Skye, great question. A true leader is a person that influences those that they lead. A boss is only a boss because of a title. People have to follow the boss because of their position, but not because of their influence. 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 the 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.
Leaders Lead, Bosses Push.
Leaders motivate their employees, which then inspires them to follow their leader’s example. Bosses tend to push employees instead of directing them.
• A leader will never call himself a leader, while a boss gladly will.
• A leader will share the destination. A boss will tell you how to drive there.
• A leader shoots for the stars. A boss – for the next green light.
• A leader generates trust. A boss generates fear.
• A leader works with a telescope. A boss prefers a peephole.
• A leader will celebrate when you outrun him. A boss will cheer when you trip on the last lap.
A boss is always right... and a true leader is the one who guides, the one who is in constant interaction with his employees, he/she is flexible and can change an opinion depending on the circumstances. A true leader is powerful and this power is not to humiliate but to encourage, not to subdue but to convince, not to tell what to do but to offer opportunities. A true leader is the example you want to follow.
One man's boss is another man's leader. This isn't stated enough. The difference between whether someone is a boss to you or is your leader depends on how much of the same things you both want.
A leader and his employees are on the same page and moving towards a mutually beneficial mission.
A boss and his employees have an understanding that they will follow orders because that gets them paid.
I have seen both bosses and leaders become successful. I have seen employees who prefer bosses, and ones who prefer leaders. Many will disagree and insist that every boss must try to be a leader. I present one instance just as an example of why this isn't necessarily the case.
LA Waiters who hold the waiting job for cash while pursuing their acting dreams have their true purpose so detached from their work that any attempt to align the cafe owner's interests and the aspiring actor's interests would not be feasible. In this case, a polite understanding that the waiter has to do his job, while the business owner has to pay him an agreed amount is enough. The actor must not be convinced to abandon his mission and be sold on some hospitality mission. And the business owner does not need waiters to believe that their service is sparking a hospitality revolution.
A boss uses authority get done what he wants. A leader aligns people to a common vision whereby they feel inspired to think creatively and do their best to realize the vision.
Boss is all the time driving people, micro-managing to get things done. With a leader, people do not require micro-managing. They feel responsible and do their best as they want the whole team to succeed.
With the boss around, people do not grow into leaders. With a leader around, people grow to their full potential and behave like a leader themselves.
A TRUE leader gives direction and encouragement and then allows employees to do their work autonomously.
What I hate more than anything is feeling like I am a puppet on strings, "do this, this exact way". As long as I get the work done and the outcome is the same, why can't I do the work in the preference that I prefer? Not everyone is the same. For example, people learn things best in different manners. By forcing many people to change how they work just because that is the way that the manager likes to work, alienates all of us.
A boss manages their employees.
A leader inspires them to innovate, think creatively, and strive for perfection.
Every team has a boss.
The best teams have a leader.