There's a distinction between being just a boss and being a leader. Which one are you?

Tuesday - 19/01/2021 13:09

There's a distinction between being just a boss and being a leader. Which one are you?

There are many differences between bosses and leaders. Supervisors and managers should consistently analyze their leadership styles to ensure they are successfully leading their teams.

    According to a recent study 49% of professionals surveyed have quit a job due to a bad boss.

    To become a good leader, you should influence, inspire and mentor your team members.

    There are a few key strategies that every great leader incorporates into their behavior: delegating authority, being thoughtful to team members, facilitating open communication and setting clear employee expectations.

Being promoted to a management role may seem like a great accomplishment, but many professionals find the responsibility to be more challenging than they imagined. Merely being someone's boss doesn't mean you are a good leader.

Effective leadership is increasingly important in the workplace, as more and more employees are leaving great companies over one resolvable element – bad bosses. According to studies nearly half of all professionals surveyed (49%) have quit a job because of a bad boss.
What are the differences between a boss and a leader?

Many professionals step into management or supervisory roles and find themselves wondering, "What are the qualities of a boss vs. a leader?" We spoke with leadership experts to discover the five key differences between the two.

As you read the following comparisons, reflect on your own actions to determine which one you are.

Bosses command; leaders influence.

A key difference is that a boss's authority comes from their position, whereas a leader's authority comes from their ability to influence others.

A boss is there to ensure that employees follow the rules of an organization, but a leader will encourage others to think for themselves to achieve the desired ends. A boss will need to give orders to instruct others what to do, but a leader can inspire others to find the best way forward, whilst motivating them to maximize their potential.

Although subordinates only follow bosses because they have to, bosses can grow their influence through encouraging behavior.

You can grow your influences by caring for your team, listening to their thoughts and ideas, and sharing the 'why' behind the decisions and actions that you take. This is a second step in leadership, but it makes all the difference, and people will follow you because they want to, and not just because they have to.

Bosses explain; leaders inspire.

You shouldn't just explain a task and leave it in your employee's hands. A boss ensures you understand your work, while a leader supports and guides you through it.

The biggest difference between a leader and a boss is that a good leader inspires people and makes them excited about their work.

Success takes passion; without the desire to complete tasks, workers won't be as driven to give their best performances. As their leader, you should motivate them by letting them know the importance of their work.

Bosses discipline; leaders mentor.

Employees are human, and mistakes are to be expected. Who you are as a boss is evident in how you deal with mishaps. While bosses are more likely to use a reward/punishment system to discourage poor behavior, great leaders understand that employees benefit from encouragement and mentorship. If an employee performs well in a specific line of work, that strength should be recognized and mastered.

One key element of leadership is the ability to harness the talents of others to achieve a common goal.

It's important to note the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and mentor them independently. Rather than attacking skill gaps, work to patch them by guiding employees through their shortcomings and building their confidence in new areas.

Bosses delegate tasks; leaders delegate authority.

A boss focuses on the objectives of their department and is stringent in following protocol to achieve those goals. They think for the short term, delegate tasks to their subordinates and tend to micromanage.

A boss has key objectives to meet, whereas a leader will set the long-term vision for the team and use it as "a key motivator."

A boss gets results by telling people what to do and is concerned with doing it right. A leader is skilled at results by enabling their team to figure out what to do, is concerned with doing what is right.

Leaders seek to drive commitment by setting an example for others to follow and inspire others by encouraging development. They are comfortable delegating authority and avoid micromanaging, preferring to see others develop. Utilizing their excellent communication and negotiation skills, they will influence others for the overall benefit of the organization.

Bosses are above the team; leaders are part of the team.

A boss doesn't take the time to get to know their employees like a leader does. Bosses view their team members as subordinates, whereas leaders let go of this hierarchical distinction and view their team members as equal contributors.

To be a leader, it's important that you facilitate positive relationships with your employees. Work with their needs and create a culture that encourages open communication.

By getting to know your team better, you'll be able to understand how to explain your vision in a way that will really connect with each person. This means you can personalize the way you motivate people.

Good leaders are genuine and loyal. You set an example for your company. If you lack passion or motivation, odds are your team will too. Don't be afraid to be human – be real and express your emotions to connect with your workers.

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