team members motivating each others

5 Differences Between a Great Leader and a Boss

Mirjana Maksimovic Management, Organization

There are so many articles on the topic of differences between a great leader and a boss that we might say we are surprised (yet delighted) you have stumbled upon this particular one, but this one is about real, hands-on experience and learning from mistakes. Whose mistakes? Well, of those who neglected to take this into consideration and forced a singular and one-sided business management strategy costing them not only the workforce, but also time, money, and even entire companies.

1. Consistency

A surprising no 1 for sure, but here is why. Confusion creates chaos, and chaos creates failure. Whether mistakes happen because of the work overload, or because of unclear procedures, a leader knows how to set up the system, the process and explain the philosophy or logic behind it.

Leader: Knows and shows how it is done, implements it himself and knows the result and outcome of each and every single action taken. He is always predictable and has the same relationship with everyone.

Boss: Thinks he knows how it should be done, but questions and changes systems as he or she goes. Level of intimacy, friendliness, openness, and/or control keeps changing and the lack of consistency in the approach, attitude, procedures, ways of collaboration and teamwork, freedom and expectations makes employees weary and frustrated.

2. Collaboration

A boss and a leader both have to know how to delegate. The trick here is how and by which criteria. Without a clear evaluation and outcome in sight, no team can be created. Collaboration might involve him or herself as a hands-on member or not, but if the capacities are not well distributed, they might easily crash and/or become conflicting.

Leader: Knows his employees’ strong points and motivations, or knows how to delegate tasks to the HR department with clear project results in mind. Collaboration is easy, pleasant, phases are clear and milestones and timelines marked.

Boss: Promotes self-sufficiency mistaking it for a drive or initiative. Actually, this type of boss hopes to save up and maximize the use of an employee at the high cost of burn out and again-failure. On the other hand, he or she might also micromanage, making employees feel undervalued, insulted, obsolete, frustrated, or even unable to finish tasks without intrusion and additional time needed for updates.

3. Rules are made to be broken

Not every project, client, matter or issue is the same. You cannot apply the same rules to every case blindly and expect to get maximum results. If a client prefers a less formal communication, you will mirror and accommodate that or he or she will find someone who will. If your procedure is disabling a client from getting results, you adapt or lose them for good.

Leader: Recognizes issues, creates a motivational atmosphere and commends employees for reaching targets, goals and making clients happy. If a system is stifling, he changes the form, but not the basic structure, because it has already been properly in this adaptable way to begin with. It is all about the values. Everything, from collaboration tools, time tracking, reporting, tone and style of communication is pre-set. The key is in the preparation.

Boss: Expects the rules to be followed blindly, blames employees for accommodating the clients or situations that arise, disregards and disrespects the clients, blocks initiative because it is not “by the book”. Boss reacts by means of punishment, aggression and public shame instead of analyzing the outcome, motivation and goals behind actions. He or she uses rules as means of control and a false sense that all is in order, without dealing with the human factor, which ultimately ends up despising and disrespecting him or her.

4. Integration

Online space for collaboration is just as vivid and active as a physical space or an office. The whole team should at all times take part in the development and participate throughout. The whole team should work together to choose the tools that work best for them, and a leader knows how to engage with, in example-outsourced or off-site employees.

Leader: Knows how to approach online communication, organizes systems for file sharing, understands privacy issues, data protection and time management. A leader understands that online availability is not an indicator or implies open working hours at all times, and acknowledges the difference between in person and online communication. Tries to integrate team members, and invests in team-building and capacity development.

Boss: Expects everyone to be self-motivated and organized even without clear instructions, disregards the importance of online collaboration tools available on the market, disrespects private time and off-the-clock time of employees using the entrepreneurial drive as the ever useful excuse, again-posing blame on the employees and expecting ad hoc results outside the previously set plans and project timelines, shifting tasks and creating a competitive atmosphere. Often, this type might openly insult a team member by demanding of another to surpass and/or enhance the work of the first one.

And, yet there are amazing collaboration tools available. If you’re looking for an online tool for collaboration, you can try CollaboraZon and get a free trial period. It is a single solution to help teams collaborate and be productive, thanks to a simple and easy-to-use interface with powerful features like sharing files, giving feedback, exchanging messages, creating events and more.

5. Authority

If employees feel misunderstood, it just might be because their boss does not understand what he or she is talking about. The demands might be outrageous, tasks misplaced or blame placed upon an innocent victim, creating not only a horrible working atmosphere, but an overall dissatisfaction with the working position and company. Injustice and unexpected outbursts without a solid ground and foundation, used to cover up lack of information of expertise is something all of us have came across at some point of our lives, and it is a form of bullying or mobbing in this context.

Leader: Shows by example, understands the workload and real time-delivery ratio, analyzes before acting on something, follows trends and invests in his or her own self-development. A leader brings the newest technologies, business ventures, clients and input. He or she then teaches and explains. He develops his staff, seeking their own betterment.

Boss: Obstructs employees in fear of their development and exposing his or her lack of capacities. Poses inhuman standards and deadlines, uses force and expects employees to invest in themselves by themselves. Boss has no authority if his employees dislike him and/or fear him. Employees who work just for salary are not inspired and motivated, and sooner or later they will leave.

And there is a saying…

– What if you invest in your employee and he or she leaves?

– Yes, of course, that is horrible. But…What if you not, and your employee stays?