The Difference Between Being A Boss and Being A Leader

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I want you to dig deep, back to when you were kid working your first job, and think about a boss you had. But not just any boss. Think of the best boss you ever had. You know, the one that chiseled you into being a huge asset to the workforce and the company as a whole; the one you felt you learned the most from. There are many characteristics that made them a great boss, and at some points they probably didn’t really seem like a boss, but rather a leader.

Think about what they did for you to view them as a leader. What characteristics really stood out? Here are some that come to mind:

  1. Instead of digesting their vision, they portray it.
    One of the most important things a leader does is provide the team with goals that are achievable rather than trying to perform as well as you did last year and condense it into one month. Sometimes, it isn’t the bosses duty to set the benchmark, however a leader will advocate a goal that is worthy of his employee’s time.
  2. Praise occurs more frequently than your 8 a.m. coffee.
    Being in a work environment where you work hard every day to reach goals, employees want to know how they are doing. Rather than wanting the employees to hit goals because it’s in their job description, leaders let them know that they are doing well individually and publicly.
  3. They have an empathetic nature.
    This doesn’t mean that they are pushovers, just that they actually care about their employees. This means that the leaders are able to see things through their team’s eyes and offer concern on multiple levels instead of being more concerned with KPIs.
  4. Laughter is encouraged.
    Laughter is one of the best medicines, and great leaders recognize and understand that. Leaders understand that the problem of today can be laughing fuel for tomorrow. Bosses discourage laughter and want employees to be more focused on their tasks and being reprimanded for crises that occurred.
  5. They assemble their team.
    Like Nick Fury and The Avengers, a leader’s role is sometimes about creating a team of great people, not just people who look good on a resume. Leaders avoid letting toxic people be a part of their taskforce.
  6. Leaders make leaders.
    One of the most crucial thing about leaders is that they want to inspire more leaders from their team. They are thrilled when employees show promise instead of being just happy followers. A boss wants only followers; they are threatened when members of their team move onto better things.

If you are an employee, I hope you can relate to having a leader instead of a boss. If you are a boss, it might be a good idea to do a self-review and become the leader that your employees need you to be.