Leader vs Boss

I had a casual conversation with one of the leaders in my business team the other day when we talked about general issues in the workplace and how we can relate, engage, communicate and think of ideas on how to improve situations.

Yes, most of my leaders are working full-time in their own fields – corporate, education, management, and technical professionals, and lead their business teams at the same time.

For long as I knew her, she is a very dedicated, passionate and strong-willed person. She was always there when I asked for help and know she can always seek help when she was in need.

Like many other leaders in my team, she is indeed a good leader and an avid learner. Plus, she is a Blue Colored Brain leader. In case you wonder how generally a Blue Colored Brainer leader acts and responds, I will share about it in other posts, so stay tuned! For a quick reference, click here.

Back to our conversation.

So she told me about a trainee under her supervision. And based on her observation, she said, “Most of the time, I have to act as a boss, not a leader with that trainee”.

She paused. I waited.

“Specific instructions like what he needs to do and when I need them.”

“So what about a leader?”, I asked. 
“Coaching; makes him think and allows him to make a decision – which also means allowing him to make mistakes, and earn responsibility for it. A leader doesn’t give instructions on what people have to do but teaches them why and how, and inspires enthusiasm until people naturally become motivated and productive.”

“Of course, I put back my ‘leader hat’ after that. Young trainees couldn’t appreciate most of their work and tasks because they don’t see the bigger picture of how their completion of tasks weighs others. They feel their tasks are useless and not challenging enough for their qualifications.”

“They need to be taught how and why questions. If they are patient and enthusiastic about their career in the field, they will self-learn and be proactive to move forward.” I agree with all her points. In my mind, I said– I coach her well. Hahaha

I will share some additional points in my next post!

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