When you are promoted to a role where you have to manage a team of people, you don’t automatically become a leader. There are significant distinctions between managing and leading people. Here are the five most important differences that set a leader apart.
- Leaders Lead, Bosses Push
Leaders motivate their employees that then inspires them to follow their leader’s example. Bosses, on the other hand, tend to push employees instead of directing them. This type of manager tends to never make great decisions, those force employees to work without guidance and expectations while their manager hides behind the wall of inaction.
- Leaders Create a Vision, Bosses Create Goals
Leaders paint a picture of what they see as possible and inspire their team to engage and turn that vision into a reality. They think beyond what individuals do. They motivate people to be a part of something bigger. They know what high-functioning teams can accomplish if they work together. Bosses, on the other hand, focus on setting, measuring, and achieving organizational goals. They control situations in order to reach or exceed their objectives.
- Leaders are Change Agents, Bosses Maintain the Status Quo
Leaders are known to be proud disrupters. Innovation is their ideal mantra. They embrace change and know that even if things are working fine, there is a better way forward. Also, they understand and accept the fact that changes to the system can create waves. On the other hand, bosses, stick with what works and are reluctant to change or refining systems, structures, and processes to make them better.
- Leaders Are In It for The Long Haul, Bosses Think Short-term
Leaders possess intentionality; they do what they say they are going to do and stay motivated towards a long-term goal. They remain motivated without receiving regular appreciation or rewards. Bosses, on the other hand, work on short-term goals, seeking more regular appreciation or accolades.
- Leaders Build Relationships, Bosses Build Systems and Processes
Leaders focus on people. They know who their stakeholders are and spend most of their time getting to understand their vision for the company. They build loyalty and trust by consistently delivering results and staying true to their word. Bosses focus on the structures necessary to set and achieve organizational goals. They focus on analytics and ensure systems are in place to attain desired results. They work with individuals and their vision and objectives.
Remember: A Boss Always Says “Go!” But a Leader Says “Let’s go!”
True leaders make a commitment to assess their management styles, understand the key areas of improvement, and then make a concerted effort to make necessary changes. If you are looking to become an inspirational leader, consider taking a transformational leadership course. A transformational leadership course ensures you understand the difference between being a leader and being a boss. A transformation leadership online certification plays an advantage showcasing your seriousness to become a leader, not just a regular manager who plays by the rules and sticks to the job he/she is given.