Saturday, December 22, 2012


Difference Between A Boss & Leader



Drives Employees Coaches Them
Depends on Authority Depends on Goodwill
Inspires Fear Generates Enthusiasm
Says “I” Says “We”
Places Blame for the Breakdown Fixes the Breakdown
Knows How it is Done Shows How it is Done
Uses People Develops People
Takes Credit Gives Credit
Commands Asks
Says “Go” Says “Let’s Go”

There\'s a difference between a boss and a leader
There is a difference between being a boss and a good leader. An effective leader inspires those underneath him or her, driving meaningful change throughout  a company because employees want to do their best. A boss simply tells people what to do.

This is an important difference to understand, leadership counselor Ritch Eich tells Business News Daily, especially for companies looking to adopt the Kaizen mindset. When developing Lean policies and procedures, it's crucial that employees at every level of a company strive to make these changes, and effective leaders are needed to make that happen.

In that regard, humbleness can go a long way. Leaders should always be willing to own up to their mistakes and accept the guidance of others, regardless of whether it's from someone above them or a worker they manage.

"Real leaders are humble, aren't afraid to show their humanity, their genuine concern for their employees. Real leaders create a culture of 'belonging' - one where associates feel important, desired and valued," Eich told the news source.

Eric the King
I read an interesting blog post by Simon Wakeman about the difference between being a good boss and a good leader. He noted a couple of points which were all very valid but going back to a post I wrote on this very PR blog last week I think there was one very clear skill that differentiates them. Storytelling.

A boss can be good at their job but what makes someone a good leader is the ability to tell a story. A good boss will never become a good leader without this ability.

Every great leader of history has had the ability to tell a story, either about themselves, their achievements or plans to get a band of followers on-board. Presidents such as Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton were great storytellers and could get people on-side regardless of their ability or scandals. In the UK, we had Gordon Brown who was a brilliant academic who had come through adversity to get to the top but fell down as a leader because he couldn’t communicate  his story adequately to the masses and get them to follow him. Compare him to Tony Blair who is a born storyteller and love him or hate him….he won general elections because of his ability to tell stories that got people on-side or inspired them to vote for him.

The same can be said of high profile business leaders like the late Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. They were born storytellers as well as businessmen and as a result what they say were/are the headlines of tomorrow.

As a communications professional I have seen enough terrible press releases with the main point of a story hidden on the second page or in the fourth paragraph to understand how important it is to get a story across. The ability of a good communicator (and PR agency) is the ability to tell a story and make something interesting. If you do this, people will be interested and will subsequently follow you. Only then can you become a leader. The same applies to individuals and brands.

Unfortunately far too many interesting stories have been lost because they have been told in a boring way. The sign of a good communicator is the ability to take a boring subject and make an exciting story around it. I always remember a couple of my colleagues Josie (now a brilliant freelancer) and Denis working on a mobile security story. While deep into a pre-launch analyst briefing they realised that there was a feature included where if your phone was stolen you could remotely make it scream.  This hadn’t been deemed as important as all the other technically brilliant features the product had, but it was the ability to make a phone scream that got the nationals and broadcasters interested. It was the ability to tell a story that got this product noticed – not its technical brilliance.

So in essence, I believe you can be a good boss but unless you are a storyteller you will never truly be a leader. The same goes for brands and spokespeople. You may be the industries best at whatever you do but unless you weave some sparkle into your story, no will ever care or follow what you do.

Tell a story well and people will follow you forever.

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