There are many differences between bosses and leaders that few people distinguish. However, it shouldn’t be mistaken that they are different skill sets. Here are 4 differences:
1. Bosses command; leaders influence.
A boss is simply there to ensure employees follow the rules and do their daily tasks, while a leader encourages others to think for themselves to achieve the desired ends. A boss needs to instruct and tell people what to do, however, a leader can inspire others to act on their own accord and motivate them to maximise their potential.
To go from commanding to influencing, leaders must grow a relationship with their team by showing they care, listening to individuals thoughts and ideas and being transparent in their actions.
2. Bosses discipline; leaders mentor.
Bosses use rewards and punishment to discourage negative behaviour, while leaders realise that employees benefit from encouragement and mentorship. They look for employees’ strengths and weaknesses and mentor them to become their best.
3. Bosses delegate tasks; leaders delegate authority.
Bosses are plagued by short-term thinking and only focus on completing the immediate tasks and goals at hand. They offload work to their subordinates but never get them on board with the vision.
Leaders, on the other hand, delegate authority. They are comfortable letting other people take the lead on tasks and projects as they realise it’s a positive way to develop others for the benefit of the entire organisation.
4. Bosses are above the team; leaders are part of the team.
Bosses are concerned about being at the top of the hierarchy and view their team members as beneath them, whereas leaders are not concerned about titles and simply view their team as equal contributors. They lead from the front and let everyone else follow their example.