Report question

Note: your identity will not be shared with the person who sent you this message.
This field is required

Can leaders really make their business run without them? (Boss vs Leader)

As a self employed man looking to create his first service based business, I feel guilty because the idea of being a boss instead of being a leader sounds way more attractive to me.

For what I've been reading, it seems like leaders have to be everybody's assistant, instructor, motivator, mentor, problem fixer, not to say they have to make a huge emotional investment on employees, becoming almost like a friend or parental figure. It also seems to me like leaders still work for the money, not the other way around, requiring an extreme amount of physical, mental and emotional investment and a great amount of pressure.

While on the other hand Bosses are being satanized for being 'cold', not being always present, not 'caring', giving orders, setting restrictions and limits, setting up processes and systems and automating their business so they don't have to be present. They make the money work for them. They're not necessarily looking for friends or a family, maybe just a strictly and mutually respectful professional monetary driven relationship that will benefit both ends economically.

Am I wrong if I just want to be a boss? I really value my time and I want to set up other business in the future, I truly believe my business can be fully automated while treating an employee with dignity and respect.

There are some articles pointing that I should automate my business so I can 'fire myself', while others say I should be there and serve people.

Please share your thoughts or share your experience as this is driving me crazy!

Thanks in advance, Armando

Sign in to answer

2 answers

A business can temporarily run without a boss, but the boss has to make the major decisions. There are random things happening externally that could cause a setback or obstacle; this is where the boss plays a big role. Also, unless you have EVERY contingency accounted for, the boss has to worry about sabotage, emerging technology, and a strategic focus. Everyone under you essentially works to make a paycheck.

Report MM's answer

Note: your identity will not be shared with the person who sent you this message.
This field is required

The terms leader and manager ("Boss" in your question) cannot be used interchangeably. One is a science. The other is an art.

Leadership is a science and can be taught. I have known great military, scientific and technical leaders in their narrow bands of expertise who were lousy managers, did not aspire to be managers and generally were not managers. They could lead others, but lacked the vision to manage resources, time, communication and the big picture.

Excellent management is driven by innate personal qualities, which, when combined with leadership, create the management art. Below are two principal management attributes I have observed that make great managers different from great leaders:

  1. They know how much leadership to offer and how much to let the individual grow on his or her own. They strike the right balance between specific and generic guidance so the unique individual traits of the workers come through in the business model and solutions to problems, system design and success of the firm are derived from the people running the enterprise and not from the leader.

  2. They manage constructively by fostering an environment respectful of all points of view but drive to fulfilling progressive objectives as a first priority and blend differences of opinion decisively.

Report Kenneth's answer

Note: your identity will not be shared with the person who sent you this message.
This field is required