Often times, modern society mistakes the definition of a boss and a leader. We’ve somehow conflated the concepts when in fact the two prove to be entirely separate entities. We throw around the term “a born leader” in reference to a boss far too often, ignoring the most basic differences within the two terms’ denotations.
Characteristics of the Leader
Leaders are people that are responsible for inspiring, guiding and leading a group of people on a path for a common cause. A boss is a person who is in charge of the work place.
Leaders are people that are responsible for inspiring, guiding and leading a group of people on a path for a common cause. A leader is someone who is looked upon and is followed blindly. He is expected to listen to only the people and nothing else. A leader is also believed to be the good for the people and not only looking for his benefit. The leader is essentially idolized. Dictionary.com defines a ‘leader’ as, “a person or thing that leads; a guiding or directing head.” The leader is responsible for commanding a group of people, without being pushy and is always considered as a part of the group. He is believed to have features such as innovation, inspiration, guidance, strength, a vision. He is believed to be smart, charming, original, good, etc. A leader should always lead the person in the right direction and is always almost just. A leader is believed to be working for the benefit of the people is a trusting person.
Characteristics of the Boss
A boss is a person who is in charge of the work place. He could be directly the head of the company, or he could be the manager. The boss always has someone to answer to, just like the employees have the boss to answer to. So a boss always has a boss and sometimes it could be people in general. For example, an employee at a manufacturing company answers to the manager, while the manager answers to the director, the director to the CEO, while the CEO has to answer to the shareholder, which are general public. Bosses are believed to be working for monetary purposes and do not always care for the well-being of the people, they are always looking to exploit more people, while trying to pay the least amount possible. Bosses acquire authority and respect from fear and always have the last say. Dictionary.com defines ‘boss’ as, “a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc; a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.”
They love what they do and have the vision and guidance that separates them from the others. They have the quality that makes people listen; they have the quality to inspire. When a boss is just a boss, this catalyzing force is missing – his employees are miserable, present for a paycheck and won’t answer an email after 5:01.
When it comes down to bottom-line results between a boss and a leader, the leader inspires much greater productivity and success which are often thwarted by the driving, authoritarian nature of the boss. Employees being led forward are much happier, more productive and more creative than those driven forward by demand.
In order for a business to thrive and flourish, it requires the full cooperation, effort and positive energy of its employees. For that atmosphere to exist, employees need those that assume the lead position, guide by example and inspire them to pull together towards the common goal of success.
- A boss gets lost in the details, while the leader keeps the big picture
- A boss rules by fear, while the leader inspires with trust
- A boss displays great hubris, while the leader shows quiet humility
- A boss likes to talk, while the leader prefers to listen
- A boss wants to dictate, while the leader would rather collaborate
- A boss outlines the “what,” while the leader also always explains the “why”
- A boss thinks first about profit, while the leader thinks first about people
- A boss is a disabler, while the leader is an enabler
- A boss criticizes, while the leader coaches
- A boss manages to an end, while the leader serves for a purpose
A boss demotivates with impassiveness; while a leader inspires with care and empathy, a boss doesn’t care about those around him, they are all replaceable and anything that is going on in their lives doesn’t concern him. A leader inspires by caring and being there for those who are there for them.
These are the key differences between a boss and a leader. If you are currently in the workforce, position yourself under a leader and not a boss. If you are miserable at work, then you work for a boss. If you enjoy what you do and it doesn’t even feel like work, you are in the presence of a leader. You need to mold yourself into a leader and understand that leaders are the pioneers of this world, not the bosses.
The botton line: The difference between a boss and a leader. Boss says: “Go…!! Do it well…! “It means the power of an order. Leader says:” Let’s go…! hand in hand we do it well together” It means the power of encouraging of a leader.
I have worked for Boss’s like this. And I have always tried to be a Leader wherever I work. This reminds me of why I do it. It’s much more empowering and inspiring to others.