Being a Boss Vs Being a Leader

By Ryan Rubery

In my experience, a boss is someone who makes schedules, orders people around, and generally worries more about their standing than the standing of the team. Now, being a boss doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be a leader, but I think there’s a reason that the stereotype of a angry, mean, incompetent boss exists. The stereotype represents a boss who doesn’t understand what being a leader means. What they fail to realize, is that most of the time it’s not enough to rely on a position for respect. Then when they see that their position and “power” aren’t enough to garner the respect that they think they deserve, they tend to try and abuse their authority. I’ve seen this happen, and it caused a downward spiral where the boss lost all of the authority they had over their workers.

Good Leaders don’t let the power go to their head. Instead of focusing on their standing in the job or company, they are focused on the team. They use their authority as a secondary tool and focus more on empathy and being relatable. They understand that no one likes to be talked down to all the time, that their workers have lives, and don’t have to bow to their every whim. They treat workers like people and not just mindless drones, whose every waking moment is dedicated to this one job.

Empathy is what really makes the difference between a leader and a boss. I feel like a boss can come off as unrelatable. Someone who tries to be above you. A leader isn’t afraid to jump in next to you, to do the same job you do. They’re more focused on making sure things get done and that the team succeeds.

It’s important for anyone that gets put in a managerial position to realize that they should be more than just a boss. They should strive to be a leader. I think a lot of people in the workplace get lost in the power. They think that, at this point, they can do no wrong and it starts to go to their head. It would help to take a second to look back to when you were the worker and see if you would respect yourself.

Candidly Kim, from huffington post agrees that a leader and a boss are not always the same thing a made a list of some of the differences between the two, (Candidly Kim, 10 Signs That Your Boss Is a Manager vs. a Leader). Others however disagree with the Boss vs Leader mentality. Jeremy Francis posted an article on Linkedin describing how putting so much emphasis on the differences between bosses and leaders is wrong because sometimes, even the best leaders need to be a boss every once in awhile,(Jeremy Francis,Why the Boss vs Leader comparison is Wrong) .

Edited 5/1/17*

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