What’s the Difference Between Boss and Leader?

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Image courtesy of @Mixergy

If you had to choose, would you be a boss or a leader. I’d like to think of myself as a leader but then self-doubt starts to set in.

I am no one’s boss. I’ve been called a leader on my team but my title is the same as every other team mate. I have a boss and he’s fantastic. However, I’m learning that no matter how good your boss is, there are always going to be spaces for leaders to emerge.

I’m trying to fill those spaces, not for the personal glory but because I think I can. Because I think I should. Because I’m not seeing anyone else step in. I’m not trying to enact change that is beneficial just for me and detrimental to my team. I am trying to use my bossy pushy overbearing voice to advocate for my team and my clients.

To be honest, I feel a bit like a bull in a china shop. I’m pushy and opinionated. I can be inconsiderate and forgetful of others. I have an idea of how things should be and am using all of my facilities to move the lever that direction. I’m working really hard to be collaborative and inclusive but sometimes I fall back to believing that it’ll be faster if I just do this on my own. Then I catch myself and try to refocus.

I saw this tweet on leadership the other day & it made me stop and think about what I’ve been doing lately. It reaffirmed that I was moving in the right direction even though I’m constantly doubting myself. Can I do this? Does my team like this? Do they think I’m power hungry? Am I power hungry?

Differences between a Boss and a Leader

Is there really a difference? Is a boss a bad thing? I think there is a difference and I don’t actually think there is anything wrong with being a boss – so long as you’re also a leader.

A boss:

  • Manages workload on the team
  • Is responsible for the outcomes of the team
  • Dictates responsibilities and resources

A leader:

  • Collaborates for solutions
  • Cares about what’s right over whats popular
  • Advocates for the team and client first

Call me bossy, call me obnoxious. Call me whatever you’d  like – I sure do when I have my moments of self doubt. Ultimately though, I’m good at this. I’m not perfect but I’m good at finding the problems and demanding suggesting solutions. I’m good at advocating for my team and my clients. I lose sleep worrying about how to be better, how to help my team be better, how to affect positive change. I care, wholeheartedly.

I am a great researcher. I like to find the problems. I like to whittle out the solutions. I am loud and I am good at using my voice to push. I’m not a boss and I’m not aiming to be one. I do really want to be successful as a leader though. I’m working on leadership today.

Which one are you today? Which one are you trying to be?

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