Leading vs. Managing vs. Bossing

The definition of Leading is exercising leadership by providing direction or guidance.

The definition of Managing is to direct or supervise employees or other staff by exerting control.

The definition of Bossing is to give orders to, especially in an arrogant or domineering manner.

Leaders generally try and empower, educate and uplift people working under them in an organization. At times they many need to manage employees who have gone off track, but generally only use this to optimize short term results. Although sometimes managing and bossing can feel the same to the employee, good leaders never have to result to bossing.

Managers generally try to motivate employees to meet business needs. At times the pressure for results will force managers to exert control over their employees to get results. This can generally fee like bossing. Employees that feel like they are constant being directed to do things that are unclear to them how and/or why they are doing it never feel like they are being lead.

People who are in positions of authority who are always bossing are not well liked by their employees. Employees do not feel valued or appreciated when they are constantly being bossed. Bosses use fear and intimidation to drive results, which generally fall short of business goals.

The ironic thing about these definitions is Bosses don’t generally realize they are Bosses. They think they are good managers and even good leaders. Managers generally know they are not Bosses, which is good, but they generally are not in a situation where they can be good leaders.

On the other hand, Good Leaders are always cautious of trying not to fall into the traps of managing people or being the boss.  They constantly appreciate feedback to help themselves improve and see their own style of running a business as always evolving.

For a business to be successful you need leaders who can occasionally manage and once in a while be a boss, but most of their time is spent trying take the business to a higher level. That’s my dream for DMAIPH.


Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Council of the Philippines and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization.

Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.


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