success.
The boss “manages” the employees, and the manager motivates, guides and helps them achieve their goals. We are talking about differences in behavior, attitude towards employees, approach to solving challenges and integrity.
I will list only a few of the most obvious differences between a boss and a manager, somehow I believe that you will be able to recognize them the very next day in your superiors, colleagues, friends,…
PS: What applies in the business world also applies to personal relationships. If you have a friend who is in charge of organizing a Friday night and always gives orders, dictates what you do and always wants it to be his way… you don’t have a friend but a “boss”… but if your friend is open to suggestions, agrees with you, talks to you about the plans for Friday night, and then you have a “leader”…
Let’s look at the differences:
A leader has an open mind vs. the boss already “knows everything and knows everything”
Leaders will adopt a “growth” mindset. This means they are open to learning new ideas, listen to interesting perspectives from others, and are willing to try new things as they arise. This helps foster a more creative work environment for everyone. It also helps the entire team feel supported in the work they do, leading to greater productivity and better results.
The leader works together with the team vs. the boss dictates the work
Leaders like to work with their team members to achieve the best positive results as a group. They don’t just rely on one or two employees, their “equals” in position, to monitor progress. Although a good leader is a serious asset, leaders work hands-on, shoulder to shoulder with partners and team employees to think of innovative solutions. The leader’s authority is not in question.
A leader empowers his team vs. the boss micromanages
Managers establish systems and processes that make it easier for employees to make decisions with minimal supervision. This can be about finances, task management and even customer relations. With proper communication, leaders make it easier for their team to achieve a certain level of autonomy no matter what they’re working on.
The leader takes the blame vs. the boss puts the blame on others
When a team fails, the leader believes it is his responsibility to find out what they did wrong as a team before they proceed to “judge” and single out individuals. They know that if a project doesn’t meet expectations, it could be related to workplace culture, systems they already have in place, or an oversight on their part that can and should be corrected for the next project. Understanding the management functions certainly helps too.
The leader sets an example; the boss makes an example of his employees
Managers make sure the rules apply to them too. They follow them, process them and, if necessary, correct them. They model the behavior they want to see in the workplace. This often includes positive thinking, coming to work early, and showing up frequently at joint meetings, briefings, even when they don’t need to be there.
So are you a boss or a leader: which leadership style suits you?
It is up to you which management method you choose. But, maybe you already have a leadership style in place that isn’t the best for you or your team? Even if it’s worked up to this point, it’s important to seriously consider where you are now and where you’d like to be. Being “the boss” is not effective in today’s world. The days of dictatorship, control, micromanaging and punishing employees are a thing of the past. A modern leader must know how to lead, motivate and positively influence his team.
Because, you know, people don’t just leave bad jobs, in most cases they leave bad managers and toxic work environments. Do you want your employees to fear or trust you and know that they can always approach you with questions and suggestions? Do you want employees to come to work with a row and fresh heads, or bitter and just waiting for the clock to strike? Do you want a team that trusts you and she absolutely trusts you, knowing that you are working for the common good, or would you rather have a team that sabotages you and stares into the air when you are not around?
I could go on and on, in short… good management creates a healthy working environment and harmonious relationships in the organization.
Think about the differences written down and try to be a better LEADER.