A Boss Vs a Leader
What does people really mean with this hanging question? Which one is the best, promising deserved title? Which one should we aim for and what are the characteristics as to let us define which one of those we are ourselves. Well, talking from both personal experience but also when talking among managers and other supervisors, this is what I came across. This is a post of differences and – let’s go for the leader role. It is definitely the win here. And let’s argument why.
It is quite simple to pin point if our boss, manager or supervisor is a boss or a leader. It usually takes barely a few seconds before I have discovered what kind of person I am handling and here we can be enlightened into a guidance of what we possibly are, or what managers we possible have.
Hands down and I need to admit that my partner is an amazing branch manager. It does not seem as to how great amount of work and territory among employees he seems to become responsible for: he just nails it every single time. And greatly. One day years ago I asked about this phenomenon. How does this come? He would let me know that it may have to do with being a leader rather than a boss. That he does not only talk the talk, but he can also walk the walk.
When we mention the word ”boss,” right away a mental picture of a person sitting behind its’ desk pops up in my mind. While when we talk of a ”leader,” immediately this picture transforms into a person engaging with the group. I suppose this is to shorten up what we are about to bring up here. Everybody gets to decide what kind of person we wants to be, but I think it is good to look over these statements. And again, I think I will always prefer a leader. Which kind do you prefer?
- A boss drives people while a leader coaches them.
- A boss says ”I” while a leader says ”We”.
- A boss inspires fear while a leader inspires enthusiasm.
When I was a Store Manager
Being the control freak I am, I found it hard eyeing in the corner of my eyes how an employee would let a costumer slip by bad sales technique. Very hard, actually. Many times I would join my employee’s side and help her out to close the sale. When she would hand me the box of shoes, silently thinking of me to steal the provision from her, I would hand them back and shake my head. Because, at least as to how I preferred to see myself; I wanted to be a leader rather than a boss. And I remember her genuine smile when she had her sale and got to write her own sales ID into the checkout register.
Never ever did I sit there and command employees to do stuff. I tried to guide them, let us work as a team and me leading them into achieving the budget I had as a deal with the owners of the store. It was important for me that the employees knew that if something troubled them, we were in this together and that they always could lighten their heart to me regardless of what it was all about. That way, we could solve problems faster than if they would remain quiet about it. Also, they dared telling me if they did not agree to something. This could be a very good thing as if I happened to work with a fever, even they would save my butt from making a mistake. Now, of course a manager should be able to have the respect of an employee not thinking of her or him as a friend but an actual manager. I am not going to head against that direction. But I want to make a point out of the importance of being the leader in a team against passing the employees on my way to my office room with a latte, throwing a command over my shoulder while not really knowing of what this all is about.
- While a boss demands respect, a leader earns it.
- While a boss measures success on titles, a leader does it by the impact of people he or she influences.
Another interesting phrase I have discussed many times with my partner was how a boss often wants to create followers, while a leader wants to create more leaders. This is also very a very typical habit I have witnessed many times at working locations. My partner has lift an awful amount of people into managing positions, while I know another guy who just wanted everybody to shut their mouths in his presence due to respect of him. He desperately wanted to create a team for himself, but it only resulted in people dropping off one by one. While on the other hand, people were almost fighting to be on my partner’s team.
There was a moment when I asked my partner why he gave all his sales away. Right then and there, he showed me the way to go. While bosses would sit behind their phone, my team leader and now partner (yes, haha, that is another story), would come by and help me close the sale. So in other words; while other bosses would simply call their sellers and help them out through phone on a few lines – if my team leader realized it would not work out – he would physically drive over to where I, or another team member, would be and help us out right on the spot.
These experiences were something I learnt from and brought it with me. Specifically to the store I eventually landed a managing role in, but also in general to know what kind of supervisor I chose to sign an employment contract with. I can say that it takes to overcome a cringing feeling to work for a boss when I prefer working for a leader (if working for anyone). A leader will help me out in more ways than a boss.
- A few more points to mention are:
- A boss knows how its done and a leader shows how its done.
- A boss uses people and a leader develops people.
- A boss says ”Go,” and a leader says ”Let’s go.”
Which one are you? I think it is highly important to know what kind of person we are. What can we do better and is it working at the location I work at? If one fails in a managing position, perhaps we can look over these statements and find out if the group of people may need the other type of managing director. Even if I personally prefer a leader, there are a group of people out there totally favoring the bossy type. So even if I may like the leader, some would vote for the boss.
Can a Person be Respected Who Cannot Execute the Task Her/Himself?
A managing position should have respect. Actually, any employee at a workplace should have respect, regardless of position. What I mean to direct is that when a person pushes us hard to execute something and can do it him or herself, we may get eager to perform well and give the results. Although, if the person really cannot do this and yet pushes us far across the line of what would turn out to be humanly possible, how can consequences show here? Is it not a very interesting question? I find this topic very thrilling. But, if we are failing in our role as a manager, perhaps this can be a good thing to look over.
I see everywhere this phenomenon. Many people apply for a managing position without really being able to walk the walk. They can just talk the talk. At least, if we decide to jump the ladder others usually find necessary to climb, the least we can do is to give a lot of effort into learning the company’s struggles and more specifically – the sellers’. I can tell that the greatest CEOs that I have seen, are the ones who have straight away asked to follow a seller during a whole day to simply and silently examine how a day looks like. To observe and analytically make a strategic move to make the company grow.
To share a bit of experience, after this trip I decided to really choose my manager. I wanted a clear leader. And I did get one.
Wrapping this up, I wish for a calm and peaceful evening. I am heading abroad in any moments to bake cookies with my family and some relatives. Big hug.