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Difference Between Leader and Boss

leader_bookLeader vs Boss

The difference between a leader and a boss has a lot to do with the psychology through which we see the world. Societal input demands that we have leaders of all kinds. A leader is someone who rises to the occasion, is appointed to arise to the occasion, or has a natural ability to inspire and dispense delegated duties to willing followers. A leader is a leader because the followers allow him or her to be one.

A boss does not need the same type of psychological support in order to remain the boss. He or she either owns a business, or has been appointed to run the business. While there are bosses with great leadership qualities, it is not necessary to have such qualities in order to be a boss. The effectiveness of the position can be determined through fear of losing one’s job, or through personal motivation and inspiration.

While there are some leadership positions that are paid employment, more often a leader is not paid. It can be someone in the community doing good work, or it can be someone in the community bringing others into a life of crime. A leader does not have to, by definition, lead his or her followers toward a better life.

While we can call political figures leaders, they more or less hold a leadership position without necessarily being a leader. Remember that it easier to promote the promise of leadership to get into office, versus actually being one once you get there.

A boss has authority, whether or not it’s been earned and respected. The boss’ word is simply the boss’ word, whether it pleases or angers you. A boss holds your family’s wellbeing in his hands by permitting you to have a job, or by suddenly denying your employment. A leader’s authority comes in the form of people’s belief. A leader’s authority can be taken away more easily than a boss’ authority. If enough people stop believing in the words of the leader, he or she stops having influence over others.

Leaders are more likely to get some sort of public recognition for either their good works, or their capacity to turn followers against good works in the community, or around the world. Recognition can be anything from accommodation for service, to being on the FBI’s most-wanted list. For a lifetime of service, the most recognition many bosses receive, is their paycheck and a party for their retirement. Bosses are not likely to be recognized by the general public.


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