How To Add Value To Others

A boss can influence people but have no real followers. A leader must only influence followers. A boss has workers who follow because they have to. A leader has a team who follow because they want to.

People from all over the world debate what exactly a leader is, and they do this every day. When you think of our “world leaders”, would you actually call them “world leaders?” Do you really want to follow them? Because, that is exactly what a leader is, a person who has followers.

A leader is not a person who has people reporting into them, or someone who has the title of supervisor or manager. Do you have followers right now?

1. Adding Value To Others

To be a leader, you must add value to others, and it is really important what you value. That’s the difference between a leader and a boss. I bet that right now you are wondering whether your line manager or your boss adds value to you, it’s only natural to think that.


Try not to think about it, it will draw up things that you might blame them for, or might like them less for. It’s important that you keep an open mind here.

Rather than think if your boss adds value to you or not, think about how you can add value to them. By that I mean, how can you help your boss? What can you offer to him/her in terms of help that will add value? My main purpose for this section is for you to think a bit differently here.

I want you to look within, and think about yourself. My articles are not just about being a leader at work, it is about being a leader in life also. Whether you’re at home, out with friends or on holiday. We need to be the same person and display the same leadership qualities wherever we are and whoever we are with.

2. What Do You Value?

Do you know the difference between a boss and a leader? If you do, what would you rather be? What do you value? If you value having the position, job title and power over the team, then you will be a boss.

If you value having a positive influence on the team, then you will be a leader. That’s a decision you have to make, so make the right decision because this is where you create the future you really want.

The difference between a boss and a leader is how they make us feel. If you have children, or young members of the family, even though they are not leadership experts, they can tell the difference between a boss and leader….believe me.

On many occasions throughout my career, I worked with more bosses than I did leaders. I know this because they made me feel:

  • Guilty
  • Small
  • Afraid
  • Alone
  • Weak
  • Defeated
  • Tired
  • Used
  • Bad
  • Dumb
  • Powerless

On the other occasions when I did work with a leader, I know I did because they made me feel:

  • Responsible
  • Tall
  • Brave
  • Supported
  • Strong
  • Invincible
  • Inspired
  • Valued
  • Good
  • Smart
  • Powerful

Think back to when you were a child, and when you were with your parents. Could you tell if they were leaders or bosses? Was one of your parents a leader and the other a boss? My mother is definitely a leader and a boss at the same time, depending on who she is talking to (I have three older brothers), or if we were being naughty.

I definitely follow my mother. My father is definitely a leader because he did so much for us and helped us in his own unique way, and he is one of the reason’s I am building this website and helping others. I want to do so much to help you.

Are you a parent? If you are, then be honest with yourself. Does your child or children consider you a leader or a boss? When your children look at you every day, what do they see? If you look at the two lists above, how do you make your children feel? Do you care how you make your children feel?

3. Being A Boss And Being A Leader

As a hard worker working in your current position and team, your line manager or supervisor sometimes has to be a leader and sometimes has to be a boss depending on the situation. What is he/she the most?

Do they lead at the right times? Do they boss at the right times? You can tell this because when they are leading, they are selling, and when they are bossing, they are telling.

To be a leader within the team, your team members will be the ones who determine this. They do this because they will know that you believe in them, and you make them feel great.

If people feel great around you then your leadership and your influence increases. If they feel bad around you then your leadership and influence decreases.

So, when you interact with people, even if the conversation is not about a pleasant topic, you need to apply your leadership principles to ensure the person you are interacting with still feels good around you.

If you can do that, then your people will definitely spread a positive message about you.

4. Being Honest With Yourself

If you are reading this and you are a supervisor/team leader or you are a manager, then be honest with yourself. Does your team look at you and see a boss or a leader? Does your team feel great when they are around you? Does your team feel bad when they are around you?

How much do you care about how you make them feel? How do you feel when you are around your team? It is a two way street, but to make your team feel great, you really need to care about them.

Be the leader that you want to see in others. Your leader may or may not be a great leader, but that shouldn’t stop you being a great leader. If you have a team of your own, change yourself so you are that leader you wish you always had.

As I have said before, leading yourself and leading people is not about the position or the job title. Leading you and leading people is about the decision that you make on a daily basis.

Before I took up the position of a supervisor or a manager in my career, I always questioned myself if I had what it takes to be a leader. I knew I could be, but at that moment in time, “did I fit the mould?” I would ask myself.


Ask yourself, if you have a position of a supervisor/manager or not, do you think you fit the mould right now of a leader?

To be a highly effective leader takes courage. To be a highly effective leader takes confidence. To be a highly effective leader, you must have the ability to listen to the needs of others. To be a highly effective leader, you must have the empathy and the compassion to understand the needs of others.

Go through the two lists above, and be honest with yourself. Are you striving to become a highly effective leader leader, RIGHT NOW?

A true leader does not decide that he/she is a leader, the team, friends, family and associates decide that. They decide it on how they make them feel.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

22 thoughts on “How To Add Value To Others

  1. Great article Tom.

    True leadership is often misunderstood and I’m glad you’ve brought it to people’s attention! I too often see how some people, once they’ve climbed the ladder, demand people’s respect, rather than try to earn it. I get it, sacrifice and hard work got them there, but it doesn’t mean everyone else owes them. A true leader knows how to get the best out of people and doesn’t demand it via a power trip.

    Look forward to the next one!


    1. Hi Gareth,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found the article valuable.

      You’re right, no leader could or should demand respect. Respect is earned, and that goes for every single person on the planet.

      They can however, be a role model to their people and lead their people down the right path by being the example. This will earn them great respect and trust.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


    1. Hi Brianna,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found the article helpful. Be sure to read my other articles as I’m certain they will help you too.

      All the best,


  2. So good! A good leader brings out the best in others so they naturally want to follow. When a control-boss controls they may have the appearance of leading in the situation but not real influence. Great article!

    1. Hi Christy,

      Thank you for your comment. Really pleased that you found the article helpful.

      Bring out the best for your your people and leading by example is the only way. A leader who wants control all the time is not empowering their people and does not trust their people. They are the wrong person for that role, unless they can be developed and that has to start with themselves.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  3. I never once thought that deeply about the truest meaning of the word “Leader” but you are absolutely right, they are a person who others want to follow. This is in total contrast to Boris Johnson’s best mate Cummings for example, who is just a blatant hypocrite.

    1. Hi Simon,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you have thought a lot deeper about leadership and starting to understand it’s true meaning.

      I totally agree with you. Politics all over the world is not the best advert for what a leader really is at the minute. We need highly effective leaders.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  4. You have written a fine article about being a boss and being a leader, I feel anyone can be a boss and boss people around, but being a leader takes much more special skills. People who are leaders get more respect from their team, and this gives them the motivation to be more productive and more dedicated to their leaders


    1. Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. I’m really pleased you have returned and find the article valuable.

      You are right, being a boss and bossing people around is not a difficult thing to do. But it makes people feel awful, and decreases your influence with them. Being a leader is a very difficult and challenging role, but it is absolutely necessary if we want to help people to be their best for themselves and for the team.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  5. Hi Tom! I appreciate your article!! You are so right is displaying the difference between a leader and a boss. I love the clarity that you bring to the delineation by stating that a leader is always selling while a boss is always telling. And it’s not just a cool sounding quote, it’s quite true! A boss (and using the word loosely, could mean best friend, spouse, pastor, cop, etc….) will tell you what to do with a sense of superiority, while a leader will constantly show you what to do by their own lifestyle and attitude. And people want to be like that leader! The positive vibe is contagious. People want to emulate that likable person. Speaking of vibe, the vibe of this article reminds me of the book by Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

    Anyway, thanks for the positive jolt to start my day, keeping others in mind all day.


    1. Hi Darrin,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. I’m so pleased that you found the article valuable and that it helped you in starting your day off positively.

      I love how you have resonated with the difference between a boss and a leader. I totally agree with you that people will want to follow the leader because of how they SHOW them. They are following the leader because they WANT to not because they HAVE to.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  6. Another great article Tom, everything you say is soooo true. I have seen many bosses through out my 27 years in the military and very few Leaders. Those that are Leaders makes a shop or group function like a well oiled machine. A boss causes so many conflicts, disgruntled people and the shop or unit functions like a rusty old worn out machine.

    The other thing I have seen is some people are born a natural leader, they are always concerned for the other person. And then there are others that just seem to be always out for one self and I believe that makes the biggest difference between a Leader and a Boss.

    Thanks again Tom for an awesome article, looking forward to the next one as usual.

    1. Hi Rick,

      Thank you for your comment and your kind words. It’s amazing that you found the article valuable.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences in the military over 27 years, well done for serving your country for so long. Being a leader is such a difficult role, whereas a boss is a lot easier. I have also experienced similar to you between seeing more bosses than leaders in my life.

      Let’s be the leaders we wish we had and help others to be the same.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


      1. Yes will do for sure. Those that have it naturally to lead don’t seem to be able to stop leading which is a good thing of course. The best we can do is teach others to lead however I have seen some that just don’t seem to get it. cheers

        1. Hi Rick,

          Everybody has the ability to lead, all we need to do, as you say is teach people. There are certain skills that people are stronger in, and there are also people who just don’t want to pursue a life as a leader.

          Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

          All the best,


  7. I have worked with many bosses but only a few true leaders. At the same time, I have learned so much more from those few leaders and am thankful for all that they have taught me over the years. Thanks for the informative and inspiring post.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that the article has resonated with you.

      I have had a similar experience to you by working with more bosses than leaders. That is why I am committed to helping leaders and aspiring leaders to be highly effective and be the best versions of themselves they can be.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  8. TOO TRUE. I’ve had way too many just bosses, and only one leader. Although I work mostly for myself, I will always work at least a few hours a week for my boss, who is a great LEADER! I feel appreciated when working for her and that feeling cannot be replaced. That’s what makes employee stay. I hope this article reaches many ‘bosses’, and opens there eyes to growth!

    Thank you for posting, I just shared with a friend and we laughed so hard (both having worked for the same BOSSY BOSS) lol, very relatable.

    1. Hi Courtney,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased you found the article valuable and thank you for sharing it too. I hope your friend resonates with this article just as much as you have.

      I still keep in touch with a mentor of mine who was an amazing leader. He has been so helpful to me. My advice is to never let that relationship with your leader go, keep it up and keep helping others.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


  9. Hi Tom,

    Superb article delivered once more. You’ve literally highlighted what many people are missing out – being leaders in life. It just makes you wonder how nasty bosses are at home doesn’t it?

    Being singular in how you are at work and in life is important because it shows the true character of the person.

    HOW the leaders make us FEEL is the major difference and what sets them apart from regular bosses.

    Their ability to serve makes it easy for others to serve them in return.

    Do keep up with the amazing job.


    1. Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your comment and your very kind words. I’m so pleased that you found the article valuable.

      Your reflections on how leaders make us FEEL most certainly is the difference. How a boss makes us feel can be very damaging to us as individuals and as a team. A leader is one who makes us feel great, and when we feel great we are far more likely to give our best.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,


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