Are you a leader or a boss? Intelivate simplifies the leader versus boss debate into twelve pictures that define the critical characteristics of a leader.
After working with thousands of leaders, these are the 12 greatest delineating characteristics of a leader in the leader versus boss debate. Let’s do this.
12. Leaders Focus on Sustainable Solutions – Not Quick Fixes.
A boss will teach you what to do. A leader will show you how and why to do it.
A focus on the why is one of the most critical leadership approaches because it makes learning sustainable and transferable to other situations. Sustainable learning and self-reliance are huge deterrents of toxic leadership and micromanaging.
11. Leaders Have a High Emotional Quotient.
A boss is a subject matter expert. A leader is an emotional and people expert. Great leaders are very sensitive, albeit not emotional which is why they have fantastic strategies for conflict resolution in teams.
There is a difference. Sensitive is how in tune you are with feelings. Emotional is your reaction to those feelings or a situation. Although we can’t control our feelings, we can certainly control our reaction to those feelings which is our emotional display.
10. Leaders Want You to Feel Successful.
Bosses need you to perform well for their success. A leader wants you to feel successful even if you failed.
One of the incredible characteristics of a leader is linking individual success to the success of those they lead. If those people do not succeed, the leaders have failed in both their minds – and hearts.
9. Leaders Build Self-Accountability.
A boss holds you accountable. A leader grows the confidence and passion from within you to build self-accountability.
It is an incredible process to watch unfold and supports sustainable success all around. This is one the many differences between leadership and management.
8. A Leader Measures Success Differently Than a Boss.
Bosses determine their success by a title position or hierarchy in the business. A leader – especially a born leader – influences anywhere and everywhere.
Leaders define their success by the passion and impact of the people they influence. This is why I believe great leaders are born.
7. Bosses Depend on Authority. Leaders Depend on Influence.
One of the biggest delineators of the boss vs leader is authority dependency. A boss depends on positional power to have an impact. Leadership influence in not dependent on power or position.
Some of the most fantastic leaders I have encountered had no authority over the people they influenced.
6. Leaders Focus on What’s Right.
A boss focuses on what is right now – putting out the daily fires. A leader stays focused on doing what is right.
Out of all the characteristics of a leader, the ability to force your decisions past the chaos at the moment is the difference between success and failure.
5. Leaders Operate by Their Legacies. Bosses Operate By Their Competition.
A boss focuses decisions on the competition. Leaders stay aware of their competition but operate with a legacy definition in mind. This also supports not making potentially bad decisions at the moment and focusing on the future.
Have you ever noticed an Olympian swimmer? The swimmer on either side is not their focus. Their focus stays on what they need to do to nail their legacy – winning the gold.
4. Leaders are Motivated by Passion and Purpose. Bosses are Driven by Fear.
3. Leaders Want You to Be More Successful Than They Are. A Boss Always Wants to Be the Boss.
This is a HUGE definer of a boss vs leader. A boss always wants to stay your boss. A leader – much like a parent – wants you to do better.
A leader would proudly build you to ‘the boss’ and build your career progression plan to make it a reality.
2. Leaders Get Joy From Others’ Successes.
No – I am not talking about Janet Jackson. A boss gets pleasure from being recognized for doing a great job. Leaders get pleasure out of seeing others rewarded for the fantastic results of their passion.
Imagine living in a world where everyone had the same pleasure principle as a leader. Amazing.
1. Leaders Build Your Confidence. Bosses Build Your Fear.
Bosses keep you wondering or in fear just enough so that you tell them what they want to hear. At the least, they condition you not to say what they do not want to hear. This is why bosses don’t need a conflict management strategy – they just expect for everyone to agree with them.
Leaders build your confidence and trust so you will tell them what they need to hear. They know leadership and trust are necessary to be influential.
It may not be fun, but getting the full picture – the good and the bad – and being objective about it is one of the characteristics of a leader that fosters continuous growth, happiness, and success.
Leader versus Boss: One of the top characteristics of a leader is to build your confidence – and success.
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