A Good Boss or a Good Mentor - The superior leader

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on November 20, 2011

The success of every organization and business is dependent on its human resources. The employees in a company are the biggest assets, who are eventually responsible for the growth of the business and for having an impact on the market. The better the workforce present in a company, the better is the efficiency and output of the company. However, to ensure that the workforce is motivated and channelize their energy in the right direction, it’s necessary to have a role model for the employees. But who is a better role model, a good boss or a good mentor?


There is a very fine line which probably distinguishes between a good boss and a good mentor. Infact, both personality types are beneficial for an organization as both have the ultimate aim of improving the results of a company. A good boss and a good mentor both lead by example and ensure that the workforce works to its potential and delivers the best possible results. Then what exactly is the differentiating factor between a boss and a mentor?

A good boss is a person who looks at bringing good business for the company by getting maximum work done from the "human resources". For a good boss, the employees are simply resources who are meant to deliver the services for which they are hired. A boss, no matter how good, looks down on his subordinates and gives them less personal support. A boss would look at his employees as a tool of productivity. The boss has his priority set on improving the company and bringing the best business for the company, by pushing his subordinates to deliver. Thus, the attitude of a good boss remains thoroughly professional and his prime priority is to get revenue for the company.

On the other hand, a good mentor is one step ahead of a good boss. A good mentor is a person who is a good boss, and over and above that shows a keen interest in the careers and lives of his subordinates. A mentor looks at his subordinates from a professional development perspective. A good mentor puts his employees at par with the company interests in terms of importance. A mentor ensures he provides the right guidance to the subordinates and helps them grow in their careers.

However, as stated earlier there is an extremely fine line between a good boss and good mentor. In the modern world, it is expected that for a dynamic leader, he should have both the qualities. Infact, a good leader and a mentor are nothing but the two sides of a coin. Employees these days are extremely professional and have expectations like workplace flexibility, respect at work, recognition for their contribution etc. Hence, when a person in the position of authority wants contribution by teamwork from his employees, he too must show respect towards their work and career ambitions.

Thus, what employees really look up to is a good boss who also mentors them and helps them achieve not only organizational goals but also personal career milestones.

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