Are You A Boss Or A Leader?

Are You A Boss Or A Leader?

“One’s self is at the base of everything. Every action is a manifestation of the self. A person who doesn’t know themselves can do nothing for others.” —Eiji Yoshikawa, Japanese historical novelist

When you think about the bosses you have had in your life, you’ll find there are at least three kinds:

1) Those who help you to become a better, more engaged employee and get your work done more effectively;

2) Those who hinder you and make it more difficult to get your work done;

3) Those who inspire you, help shape your character, and actually change your life. These kind of leaders don’t just make you a better employee, they make you a better person.

How is it that some bosses are merely bosses, while others become a true leader and may even end up serving as mentors? Why do some bosses merely manage the work, while others influence and build your moral fiber, model and teach new attitudes, behaviors and values, and create a constructive legacy for future generations? What is the distinction? And what can be done to turn people from a boss into a leader?

All organizations need bosses to manage the workflow and keep projects on schedule. But most organizations are over-bossed and under-led. It is our premise that the distinction between a “boss” and a “leader” ultimately lies in one’s presence, not in one’s position.

Leadership cannot be reduced to technique or position or power. Leadership comes from the strength of one’s authentic presence — the identity and integrity of the leader. At the core of all great leaders is an integrated human being. Simply put, being an authentic leader is synonymous with being yourself. It is that simple, and it is also that difficult.

Influencing others begins with knowing yourself. Leadership – the capacity to inspire and engage others toward a vision – is about presence, not position. This means you don’t need a title to be a leader; you only need a decision: to make the world a better place by your presence.

While most leadership development programs focus on the “practices” of leadership, ours focuses on the presence that lies at the core of leadership practices. While you can learn the tools, we help you develop yourself as the tool user: who you are as a person. With a stronger, more integrated presence, you become a better leader in every area of your life: at work, in your family, and in your community.

Regardless of their title, or even lack thereof, great leaders make the effort to understand what motivates them and what their priorities and personal values are. They strive towards alignment of what they do with who they are. This leads to discovering their authentic power and a truly rewarding and fulfilling life. When you discover this power, you will not only find the key to real leadership; you will find the key to life. A life aligned with your authentic self is life with greater balance, inner peace, vitality, meaning, and overall well-being. Leadership that is authentic helps those you love and serve reach unimaginable potential.

David Irvine
David Irvine
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