Boss vs. Leader: What’s the Difference in Business? When it comes to business success, how you choose to manage and lead is going to make a significant difference, both for the brand itself and the employee team working with you. Whether you’re currently in a leadership position, looking to start your own business with an employee team, or aiming to rise within the ranks into a leadership role, how you choose to lead is going to make an impact. A lot of people may think that being a boss is the same as being a leader, but there is a significant difference to be aware of if you want to get the most of yourself, your team, and your brand. 

What is a Boss?

In business, a boss is an individual who is in charge of a person, or people, within the working environment. They are usually responsible for overseeing a particular role or task, or else might be the boss of the entire company. A boss holds a position of responsibility and power and develops management techniques as well as ensuring tasks are fulfilled. 

What is a Leader?

A leader fulfills all the responsibilities and also always works towards the future. A leader inspires the best from a workforce and is always aiming to the future in terms of how to improve any element of the business. A leader is someone who can empathize with their team, inspire the best out of them, and is always encouraging the business to move forward in the right way.

The 4 Dos and Don’ts if You Want to be a Leader and Not a Boss

The reason that those in business should be aspiring to be a great leader and not simply a boss is that it’s essential for forming respected relationships and driving your business forward. Being a good leader is not about being liked, but about being trusted and respected. If you’re looking to develop those leadership skills and ensure you’re working as a leader and not a boss, here are four essential dos and don’ts you should know about. 

  1. Getting Jobs Done

Do: gain a proper understanding of good time management. You should know how to complete tasks productively. Don’t be afraid to lead by example and show your team how something can be achieved or working alongside them to fulfill certain business tasks.

Don’t: become too focused on simply assigning tasks to other people and telling your staff team what to do, without putting any hard work in yourself. Employees will respond more positively to a leader who they know works hard, too, or supports them with the overall work load, rather than a boss who does nothing but focuses on what everyone else should be doing. 

Don’t: be afraid to delegate, however. Being a good leader doesn’t mean completing tasks that employees should be doing or doing more work than you need to in order to make a good impression. As a leader, you will always need to delegate and tell others what to do, but also make it known that you’re not afraid to lead by example. 

  1. Improving Your Own Knowledge and Understanding 

Do: look at what you can do to improve your own education and experience within your chosen business industry. This will set you up to have a better understanding that you can share with a team, and therefore lead more effectively based on the knowledge you have. You may want to look into new opportunities to learn new skills within your industry, ask the right questions of the right people, or better your educational background with key business qualifications like an online MBA.

Don’t: assume that you know everything and that you have nothing left to learn simply because you’re in a higher position, or even if you’re at the very top as the main boss. There is always something new to learn in business as your brand evolves, and this is especially true of the people you’re working with. If you’re hoping to get the most out of your team, then you’ll need to constantly be learning about their needs within the business environment, too. 

  1. The Role of Employees

Do: regularly look for opportunities to support your employees in their development. Take the time to learn what they want from their job role and how you can help them to progress to achieve their goals. This will help employees feel more motivated and satisfied in their job roles. It can also help to reduce turnover if your employees feel happy within a job they know cares about their future, wants, and needs.

Don’t: use employees simply to fulfill a job. Naturally, employees are working within the business for a purpose and need to be able to fulfill their job role, but think of them as people, too. Don’t let them stagnate in the same role, and don’t avoid speaking with them to review how they feel about their work and anything else they might want to achieve. 

  1. Respect in the Workplace

Do: prove yourself to your employees that you’re someone to be respected and that you respect them in return. Earn respect as a leader by showing that you care about your employees, that you can make smart business decisions, but also that you can make tough decisions. Earning respect isn’t about making the decision that you think will score the most brownie points, but making the decisions that need to be made.

Don’t: expect employees to respect you based on your position alone. If you’ve been brought in at a senior management position to a new business, or if you’re hoping to become the leader of your business, then respect needs to be earned, and it always works both ways. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re unsure of your place in the business world in relation to being a boss or being a leader, a good starting point is your relationship with others within the working environment. Leaders inspire the best from team members and earn their respect, so focusing on your team is a good place to start.