The Richmond Register

June 21, 2013

There’s difference between a boss and a leader

Jennifer Napier
Columnist

RICHMOND — The quality of leadership skills is often an overlooked component when it comes to the resulting impact it has on an employer’s profits and/or turnover within a business.

If a business expects to survive and grow for the long-term, then it has to dedicate time and resources into employing leaders and not just bosses.

Now that your curiosity has been sparked, you may ask, “Is there a difference between a leader and a boss?”

The answer is a resounding “YES!”

Additionally, if you are employed in a supervisory role, do you know whether you are just a boss, or if you are a leader?

Your goal is to be a leader, not a boss. Employees respect leaders and despise bosses.

A boss is a person who is merely employed in a role that has authority over others. A boss does not concern themselves with the bottom line of the organization, or the people it employs.

Essentially, a boss is a selfish person occupying a supervisory role.

A boss is most concerned about their paycheck and a type of lifestyle their job might afford them.

A boss focuses on the level of benefits the job provides, more than how they can help their company grow and succeed.

Bosses don’t enjoy learning new skills or continuing their education, unless it is to better themselves or seek a position in another department or with another employer.

Lastly, a boss enjoys being in a dominant position over others in which their authority is exercised frequently or not at all.

A boss never leaves their subordinates feeling better about themselves or confident in the work they produce — they leave their subordinates feeling entrapped and powerless.

When a business employs bosses, there is a spike in employee turnover, a reduction in profits and a general feeling of bitterness or resentment among staff.

A leader on the other hand, is a person who would never ask a subordinate to perform a task they would not do themselves.

A leader takes an interest in their staff and is eager to see them succeed.

A leader understands that their team is only as good as the weakest member and works diligently to ensure that their team has the resources and skills to continually improve and grow.

A leader strives for ongoing training for their team members to be able to perform their jobs well and build confidence in their skill sets.

A leader does not micromanage but provides an environment in which team members become empowered to make more progressive decisions.

A leader understands that supervisors cannot work forever or hold their positions indefinitely, so they continually seek to build the next generation of leaders and put into place a succession plan for the business to grow and prosper long after the leaders are gone.

Have you considered that there are some businesses out there who have little turnover and never seem to have to hire new employees unless someone retires or passes away?

They likely employ and invest in leaders and let “bosses” find somewhere else to work.