Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Boss or Leader?

By Virgil R. Carter

For existing and aspiring CEOs, it’s always good to ask, “Do you aspire to be a boss or a leader”?  What’s the difference?  It’s an important question.

In a recent article, author Terry Starbucker took a look at this question.  He notes that “in a fast paced, high stress business environment, it can be all too easy sometimes for leaders to slip into what I call “Boss Man” mode.”  In other words, stop being a leader and start acting like a boss.  

A boss tends to be someone at the top of the hierarchal, command-and-control type of organizational structure.  And Starbucker says, “A boss supervises a staff, the staff report to the boss like it says on the organizational chart, and, of course, the staff does exactly what the boss says, because, of course, “he’s the boss!”

The downside of “being a boss” is that “a leader, at any level, can become a not-so-pleasant person that creates a not-so-pleasant work environment, and brings progress to a screeching halt”, according to the author.  So how can you tell what type of person you are, whether you are a boss or a leader?
Starbucker identifies “the 15 most significant differences between Boss Man syndrome and real leadership, as follows:
  • A boss only sees things in black and white, while the leader also sees the grey
  • A boss likes to tell, while the leader prefers to teach
  • A boss likes being on a pedestal, above the fray, while the leader likes to be among those they lead
  • A boss gets lost in the details, while the leader keeps the big picture
  • A boss rules by fear, while the leader inspires with trust
  • A boss displays great hubris, while the leader shows quiet humility
  • A boss likes to talk, while the leader prefers to listen
  • A boss wants to dictate, while the leader would rather collaborate
  • A boss outlines the “What”, while the leader also always explains the “Why”
  • A boss thinks first about profit, while the leader thinks first about people
  • A boss gets lost in process, while the leader gets absorbed in performance
  • A boss is a disabler, while the leader is an enabler
  • A boss criticizes, while the leader coaches
  • A boss manages to an end, while the leader serves for a purpose
  • A boss demotivates with impassiveness, while a leader inspires with caring & empathy
The author concludes by suggesting, “Keep this list handy, or better yet, post it on your personal bulletin board as you continue on your leadership journey, so you can recognize any Boss Man tendencies and stop them in their tracks.
Be a leader, not a boss!

1 comment:

Guerrilla Rebellion said...

For me Enterpreneurship is big.... really big...which changes the life of people around you...brings a revolutionGuerrilla Rebellion