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By equating a boss with a leader, do we limit the potential of everyone to be a leader? A boss is just a title, whereas leadership shows up in a variety of forms in all people. By limiting leadership only to the bosses, is the organization limiting itself?

  • Would you rather have an organization of many leaders or a few bosses?
  • Are you appropriately hedging risk if you let only a few lead instead of the many?
  • Aren’t bosses who need approval from their bosses, who in turn need approval from their bosses, just followers not leaders? Yes-men at worst. Messenger pigeons at best.
  • Does a boss need someone to boss? Does a leader need a boss?
  • If you keep passing everything down reactively, is anyone taking the lead?

Leaders care about why things get done. Bosses just want things to get done. Bosses maintain order for the sake of order. Leaders introduce order for the sake of progress.

“What’s this person going to think of me if I don’t get this done?” vs. “What am I going to think of this person if they don’t pick the right thing to get done?”

  • The leader asks, “Why?” The boss says, “Because I said so.”
  • The child asks, “Why?” The parent says, “Because I said so.”
  • Bosses point out mistakes. Leaders help us learn from mistakes.
  • Leaders ask, “To what end?” Bosses ask, “Why isn’t this finished?”

Leaders facilitate. Bosses manage.

Boil it down to the most basic level, and even “boss” and “leader” are just labels. The true question is this, “Is everyone in the organization facilitating progress towards what matters?”

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Editorial Collaborator, Akshay Kapur, joins Conscious to provide tips and advice that speak to entrepreneurs everywhere who face struggles dealing with time, money, balance, health, relationships, and more. Read his interview here. Discover his series here.