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Blog Banner Image Boss or Leader | Leadership Style


Usually, Boss is used as a moniker about the one who lords around or tries to throw the weight by trying to herd. 

The Boss, in the titular role, doesn’t have to be bossy as mostly misunderstood. Our perception of ‘Boss’ is more about command and control. The Boss is synonymous with Leader. The line that does the round is that Boss ‘tells you what to do’, while the Leader ‘teaches you why and how to di it.’ This is still in theory.  Somehow that title of Boss is very unsettling. 

But just like different times calls for different actions, and sometimes different actors, a leader turns more as a boss in cracking the whip should the situation mandate. It is often confused being a Boss is bad, and the leader truly benevolent. It’s a very fine line between being a boss and leader. In fact the line blurs. How does one define autocratic leadership then?

There are many leadership styles: Autocratic, Democratic, Strategic, Transformational, Laissez-faire. The boss can follow any such leadership style or may be all but applicable to the audience 9read as employees).


Are all employees the same? 

The 80/20 is very much present as inferred from the performance – meaning, 80% of the workload is usually assigned to 20% of staff. Why? Because they are ‘the’ performers. Notice carefully and you will find it hard to dispute that the one who is hardworking and consistent on deliver is always assigned more work. Why? Because of the delivery. Company needs employees who are able, reliable and consistent in performance. Employees are always a mix and match . while some perform, some outperform and some don’t perform at all. Accordingly, the Boss has to adopt different leadership styles.

It will be very unfair to portray the boss in a poor light just because he/she is unfairly and unreasonably demanding. Some Boss scream “I want it and want it now” without realizing the magnitude of work or plainly pushing their luck. But it can go as far as possible. If shouting and screaming works, then work place will be a street fight so chaotic that your differentiating factor as a Leader will be your decibel level.

Command and Control

This IS required to the ones who need jumpstart. They can’t do it by themselves and some push to move forward. In the worst case, push becomes a shove. That’s where the ‘Command and Control’ is exercised. “if you don’t do it, then..” might sound as a threat but with some staff this works. Whipping works. These are poor in self-esteem, lack confidence and hang in there for survival. And they know well, that getting another job or alternatives is hard to come by and hence respond to the command. It is the fear of getting fired that somehow extracts the work. Hence, it is useful to such work force – usually new  joinee, entry-level ,  fresher or experienced hires who are yet to adapt to the new surroundings.

Democratic 

Leadership through consensus by winning confidence and gaining ‘buy-in’ of the team. This team is mature and self-starters. They don’t need someone to be behind their back to get the job done. Once delegated, they are on their own and ensure it is done with minimal intervention and supervision. Accountability is usually high, and the team takes pride in its performance. 

Laissez-faire

This is not commonly practices and usually associated with researches and their ilk. Such resources are very independent from the start and don’t need any intervention or monitoring, mostly, the engagement will be time-bound and hence the Boss will have very less scope with regard to delegation or follow-up.


So what kind of a Boss are you?

Brutal, demanding, ruthless, callous, difficult, tough, harsh and aggressive? Just look around and how many faces can your eyes meet and count. The Boss is responsible for the cycle of business with the feet on the pedal. At one stroke the boss has to face so many faces. Possible? That’s why that person is the Boss. And yes, it takes some aggression and ruthlessness to get the job done weighing in the 80/20 rule. ‘The one who shows mercy on others denies oneself’ – doesn’t mean callous in attitude. Though caring, they appear callous else the workforce becomes complacent. 

Agreed, some Bosses are obnoxious, petty-minded, self-centered and can’t think beyond business. But then, it’s unfair to stereotype the Boss in such fashion. Some bosses are gentle, willing with en ear to hear, and simply wonderful.  The Boss, too, is a human with family to tend and friends to catch up. It is just that they burn more hours and sacrifice so much so that can draw a salary.

Don’t bother. A boss is as much a leader with a different kind of flavor.


Do you agree? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.




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