5 Tips To Help You
Become A Leader
(Not A Boss)
Authority is just the position.
Leadership is the character of the player
By Rob de Luca
A while back, we reflected on the difference
between authority and leadership, or more
concretely, the difference between a leader and a
boss. Just looking at the two words a little more
critically makes it clear there’s a difference.
After all, how different does “Boss from Where You
Are” sound compared to “Lead from Where You Are”?
If that’s the case, why does it often seem that people
in positions of authority believe the two concepts
are equivalent? They express confusion when their
title doesn’t automatically inspire devotion, and they
become frustrated when projects take longer than
estimated or don’t meet their expectations. They
might blame poor process or inattention to detail, or
even a lack of respect. However, it’s more likely the
reason is poor leadership.
What is Authority?
Authority, whether given, earned, or taken, is the
right to make and enforce decisions. A general has
the authority to send an army into battle. Doctors
have the authority to prescribe medical treatment.
Likewise, your boss probably has the authority to hire,
direct, promote, and fire you, but you also have the
authority to decide whether or not you want to work
Authority is the right to use power, but it is not the
same as power. A bully doesn’t have the authority
to take your lunch money, and using their power to
do so does not give them that right. Likewise, while
you have the authority to decide to quit working, your
financial situation or some other reason may leave
you feeling powerless to exercise that right.
What is Leadership?
Leadership, on the other hand, is the ability to lead
people. It’s not power, although leadership can make
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