Are You A Leader Or A Boss?

If you want to find out if you are a leader or just a boss, here’s a check-list that can help based on some of the best examples of great leaders I’ve known.

  • A leader has passion, a boss has a title. My dad held a leadership position in a Fortune 500 corporation for more than 20 years. He was a high performer and had an impeccable reputation. He changed the lives of many of his team members, teaching them never to conform or compromise their integrity and always to be on fire because they were serving many people through their work. Passion he had.
  • A leader is open to growth, a boss knows it all. Juan was close to 70-years old when I started working for him. He led a nonprofit dedicated to providing consulting and training services to public and private schools and other organizations. He read three to four books a week, and learned how to use a laptop in his 70s. He never stopped learning.
  • A leader builds relationships, a boss pulls out the org chart. Iliana was head of Faith Formation at a school. She connected with her team on a personal level. She also disliked having a title. She rolled up her sleeves and got the job done alongside her team. Everyone who worked with her was treated as family. During our time together, she was a trusted mentor and friend.
  • A leader praises effort, a boss points out mistakes. Tracy made it a point to check in with her team every day. She never micromanaged, delegating efficiently, and always looked for positive actions to recognize immediately. She knew how to say, “You rock!” and her team knew she meant it.

I love this anonymous quote I recently found online: “If you think you are a leading and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk.” By keeping this check-list handy, you’ll never be “just walking” again.

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