Leader vs. Boss: Main Differences That Can Impact Your Business

Dr. Ryan Giffen

Starting your own business or being promoted to a management role are significant accomplishments that will provide you with plenty of benefits. But at the same time, many challenges come with operating a company. One of the most demanding is learning how to differentiate between merely being the boss and leading your workers successfully.

What Is the Difference Between a Leader and a Boss?

One factor that successful companies have in common is effective leadership. Your workers must have someone they can turn to who will guide them in the right direction instead of someone who only provides them with their orders for the day. That is one of the main differences between a boss and a leader. There are several other differences between the two terms that company owners should know about.

Bosses Explain Your Job Duties While Leaders Inspire you

Many bosses will provide their workers with the necessary information for completing their tasks and leave them to do it. However, a good leader will inspire their workers to do well. Leaders help their employees become motivated to perform to the best of their abilities each day. That is done by encouraging their workers and letting them know how vital their role is to the company.

Bosses Discipline Their Workers While Leaders Offer Mentorship

Everyone is human, and we all make mistakes. A determining factor that shows whether you are a boss or a leader is how you deal with your workers’ mistakes. Bosses are more inclined to using a reward and punishment system. It can be useful when you want to discourage bad behavior throughout the workplace, but it doesn’t offer much encouragement. Understanding and choosing to help your workers learn what they did wrong by teaching them other methods to help is an excellent leadership skill.

Bosses See Themselves Above Others While Leaders are a Part of the Team

Bosses do not consider themselves a part of the team. They do not take the time to learn more about their workers the same way a leader will. To be a good leader, you must create positive relationships with your workers. That can be done by creating a culture throughout the workplace that encourages open communication. You want to set an example for your company, and if you lack the passion or motivation to do so, it is highly likely that your team will lack these traits.

The Top Leadership Skills a Company Owner Should Possess

Team leaders have responsibilities beyond merely monitoring their workers and delegating tasks. They should be responsible for the team’s success and the overall success of each worker. To be a successful leader of a company, you should understand each of your employee’s strengths and weaknesses, then use that information to strengthen your company. To become a successful leader, you will need to take on the following responsibilities each day.

1.Make sure your team members have everything they need to complete their daily tasks

2. Provide work that is both challenging and meaningful

3. Always be approachable and accessible

4. Speak one-on-one with your workers to learn more about each person on your team

5. Provide ongoing feedback that includes both positive words and constructive criticism

About Dr. Ryan Giffen

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Ryan Giffen is an expert in human relations and business culture. His career began in hospitality, leading operations and human resource departments for Fortune 500 companies and the like. Not long after, Ryan found his passion for teaching and consulting. He earned a Ph.D. in Hospitality Management with a Human Resources focus from Iowa State University and now works as an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach. For over a decade, he continues to research and speak on organizational culture, relationship intelligence, and leadership effectiveness. Ryan is also the founder of Inospire, a company helping bosses and employees build stronger relationships with one another.  Lastly, Dr. Giffen is producer and host of the Corporate Shadow Podcast. a show helping everyday employees overcome workplace nonsense.