Leadership doesn’t come with a particular title. Instead, it’s something demonstrated through actions. Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” There are key differentiators between being a boss and a leader.
- A boss is someone who commands. A leader asks questions. Instead of giving top down instructions, leaders ask questions to help the employee come to a conclusion on their own. It builds confidence in the employee and teaches them how to solve problems on their own, rather than be told what to do.
- Leaders roll up their sleeves when things get messy and bosses place blame for the mess. A good leader will stand by their employee when something goes wrong. They will get down in the trenches to solve problems.
- Leaders encourage their employees to communicate with other departments inside an organization. It builds a sense of community inside the organization that helps foster a positive company culture. Go talk to someone in another department, and who knows, they could become your new work best friend.
- Leaders give credit to the appropriate individual where credit is due. Instead of phrasing accomplishments with an ‘I’, they include their team. Remember, there is no ‘I’ in team.
To say that one is a leader when they are truly a boss, can be frustrating for everyone working with the individual. There can be more than one leader on each team, but it is something that is demonstrated through actions rather than a title. Next time you are doling out tasks, ask yourself if you want to be seen as a leader or as a boss and ask which one will get you further in life.