The leader leads and the boss commands!

“Big Boss-day” 

Last week I attended a great seminar about leadership. From 8.15 am to 5.30 pm – a full day! 13 prominent leaders from different companies and organizations, all getting 25 minutes each to give their view of what good leadership is. The audience was 350 business executives and leaders from all over Sweden. It was all arranged by the magazine “Chef” (Chief) and held at the beautiful venue “The Winter Garden” at The Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Service was ok but I was not impressed by the food, had expected much more from such a well-known hotel. Nevertheless I had a great day.

First speaker of the day was Margot Wallström. She is a well-known politician in Sweden and I would say in Europe too. She has been an active politician in the European Union and she also has assignments in the UN. Her big message about how you become a good leader and boss is by getting to know yourself first. What kind of personality you have, how you like to communicate, what your dreams for your own life are, who you want to be etc. She set the standard for all the other speakers, most of them pointed at this statement in their discussions.

I am very happy Margot Wallstöm talked about this. It confirmed my way of dealing with leaders and bosses in my mentoring programs. I most often start the process with a personality/communication analysis to help my clients find out their spot on the communication map. From there it is much easier to find the path for a good leadership both for bosses and leaders. Have you done this kind of analysis? It is both fun and instructive – read more

I guess it is time to sort out the concepts of the role of a boss versus a leader. Being the boss is a formal assignment, a role you get paid for, a position in a ranking and you have the power to give orders that others have to follow. Being a leader is an informal position given to you by someone who wants to follow you. A leader has no formal power but if he/she has many followers this informal leadership can be very powerful. Independent of what your position is you benefit from self-knowledge.

Among the others who also talked at the seminar was CEO´s from big companies, entrepreneurs, politicians and debaters from different areas. As said above most of them agreed that self-knowledge is the foundation of good leadership. Many of them also witnessed about the positive effect of having very frequent evaluations with their employees, sometimes as often as every week. Might take a lot of time but it also get good control of what is going on in the company. Other good tips were about structuring your time and about finding the story of the company and communicate that to everybody in the organization.

What is good leadership to you? Do you have any tips you like to share? Are you a leader or a boss or perhaps both? Please share your experience in this area!

If you find this information useful I would be happy if you share it in your network. Maybe you even know someone who really needs this – feel free to give them the link to this blogpost.

If you need professional help maybe Dr Annika´s mentoring program for business leaders “Strategies to cope as business leader” will suit you. The groups are small with maximum six participants to keep it confidential; the program can also be done individually. You can also get the program as teleseminar in groups or individual via Skype. Read more (Swedish) or contact for more information.

Keep smiling!

3 thoughts on “The leader leads and the boss commands!

  1. It is interesting at my childrens school they are studying what type of learner they are- auditory, visual, etc. It helps them learn how to best learn and communicate their needs to others. I think it can be applied later in life in how they lead others!

  2. You have some good points here! I was recently at a popular and very expensive hotel which the service and food were below average. What a disappointment!

    I think it is important also, that we learn our personality types so we can be on the same page and get along better.

    Are you a leader or a boss? Being the boss leaves those who surround you feel managed and often pushed around–BOSSY by the boss vs. collaboration by a leader.

    Thank you for your insight.

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