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  • Writer's pictureDavid Goldman

Are you a Boss or a Leader?

There’s a big difference between the two....

You don’t have to be a boss to be a leader. If you’re an Executive Assistant it’s probably true that you spend a lot of time with your executive and that you know so much about them, from personal to professional traits. But this usually isn’t the case the other way around. I think it’s safe to say that if your Executive is more of a boss and less of a leader, they probably know very little about you.

You work so hard to make your Executive’s life much easier and organized but you don’t feel like your boss gives you the respect and compassion you deserve. This is probably the case with those who have bosses that lack leadership skills. Here at Ruby Peak, we find it important to be a leader, no matter what position you are in. People value bosses who are leaders more than those who are impersonal and disconnected. Some differences between the two are as follows.

  1. A leader is someone who doesn’t think they are superior because they have a higher position than you. Rather, leaders see themselves as your equal, your teammate. You’re not just their assistant, you’re their friend and colleague who helps them take on their day to day tasks.

  2. People respect leaders and usually feel comfortable enough to ask them for help and guidance. This typically does not apply to bosses as most people fear them and avoid asking them for help. Most assistants are embarrassed to ask their bosses for help out of fear they are expected to assist the boss not ask the boss for assistance. Leaders welcome everyone to ask for help when it’s needed.

  3. Leaders encourage people and use statements such as “we” “our” and “us” opposed to bosses who more often use “I.” Leaders also don’t take full credit for all your hard work, they give credit where credit is due.

  4. Leaders are compassionate while bosses tend to be more firm and show little emotion. You don’t have to wear your emotions on your sleeve to be compassionate but being humble and sensitive to other’s feelings make for a great leader.

  5. Leaders tend to engage with their co workers while bosses often keep to themselves.

The best kind of boss is one that is also a great leaders and encourages their assistants to feel more like their colleagues than their subordinate. If you’re reading this and you’re in a higher level position, remember that companies with bosses who have leadership skills tend to generate more success because everyone around them isn’t afraid of sharing their great ideas and asking for help.


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