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The Difference Between A Boss And A Leader

Not all bosses are great leaders and not all leaders are capable bosses. Do you know the difference between a boss and a leader, and which type you should strive for?

Boss vs LeaderEveryone of us had a boss at least once in their lifetime. Even bosses have their bosses, it doesn’t matter if the work for big corporations or small businesses. Even the owners of those businesses have stockholders above them.

In today’s competitive society that changes very quickly and is marked by a never ending race for money, the boss has, in many cases, stopped being the leader and became strict and somebody whose orders should be obeyed without second doubt. Such behavior leads to the fact that companies are filled with unsatisfied workers that don’t work for the general benefit or the growth of the company, but for the payment at the end of the month or they become “bulldogs” in the never ending race for promotions and better work places so they would become the ones that give orders.

But, this kind of attitude creates mostly negative energy and actions that can be very harmful for a business. Because of this, it is a lot healthier for all employees to accept the culture of the leaders that are ready to take over the leading positions and lead the employees ahead, with their example.

The main difference between bosses and leaders is that the bosses create disharmony, indecisiveness and inner struggle which interferes with achieving goals, while leaders give encouragement, pride and the desire to cooperate that not only moves the business ahead but very often, brings better results than what is expected. Between these two types of management, employees that have a leader in front of them will get to the finish line before the ones that are governed by a dictatorship hand. Also, those who work under a leader will have much more benefits and the desire to start a new “race”.

Characteristics of a boss

Although a boss is often designed as a person in charge of observing the workers, his use as an adjective represents somebody who gives orders in a very domineering way. This is, essentially, the main characteristic of the boss.

A boss fulfills the goals that his superiors set, in order to look good in front of them. Because of the fact that profit is the “only goal” of business, bosses have a tendency to use those that are below them in the hierarchy ladder.

The boss leads his workers in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. They set their reign as the supreme law for those that are below them and it is expected that those below obey their every word. Bosses demand respect just on the fact that they are on a higher position, and will punish their workers in the most cruel way, if they question their authority.

The characteristics of a leader

Leaders have the authorization to rule, but they also have the tendency to run things in the form of very positive influence.

A leader takes responsibility with their example and those that are under their influence are encouraged and learns how to do business, the leader shows them by personal example. A leader gives an impressive example to the employees that follow him. He inspires his followers to act and work in the frame of his field of expertise, and in return, he improves their knowledge and experience. In that way a leader is just and extension of his team to which he gives clear pointers and improves their capabilities.

Employees who follow a leader are also uplifted and feel as an active part of a business whole. That is because a leader encourages his employees to give suggestions, offer ideas, talk about pros and cons, which makes the overall business stronger.

A leader can invest additional time in the development of activities that strengthen the team spirit or extra education and training in the aim of reducing mistakes, improving communication, all of this to enrich workers as people in the team.

Comparing the results – who is better, a leader or a boss?

If we compare leaders and bosses, a leader gets real respect through his example, while the demands of the boss are respected just because of his position or authority. A leader thinks and improves his employees, while the only thing the boss cares about is the level of productivity and achieving goals at any cost. A thing that leaders often use are words like “We” and “Let’s go”, which builds pride and sense of belonging in the members of his team, while the words a boss uses are “I” and “You” which gives birth to isolation and a sense of inferiority.

When we sum it all up in the end, a leader inspires a much greater productivity and successful work which is very often not the case if you have a boss that is to authoritarian. Employees that are run by the desire to improve are much more happy, productive and creative than those run by needs.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Image author owned 

By Milan Budimkic

Milan Budimkic, the author of this article, is an owner of MB SEO agency at Belgrade. He is also a creative freelance writer for industries that include but are not limited to the travel, sport, entertainment, internet marketing, and much more. When not blogging, Milan likes to travel and read a lot.

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