A Boss vs. A Leader

I have just a quick thought I wanted to get out there: I really almost hate hearing the word “boss”.

It just has some type of condescending ring to it. It implies imperative and thankless commanding. As a young leader at Incept, more specifically in my role as a Team Captain for our nonprofit side of the company, I try as hard as I can to disassociate myself from the standard and preconceived notions of what a “boss” or supervisor can be.

Why do people tend to associate negative connotations with the word?

On one end of the spectrum when considering a company’s administration, we have the true “leader”. A leader doesn’t just dictate tasks and sit behind a desk delegating all day, but (especially in Incept’s case) they get on the front lines with their coworkers to literally make sure success is achieved.

While trying to research modern differences between a boss versus a true leader, there is one theme that stands vastly apparent: a leader truly is enveloped in a team mentality. A leader is a problem solver, while a boss looks for someone to blame for the problem. True leaders are not afraid to get their hands dirty. An example of this type of mindset at Incept is when a supervisor helps alleviate stress by taking phone calls for his or her Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs). Rather than a boss, a Team Lead at Incept will literally cultivate a healthy work environment by being directly amongst the Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) he or she manages and not just barking orders from a desk. We call this being “in the rows” with a team. It gives him or her the chance to control the atmosphere and have a hand in directing motivation and productivity.

What is the difference?

While surfing around some of my sources, researching the topic of a boss vs a leader, I came across the following image below.

If anything the easiest thing to notice about the comparison above is the style of communication that a boss has compared to a leader. The boss sounds imperative, threatening, even untouchable in certain circumstances as the buck is passed along, while a true leader seems like almost a walking, talking, motivational rally point for his or her employees.

Have you ever considered the cultural atmosphere around your office? Regardless of if it is positive or negative, who has the most authoritative interactions with your own representatives? Whoever is in charge could have a hand in the source of your employee’s sulking or splendor. Something to sleep on.

Does the word boss have a negative sound to it or not? What do you think?