Every business and work group has a boss, but only some have a leader at the helm.

The differences are clear--and which one your organization has will determine, in large part, what you can achieve and how you will achieve it.

So if you're in charge, or if you aspire to be, you have a decision to make: Are you going to be the boss or are you going to be the leader?

The choice is entirely up to you, of course--but here are some points to consider as you make up your mind:

  • A boss drives others; a leader coaches them toward their best performance.
  • A boss instills fear; a leader inspires enthusiasm.
  • A boss blames others; a leader works to help repair the damage and understand what happened so it won't occur again.
  • A boss thinks in terms of him or herself; a leader thinks in terms of we.
  • A boss knows how it's done; a leader shows how it's done.
  • A boss depends on his or her own authority; a leader depends, along with the entire team, on mutual accountability and trust.
  • A boss uses people; a leader is interested in helping them grow and develop.
  • A boss takes the credit; a leader gives credit to others.
  • A boss is a commander; a leader is more concerned with asking and listening.
  • The boss says Go!; the leader says Let's go!

When you make the choice to be a leader, there are some things you have to give up: Ego, for one. Doing it your way. Always knowing you're right. Never having your world view challenged.

In exchange, though, you'll gain a few things: An atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration.

A workplace that people will line up to work at. An authentic authority that comes from who you are, not what you say or do. The chance to change lives--including your own.

You don't have to look very hard to see that we already have plenty of bosses in the world.

What we're lacking is great leaders.

Are you ready to choose?

Published on: Sep 29, 2014