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I was at a marketing show last month when former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas was a guest keynote speaker. He said “Anyone can be a captain, but not everyone can be a leader.” These words have stuck with me ever since and can be applied into management within the working world. With years of experiences in many different fields, I try my best to distinguish from what I believe, the difference between a “boss” and a “leader”.
– A leader will get the best out of their team. A boss will only get what’s given.
I believe there is a manner and way of talking to people. To get the best out of a team a leader will give direction and guidance without babying you. A boss will instead dish out tasks that are petty and useless.
In general most leaders become mentors. They will have a positive influence, are always full of encouragement and can become an inspiration to the team. People want to work for a leader. Whereas people are stuck working for a boss. When they are stuck they will produce unmotivated work of mediocre calibre. A leader will always get the best results from people because they value their team member’s worth.
– A leader sets realistic goals and targets. A boss just demand results with no excuses.
“Do this in 20 mins.” Examples of orders I dislike from anyone in management, especially when that person wouldn’t be able to produce the same result. You must be able to lead by example. In my eyes setting stupid targets and dictating petty jobs equals lazy managing skills. A leader will delegate realistic tasks and more importantly be able to carry their own weight. Leaders can achieve results from their team because they are more efficient and his/her attention to detail is immaculate. Although tasks may not be completed within a ridiculous time frame, a leader will get his employees to complete tasks thoroughly and not hurried.
– A leader will trust their team. A boss micromanages.
There’s nothing worse than having a boss who micromanages you. Someone who stares at your every move and constantly checks on your progress at every hour. It’s been overviewed as a negative approach of management, and I believe so. A leader will have faith and trust in their team members to get the job done.
– A leader listens. A boss just talks.
A boss thinks they are always rights. But they are wrong a lot of time. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. A leader will admit their mistakes, listens to their team members and give them a chance to express themselves. The best leaders learn off their team as much as they can learn from themselves. Good leadership can help a group constantly improve and achieve goals together.
The ultimate leaders live by the saying “My door is always open.” At any time a team member should be able to approach a leader with any issues, and a leader will try their best to find a solution to the problem. A boss however doesn’t care about minor issues and will try their best to brush other people’s issues underneath the rug.
– A leader will do the same hours as you, and even stay till late. A boss turns up whenever they can.
You’ve heard of the athlete saying “be the first in the gym and the last one out.” This saying can be applied to any field in the working world. A good leader will be in the same time as their employees. I believe you can’t tell someone to not turn up late if you are not doing it yourself. It’s hypocritical and silly. I’ve worked with directors and managers who are always on time and the few who are the last ones out the office. It’s no surprise these very few are so far in their career.
The lazy ones who turn up late and chooses their own working times, are usually the ones that get stuck in a position for years. These type of managers are the ones who will tell their employees to clock them out in the evening so they can leave early. They are bosses. With poor work-ethic and lack of respect, it will only be a matter of time to they will be replaced with someone who is more hard-working and determined.
– A leader produces. A boss gets by.
There are bosses in the working world that make you think “how did they get far in their career?” Timing? Luck? Maybe both. But laziness is a trait that will always show in due time. The difference between a leader and a boss, a leader will achieve more skills and progress further into their career. A boss will get to a certain level and eventually struggle to improve. This may be due to attitude, ability to learn and work-ethic. I believe this is because a leader can get the best out of their team, and more importantly earn the respect. Bosses are hated by fellow piers and in the end, intimidating your workers won’t encourage people to produce the best of work. If your team is not producing results, then your not producing results. It’s simple as.
Which one are you? Believe it or not, there’s nothing wrong with being a boss. They work, they get paid their wage and take care of their families. There are successful bosses out there, who aren’t humble and who are arrogant and dominating. But I’m a true believer that leaders motivates and not only strive to bring the best out of themselves, but the best out of everyone around them. These leaders are inspirations. Unsung heroes who should be among those world leaders who get the everyday limelight.
Main image from Yahoo and have been labelled by Google to be reused with modification.