The line between being a boss and a leader can be a fine one, although, there are some major differences (and outcomes) of being either one. Deciding who you are for the company and your employees can either help or hurt the business.
A boss has tendencies where it makes them seem as though they are up on a pedestal, not in the same category as an employee. Whereas a leader will make you feel like they are part of the team. Willing to dive right in and help. A boss will tell you what to do, not show you how to do it. When employees are directed by a leader, everyone wins.
When thinking of employees as an asset, the leader is always triumphant. A boss would be more suitable to think of an employee as expendable. A leader will focus on what they can do to keep good employees around for as long as possible. One described as a boss doesn’t think into the future, just the now. A leader looks ahead and decides what is good for the company now and in the future. Making choices based on the overall picture, rather than “in the moment” decisions.
A leader will guide their employees, delegating tasks informatively, and trusting the employee to get the work done in a timely manner. A boss will tell their employees what to do, lurking over their shoulder to make sure it is done their way. A boss thinks that their way is the only way and the only right way. A leader knows that there is more than one way to peel an orange and has confidence the employee will make a business-minded choice.
So, are you a boss or a leader? Do you get in there and get your hands dirty? Do you say things like “I” or “we”? Noticing little habits in yourself and changing from a boss to a leader can make an enormous difference in how your employees see you, treat you, and respect you.