Boss – a person who exercises control or authority; a person who is in charge of a worker, group, or organization.
Picture a 5-year-old stomping her feet and yelling “you’re not the boss of me”. That’s my internal reaction when someone asks me about my boss. I never use the word boss. I cringe a little inside when my team members introduced me as their boss. If you think boss is just a word, then you may not truly understand the power of words.
I managed programs. I supervised someone’s work. I was responsible for ensuring that tasks or projects were completed within certain parameters. I have never been in charge of the people doing the work. We live in a democracy (supposedly) and employees have free will and agency over themselves. Their actions may get them fired or promoted, but they behave how they choose to behave.
As I was thinking about what it means to be a leader, I came across a few articles that describe the difference between a leader and a boss. Below is a summary.
Mike Mcleod on FastCompany360 states:
- Bosses Talk, But Leaders Listen
- Bosses Are Motivated By Personal Success. Leaders Are Motivated By Team
- Bosses Push. Leaders Direct.
- Bosses Micromanage. Leaders Focus.
- Bosses Rush. Leaders Are Patient.
- Bosses Expect Greatness. Leaders Teach It.
- Bosses Measure Results. Leaders Measure the Journey.
- Bosses Are Stagnant. Leaders Are Innovative.
- Bosses Celebrate Themselves. Leaders Celebrate Their Team.
- Bosses Cause Nervousness. Leaders Inspire Confidence.
Tony Robbins claims that:
- A Boss Hears, But A Leader Transforms
- A Boss Speaks, But A Leader Connects
- A Boss Dictates, But A Leader Inspires
- A Boss Dominates, But A Leader Collaborates
- A Boss Wants Profits, But A Leader Wants To Change The World
Colin Baker at Leaders believes that:
- Bosses Enforce Accountability, While Leaders Create It
- Bosses Look For Easy Fixes, While Leaders Focus On Long Term Solutions
- Bosses Delegate Everything, While Leaders Collaborate
- Bosses Assume They’re Experts, While Leaders Learn
- Bosses Shut Down Communication, While Leaders Listen
- Bosses Stay The Same, While Leaders Seek Self-Improvement
- Bosses Are Driven By Numbers, While Leaders Are Driven By Values
Nicki Sanders’ personal philosophy on leadership:
- Leadership is a privilege
- Leadership is about impact and influence, not a title
- Leadership is earned, not taken
- Leadership is about transformation, not transactions
- Great leaders create more great leaders
I understand that many people may disagree, and that’s perfectly legitimate, but I know you can be more than a Boss. You can be a leader. You have what it takes to be an amazing woman of color in human services leadership. Are you ready?
Level up your leadership potential in my Uplevel Your Position Career Development Program which launches on September 13, 2021. Registration closes on September 7, 2021, but don’t procrastinate because there are only 10 slots available. The investment for the September 2021 Uplevel Your Position Program is just $484.80 in honor of my 48th birthday on 4/8 – Yes, I’m celebrating all year!
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Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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