Do you consider yourself a leader or the boss? 

This question doesn’t just apply to the workplace. It can also refer to your home and personal relationships.


Do you lead people or just tell them what you want to be done without any consideration or explanation because you’re the boss?

Do you encourage, inspire others, and develop your team, or do you use criticism and protect your own interests?

The world is full of bad bosses or boss-holes (boss + asshole)

There are far too few great leaders.

Since good leaders are rather scarce, you can really make a name for yourself by becoming a “bossome” (an awesome boss) leader. You’ll enjoy more career opportunities and have far fewer challenges reaching your personal and professional goals.

Being a leader is helpful at home, too. Kids and loved ones would rather deal with a leader than a boss-hole.

Some effective leadership qualities reminders to become a “bossome” leader people trip over their own feet to follow:

1. Lead by example. A boss-hole likes to sit on the sidelines, allow others to do the hard work, and take all the credit. A leader is out in front of their people, showing the way. A leader is involved. A boss-hole just makes a request and walks away.

2. A purpose drives leaders. There is an overall goal or mission. Often a long term vision for the future. The people following the leader must be inspired and empowered and understand the mission. This is very different from providing a to-do list without any context or direction other than the power play of “because I said, and I’m the boss!”

3. Leaders delegate. Boss-holes micromanage. A leader trusts their people, but a boss-hole struggles to relinquish control. A great leader has surrounded themself with people that complement their weaknesses. A boss-hole hires employees that don’t make them feel threatened. A boss-hole always has a weaker team. The team can’t accomplish as much because they’re not empowered. The team is also weaker because the boss-hole doesn’t want strong team members that might shine brighter than they do. 

4. Leaders value earned respect. A boss-hole wants to be feared and uses that fear and threats to gain compliance. A leader is focused on using their enthusiasm, skill, influence, and experience to become a leader people choose to follow. Those that follow a boss-hole secretly want them to fail.

5. A leader develops other leaders. A true leader is constantly supporting and developing team members with the knowledge and experience to take their place. A boss-hole is afraid of the competition. A boss-hole is afraid they’ll be replaced and is too self-centered to be concerned about others’ career aspirations and development. 

6. Leaders know how to inspire and motivate. They understand that no two employees are the same and all team members are essential. They know their employees well enough to know how to encourage them. A boss-hole simply says, “It is what it is. This is what needs to be done. You can always look for another job if you don’t like it.” Successful leaders use authentic techniques for motivation, while boss-holes tend to criticize.

7. Leaders take responsibility. When the team fails, the leader is still out in front, taking the brunt of the criticism. A boss-hole is trying to absolve themselves of as much responsibility as possible. A boss-hole is quick to blame his employees. A leader is quick to blame themself, fix it, and not point fingers at others.

Think back over your career. Good chance, you’ve had plenty of boss-holes and hopefully at least a couple of “bossome” leaders. It’s not enjoyable to work for someone that fits into the boss-hole category. You feel like you’re running in the dark with little support and few development opportunities to do work that matters. Learn from those traits and behaviors. 

It’s much more enjoyable to work for a good leader. Develop your leadership skills. Step into your leadership role. You’ll be helping yourself, your employees, and your family.

Lead on you “bossome” effective leader you!

Rebecca Morgan, PhD, is an award-winning former Disney leader and founder of The Awesome Leader League (T.A.L.L.), the ultimate collection of leadership skills, strategies, tools, and resources to lead the team everyone wants to be on while skyrocketing your career. Without EVER being a soul-sucking “boss-hole.” Join us here.

Skip to content