I have to be honest; I hate the term boss. When someone refers to me as their boss, I almost feel like I'm doing something wrong as a leader.
Forgive me for making me think I'm the boss.
There are so many differences in a boss and a leader, if only in connotation.
A boss seems to have all the answers—even if they really don't. A leader solicits input to arrive at the right answer.
A boss tells. A leader asks.
A boss can be intimidating—if only by title. A leader should be encouraging—even if in a time of correction.
A boss dictates while a leader delegates.
A boss demands while a leader inspires.
A boss controls systems while a leader spurs ideas.
A boss manages policies; a leader enables change.
People follow a leader willingly. You have to pay someone—or force them—to follow a boss.
By connotation, there is really only one boss.
In fairness, there are times I have to be the boss. Even the "bad guy" boss—at least in other people's perception. But I much prefer to be a leader.
In any healthy organization there will be many leaders. Do you work for a boss or do you serve with a leader?
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.