Every leader might be a boss, but not every boss is necessarily a leader.
There are a unique and distinctive set of qualities that leaders possess that mere bosses simply don’t share.
And effective leaders regularly take personal stock to make sure they are indeed operating as a leader, and not merely as a boss.
What are the qualities that distinguish true leaders from mere bosses?
There are many distinguishing characteristics, but these are 15 of the most important signs you’re a leader, not just a boss.
- You care more about your people than you do your position
- You don’t just CAST the vision, you EMBODY the vision
- You don’t criticize, you coach
- You don’t bark orders, you inspire passion
- You listen more than you talk
- You’re more interested in sharing the credit than seeking the limelight
- You build teams, not just committees
- You’re driven to solve problems, not just assign blame
- You’re more interested in people’s gifts than their job description
- You don’t quit at 5:00 pm, but when the job is done
- You stand for what is right, not just what is expedient
- You speak the truth as a matter of principle, not just policy
- You seek organizational success more than personal achievement
- You seek honest feedback, not empty compliments
- You celebrate your teammates’ success more than your own
Another important distinctive is that while being a boss is about self-preservation, being a leader is about self-assessment and growth.
So keep this list handy and take a personal leadership inventory on a regular basis.
Because while every leader might be a boss, not every boss is necessarily a leader.
What marks of leadership would you add to this list?