Homework: Bossiness vs. Leadership

The teachers are looking for lots of ways for Year 6 students to be leaders in the school this year. However, lots of people get confused and think that leadership is the same as being bossy.

What is the difference? Think about it. Discuss it with people. Then, make a comment on the Bossiness vs. Leadership posting on the blog:

  1. Yasmin
    August 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Leadership is not being bossy, Its just telling people that they have to go to the big steps because they forgot their hat.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Yasmin,

      Can you please explain what you are saying – it’s a bit confusing!

  2. August 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Leadership- Leadership means giving instructions in a nice way. So the leader also help people in a nice way.

    Bossiness- Bossiness means telling people in a mean way. So bossy people want to people to do things for them. And bossy people sometimes also threaten people so they will do it

    Leadership= Advice
    Bossiness= Force

    By Madhav

    • Mr. Sam
      August 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      I really like the last two statements:

      “Leadership= Advice
      Bossiness= Force”

      But, how do leaders get people to follow their advice?

  3. Stefan
    August 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Leadership is when you guide other people and give instructions in a nice way that your also helping the person. It also means that you can motivate others to do what is needed.

    Bossiness is when you force somebody to do something that they don’t want to do and they might not understand why they are doing it.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      I really like your definition of bossiness, particularly the fact that people might not know why they do things when people boss them around.

      • Jin
        August 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm

        I think Mr. Sam a year ago you put a posting that was about bossiness and leadership. Ranvir said that people have to be bossy to be leaders or your group will be way off. So leadership sometimes includes bossiness.

  4. Yuki
    August 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Leadership- I think leadership means to help people when they’re stuck and when they need help. It also means to be a good model to other little kids for example like Mr. Sam said we need to be a good model at the cafeteria so little kids would know that starting a food fight is bad and eating normally and raising your hand after you ate your food is good. If you want to be a leader you have to treat people equally and respectfully. No matter where they come from, no matter how disgusting they are and no matter even if he/she is not your friend we still have to treat people some respect.

    Being bossy- Being bossy means to force people to do this and to do that. The bad point of being bossy is that you might lose your friends. Bossy people mostly think they have power and they still want more power so they can control others. Their life is just cruel and bad so they get stressed every day and the only way to clear the stress is to boss people around and make them feel unhappy, bad and sad.

    Leadership=respectful, helpful, a good model and people who don’t boss people around

    Bossy=people who boss people around, people who don’t give chances and people who think they’re the best so they can do anything they want.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      I really agree with you about good leaders being excellent role models. I also love your definitions at the end of your comment.

  5. Mari
    August 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I think leardership means just to help people who needs help. But bossiness means when you tell the person what to do and that person has to do what ever you say. Leadership is just giving advice to help.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      BUt, what if the leaders want people to do something but the people don’t do it? How do leaders get them to do what they want without being bossy?

  6. August 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Hi 6SS,

    I think if you are a leader you have to encourage you team and not use put downs. I think when people here that they are suposed to be a leader they thunk well I am a leader so I should boss everyone around and control them that is not what you are supposed to do if you are a leader you have to let everyone talk about there ideas because yours are not always the best! Being a leadr does not mean you are in CHARGE it means you lead your group through the challenge and not control it.

    If you are a bossy person you are usually also a control freak (a bit like me) which makes you team sad and because you are the leader they think “oh we have to do that to” that would just put your whole group in to a big argument.



    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      You’re right, Billy, the leader’s ideas are not always the best. They’re leaders because they are the best at knowing which ideas are the best, even when they are other people’s ideas!

  7. Vin
    August 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Leadership-I think Leadership means to help people. It means that we have to set a good example for others e.g. we raise our hands after we finish eating so the teacher knows we’re leaving. Sometimes, when people are being a leader and not being bossy, some people think they are bossy because they are lazy and the leader is being disciplined. But if you are a leader, you also have to treat people with respect and listen to what they are going to say.

    Bossiness- Being bossy means to force people to do something they don’t like and threaten them and yell at them when they don’t want to do it. Bossy could lose their friends if they boss them around too much. Bossy people are self-centered and think that they are so good and better than others.

    Leadership= Being helpful and respectful, Being a good model for other people, giving people advice

    Bossiness= People who are self-centered showoffs, people who are cruel and mean

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      YOu are so right, Vin, most bossy people are self-centred and do end up just being mean to other people. We call it “intimidation” – other people bow down to them because they are afraid of being humiliated or even sometimes hurt physically or emotionally.

  8. Tamanna
    August 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Hello Mr Sam,

    I think bossiness means to just do what other people say and they threaten others to just make their work done right away.

    I think leadership means that one person is leading the group to the right way I mean so they do it correctly. I also think it means making sure if everything is in order and is going right. I agree with Madhav about leadership= good advice & bossiness= force.

    Thank you

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      Yes, Tamanna, very often bossy people use threats to get people to do what they want.

  9. Petanque
    August 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Mr.Sam,

    What is the difference between BOSSINESS and LEADERSHIP?

    BOSSINESS: when you are being bossy you tell people what they have to do, it’s kind of like forcing them to do something. Being bossy also means you order people and you tell them what they have to do. For example in a situation that has happen to my mom when she was working. “My colleagues at Citibank use to boss me around and kept telling me what to do for my work.” Also at school when you are doing a group work and the person who gets chosen to be the leader starts ordering and doesn’t appreciate what we are doing so they get bossy and tell us to do it better or again. Also if you are bossy you you kind of get mean and say bad things or put downs to people.

    LEADERSHIP: If you are a leader that means you lead, like you do something so that other people might follow you or you help guide people and help them. Being a leader you have to encourage people to do things, giving them advice and asking them. For example the behavior of a year six kid, if you act well and behave well other kids will follow what you do but we have to show them, we have to be their model otherwise if we act really bad the younger kids think its okay too for them to be bad, since the year six is bad then why can’t they behave badly.


    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Modeling is so powerful. I have seen it in many schools – the Year 6 students start to behave really badly because they’re the oldest kids in the school and then all the younger kids start to copy their behaviour. Scientists believe it is because we have things called “mirror neurons” in our brains which make us copy and learn from others – both good and bad behaviour. I’ll show you a video in class.

  10. Tammy
    August 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Mr. Sam

    Bossiness is not the same as leadership because bossiness is when people tell you to do something when you don’t really want to do it but you are forced to. Sometimes it can make people argue or uncomfortable. Many bossy people think they have power to control others, also no one wants to be their friends. So Bossiness= forcing

    Leadership is not letting your team down by supporting, encouraging them to accomplish their goals or work. The leader should give them chances to discuss and share their ideas. This will make the team feel better than forcing them to work. A leader needs to help their team when they have any problems. We should take turns to be a leader in our class so everyone can practice being a good leader. So Leadership= good advice

    Tammy 🙂

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Yes, bossiness often result in people arguing or feeling uncomfortable, not people doing their best. I like the idea of leaders giving their teams lots of opportunities to discuss their work.

  11. Mara
    August 23, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Hi guys,

    I think leadership means to not be bossy, but to be the leader so for example, leaders could be nice and friendly and give people chances. But bossiness means to be all rude and not listen to other people ideas and bossy people also hurt somebody’s

    • Mara
      August 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm


      Mara 😀

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      Can leaders always be nice and friendly? Is that really possible?

  12. August 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Hi 6ss. I’m Am, and ex-6ss-student.

    For me, leadership means guiding and helping others, but mainly controlling and stabilizing. I’ve had a lot of leadership experiences and being a leader does include being bossy, but sometimes. If you’re a leader, your job is to keep things together and controlling the team.

    Being bossy isn’t necessarily being mean, it just means that you are taking your role of being a leader too extreme and thinking about yourself too much as well as not being considerate. Like some of you said best bossy can also hurt your peers and not respecting your classmates.

    Being a leader is hard, but being a leader doesn’t always mean being nice and not bossy…

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      I like the fact that you said bossy people are often thinking about themselves too much and not really thinking about the needs of the group.

  13. Biliana
    August 23, 2011 at 9:45 am

    “Leadership is about making the clock and not about telling the time”
    Collins and Porras

    • Jin
      August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Ms. biliana

      That quote is inspiring!

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      But, how do you make sure people look at the clock?

  14. gina
    August 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Leadership- listening to other people’s opnion and trying to make the best choice for every one

    Bossiness-is a person who doesn’t listen to others and yells at people and makes there feeling hurt

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Yes, leaders are definitely people who are good at making the right choices, even if they don’t agree with those choices 100%.

  15. Jimin
    August 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Bossy people tell people what to do and if they don’t obey them, they just yell at people. Also they don’t listen to other people. Bossy people can hurt other people’s feelings and everything has to be their way.

    The leaders makes their team don’t give up and listens to
    other people and makes the best choice out of the ideas.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      I love your definition of leaders, Jimin.

  16. Caitie:)
    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Hi. I think being bossy is saying things to people in a mean way and ordering people around. And acting like you are the ruler.

    I think a leader is some one who gives ideas in the group and in a kind way.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Yes, how do people feel if they are just ordered around all the time? Do they feel like doing their best?

  17. aryan
    August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I think bossiness is when you order people around leadership is when you explain that you should do this because then you will do a part.

    So bossiness is ignoring else and leadership is listening to other people.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Listening to other people is important for leaders, but what if people around ;leaders give them too much bad advice?

  18. Zola
    August 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm


    I think a leader is someone who encourages the team. A person who doesn’t put others down.

    A bossy person is someone that gives orders to the society without discussing.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      Yes, giving orders without discussing is a true sign of bossiness. But, can you discuss everything all of the time?

  19. Hannah
    August 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I think that bossiness is when you tell people to do things that you don’t actually have to do and they have no right to boss you around like that, they might not be able to do it themselves and they’re scared to show that so they let other people do it and usually they punish you by saying bad things about you which might not even be true. Those bossy people are usually spoiled so when they don’t get something, they get really angry.

    When you are being a leader you remind people with having the permission to or you have been asked to do it. You are also a leader when you give Ideas but are also ready to compromise, not Just use all your Ideas. You can be a natural leader because your ancestors founded something and then they can’t take care of it any more and they ask you to take over the company, spa, condo, hotel, house etc. It is hard to be a leader, to manage whatever they are a leader of. Sometimes you are a leader in a group at school and your teacher thinks you are responsible, principled, organized and know how to be leader, because you don’t think leadership is bossing people around.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      You used a very important word, “compromise”. What exactly does that mean? Can anyone help Hannah to explain it?

  20. victor
    August 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    i think bossyness is just beying rood and your just tellying poeple what to do.

    beying a leader is helping poeple and poeple are happy to listne to your ideas.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      How do you make people “happy to listen to your ideas”?

  21. Pan
    August 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    What is the difference? Think about it. Discuss it with people. Then, make a comment on the Bossiness vs. Leadership posting on the blog:
    Leadership is when you help people when they need help. Guide them in a way that is not bossing them around like to do this and to do that.
    Bossiness is when you shout or tell people what to do in a rude what which makes them get annoyed and frustrated.

    • Pan
      August 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      You also need to encourage them

    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      What if people don’t think that they need help, but actually they do?

  22. August 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Leadership helps ordinary people to become better citizens of there country.


    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      But, who decides what a better citizen is like? If the leader decides, isn’t he/she just being bossy?

  23. Andrea
    August 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    Bossiness – Bossiness is a form of leadership actually. Bossy people actually want to take charge and control the group but they do it in the wrong way by ordering people around. It doesn’t work with humans because we all don’t enjoy being under the control of someone else. Like a puppy on a leash. The puppy would rather be free instead of having someone control it’s life.

    Leadership – Leadership is taking control and managing the situation but leaders don’t do it by ordering people around. They do it by just taking in charge of the situation and helping instead of bossing people around which doesn’t work.


    • Mr. Sam
      August 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      You are right, most people don’t like to be under the control of someone else, but many people actually are. Why is that?

  24. Vicky
    August 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Hi everyone!
    Leadership is different to bossing because in leadership, they don’t say words like, “Do this, do that.” Leadership means to be suggesting people when they don’t really work hard. If we have a good leadership, we should make good decisions when people give up or when people don’t work. Bossing around is different because they are like the boss and they just like order people to do it or if it’s more bad, they say words that upsets people.

  25. daniel
    August 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm


    I think leadership is different to bossiness because leadership is when you say your idea and also listen to others ideas. Bossiness is when you tell other people to this and do that and not cooperating with others.

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