Leaders and Bosses

The Boss/Leader Triangle

The Boss/Leader Triangle

I was supposed to make the third service, at least that was what I was aiming for. But a series of (fortunate) events pushed my timing towards the last service. Oh well, I’ll have to make do with that. I just thank God for the fact that the church had four services. In any case, I got in, found a nice place to sit which would give me a good view of Pastor Sam and waited for the service to begin.

The praise and worship was on point as usual and then the welcome note for first-timers. The senior pastor walked to the pulpit and started to deliver the sermon. It was a series on ‘Love’ and it was one of those days when he did different sermons in each service. The earlier services had listened to him talk about ‘Love & Justice’, ‘Love & Spirituality’ and ‘Love & the Physical’. Well, I hadn’t been in church for a while so I really didn’t have any idea of how far the series had gone. But that day, the service I attended was served a sermon on ‘Love & Leadership’ and somehow, I felt this would actually have been my preferred topic for the day. Listening to Pastor Sam speak, I kept nodding my head in appreciation of the truth he was telling.

What I learnt was what I already felt was right. We need leaders not bosses. Everyone has had a boss at one time or the other, or at least has an idea of what bosses do. But the unfortunate thing is that after most of us have finished complaining about, and sometimes cursing, our bosses, we turn out to be the same character to other people once we get to the same position. It sounds something like what our political situation is, right? Yea, its because we’re the same people. There’s no way a goat can give birth to a lion (except if the world is about to end now now!)

Now you might be wondering why I’m separating bosses and leaders, at least a boss is leading a group of workers to achieve a common goal. Well, that’s not quite correct. There’s a difference between leading a group and heading a group. Both can be combined, in which case the boss can be called a leader but in most cases, the boss remains the boss – the one at the helm of affairs. So what’s the difference? Well, the boss is more concerned about getting the job done while the leader prioritizes the people involved in getting the job done.

The Nigerian political landscape hardly sees any sort of leader. What we often get are bosses who end up not even bothering to get the job done. Then we resort to praising the bosses who seem to get the job done irrespective of how they got it done. It’s so sad that we do not even look for leaders anymore. As a consequence, none of us even aspires to be a true leader anymore. Yea, we hope to occupy leadership positions someday and change things but we don’t even know the true meaning of being a leader.

Pastor Sam said leaders are lovers and I agree totally. There’s no way a father who truly loves his family will make decisions that would harm them. They are the reason why he has been working so hard and will continue to work so hard. The family is the smallest unit in the society, so if the love that the father radiates in the family spreads to other facets of his life, you would be getting a true picture of a leader. At work, he might be heading the finance department of the company but if he treats the junior staff the way he treats his family at home then he won’t be just a boss but a leader.

The outside world could be very complicated because there’s a lot of things to deal with but the simple truth in leadership is the fact that there’s nothing more important than the people you lead. Not the goal, not the department, not the tools, not the setup but the people. In business, when you decide that a particular product is the best for your consumers and they clearly want something else, you’re supposed to adjust to their taste or you may soon be out of business. But if that product is genuinely better than what they want, then you would have to find a way to carefully prove it to them so they can see reason with you. That’s how you should treat the people you lead, with the respect and true care for the people who actually should determine the fate of your leadership.

I haven’t said most of what I intend to pass across so we’ll take this as an intro, and next time we’ll delve in much more.

Thank you for reading through. Contributions are welcome.

Signing Out!!!

The difference.

The difference.

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