July 20, 2016 | Posted in Leadership | By

Are you a boss or a leader? Really think about, your actions will let you know which you are. A BOSS…takes credit, commands tasks, generates fear, says I, drains people and knows how it is done. A LEADER…gives credit, ask tasks, inspires enthusiasm, says we, helps people grow and shows how it is done.

Which one are you?

Over the course of my 23 year career, I have had the opportunity to work for many “a boss” and many “leaders.” I learned many things from both, but was able to accomplish more, be more motivated and grow as an empowered team member under the leaders.

Being a “leader” does require more effort – you are not only working towards the end goal, but you are focused on teamwork, empowerment and helping your team grow along the way. Your team is learning and growing as a team, growing from mistakes and getting credit as a team for what they have done.

I have also learned much from the “boss.” Much of what I learned is what I try NOT to do each day with my teams. A boss is someone who is at the center of attention while a leader is someone who brings the entire team to the center of attention.


When you look at the definition of a boss compared to a leader, the definition is almost identical, but it is the traits that set the two apart.

Definition of a boss – a person in charge of a worker or organization.

Definition of a leader – the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.

Traits that distinguish a boss:
1 – Drive Employees
2 – Depends on authority
3 – Inspires fear
4 – Says “I”
5 – Places blame for breakdowns
6 – Knows how it is done
7 – Uses people
8 – Takes Credit
9 – Commands
10 – Says “Go”
11 – Impersonal
12 – Micromanages
13 – Thinks short term
14 – Focused on process

Traits that distinguish a leader:
1 – Coaches Employees
2 – Creates goodwill
3 – Generates entheusiam
4 – Says “We”
5 – Fixes the breakdowns
6 – Shows how it is done
7 – developes people
8 – Gives Credit
9 – Asks
10 – Says “Let’s Go”
11 – Compassionate
12 – Delegates
13 – Thinks long term
14 – Focused on people

People may respect the boss, but everyone loves the leader. Be a leader for your team!

About Bernie

With more than 23 years of experience in marketing, Bernie is the Director of Digital Marketing at Papa John’s International, based in Louisville, KY. His current focus is building and scaling a progressive digital marketing foundation that balances the needs of both consumers and national/local stakeholders —  all while delivering measurable ROI to the business.

Additionally, Bernie oversees brand representation for Papa John’s digital properties and manages direct-to-consumer channels including email, SMS and push messaging. Recent initiatives have centered around bringing together larger promotional efforts with targeted campaigns to engage the consumer at the precise moment of interest.

Follow Bernie on Twitter @B2the7 or @B7_Design & the B2The7 blog @ http://b2the7.com/b2the7

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