leader vs boss

Seven points differentiating The Boss and The Leader

The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. – Theodore Roosevelt

leader vs bossWhen someone says Boss, the mind immediately designs the picture of a fellow with a finger-pointing attitude. Today, even with the introduction of open-culture in different segments of working some bosses are not affable and this ultimately results as a bad omen for their image before their subordinates. On the other hand a leader is a person who grows with the team, who believes in being the part of the change and always ready to wear the hat of the subordinates.

Do you believe you are a good boss? Do you believe you are a leader? But do you think you are a boss wrapped in the skin of a leader? I have tried to figure out seven points which I feel act as a hindrance in the way of a boss becoming a good leader. A slight change in the attitude can simply change the way of thinking and change the results tremendously.

1. Boss preaches; Leader teaches: There is a quality in a boss to preach his subordinates about the scenarios. He is always ready to deliver a speech on current situations but don’t have an attitude of making his hands dirty. On the other hand the leader instead of pontificating believes in listening, engaging, observing and learning. A leader is the one who strives with his team or group for the best output and enables the team to perform without his presence. The leader teaches about the self-learning while boss preaches the already defined concepts.

2. Boss asks how; Leader tells how: A boss is very inquisitive but only in knowing “How the things will be done?” but a leader is more interested in telling the team about “How the things will be done?”. There is a very thin line between both the ideologies but each has different meaning and perspective.

3. Boss sets targets; Leader helps achieving: “Targets”, very important and I believe everyone strives to achieve the set targets to be the part of the race. Boss defines the targets and asks the individuals to achieve them. He encourages them to devote full energy in achieving the targets but Leader helps the individuals in achieving those defined and ever-changing targets. A leader shares his knowledge and expertise in helping his team to achieve the targets comfortably instead asking the subordinates to sit on fire to complete the targets.

4. Boss leads; Leader backs: Every boss is the face of his team, he leads the team, sets targets, share examples and stories, sometimes lead by example and being at the front is the first one to face the blow. But he comfortably passes the blow to his team and unlike leader doesn’t back the team. A leader is responsible for his team and believes in leading from the back as well. He is always there to support his team irrespective of the situation and lead them coming out of the block-hole. He knows how and when to switch the position so that the efforts of the team gets credited. Instead of claiming the credit he believes in sharing the appreciation.

5. Boss removes blames; Leader removes mistakes:  A good boss always helps in removing the blame on his team but a good leader believes in getting rid of the mistakes to avoid any future blames. Instead of finding solutions to remove the blame leader works at the roots to remove the mistakes.

solve the problem6. Boss sees the problems; Leader solves: A task given to a team, boss sees the problems in the path to achieve the result. He shares his knowledge with the team, his past experiences and tells the team about the expected problems as he knows everything. But a leader is more inquisitive and asks “How” and believes in solving the problems. He is more inclined towards removing the hurdles in the path instead of sitting back and pointing the hurdles.

A novice boss tells, a good boss explains, a superior boss demonstrates but a leader inspires (Inspired from the famous quote of William Arthur Ward)

be a part of the team7. Boss counts the steps taken; Leader helps in taking steps:

Each failure is a step ahead to success. But there is a difference in the attitude for seeing the failures. A boss marks all the failures as the steps taken and counts them against the success ratio. But a leader helps in taking the first step and marks his presence in every step taken. He helps in taking further steps and explains the expected results in each step.

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu

And the leader helps in taking that single step. He doesn’t start the counter after the first step taken instead being the part of the team he encourages the team to strive for excellence.

Happy Reading!!

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