Are You a Boss or a Leader?

Are You a Boss or a Leader?

In one of my first jobs my boss said to me one day, “You know deep down everyone’s motives are only for themselves, they only truly want what is going to benefit them the most, it is not success of the organization but success of oneself.” That statement struck me unlike any other before in my life. Because for the first time I stopped and thought to myself, would a leader say such a thing?

It seemed like a statement made from someone that looked selfishly at their career and made me concerned that I wasn’t working for the right person.  So it got me thinking what is the difference between a boss and a leader?

Boss vs. Leader

The argument has been made many times about the difference between a boss and a leader.  There might be no better image than this one to show the major difference between a boss and a leader.


Bosses traditionally portray a dictatorship within the organization—the top management tells their subordinates what to do and how to do it.

Whereas a leader is on the front lines showing people what good looks like and empowering them to to their job to the best of their abilities.

If you are in leadership position, can you answer this question truthfully, are you a boss or a leader? How confident you are in your answer will tell you a lot in a short amount of time.

What organizations can do to create more leaders vs bosses

Organizations must focus more on helping create more leaders vs bosses because the health of their organizations future depends on it. Why? Because the #1 reason an employee leaves an organization isn’t the company it’s their manager.  If your organization is filled with bosses it will suffer from high turnover, lack of production, and a weak culture.

The modern professional today wants to be a part of purpose driven organizations that are making an impact on the world.  If the organizational leaders are leading like bosses it is simply impossible to attract and retain talent. Here are 3 things you can do to create more leaders vs bosses:

  1. Figure out what the organization is currently doing to develop it’s people into leaders.
  2. Identify what the current makeup of leaders are in the organization
  3. Develop a program or curriculum to help employees develop into leaders

If your organization is or isn’t already doing these 3 things keep in one of my favorite quotes from Peter Baeklund.

CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
 CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” ~Peter Baeklund

Check out the Welder Leader for Organizations to help  you identify the current makeup of leaders in your organization and deploy an online program and curriculum to help develop more of them into Welder Leaders find out more here.

About the Author Ashley is the newest member of the LearnLoft team.  She is passionate about helping develop the modern professional into the next generation of leaders.  You can find her on LinkedIn here.