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We've all seen graphics detailing the differences between a boss & leader.  There are indeed many distinct qualities separating these roles with the primary being responsibility.  The more of it you have in any given enterprise can define the overarching role you provide.  What many have realized is that you can be an amazing boss but ineffective as a leader.  Leadership is the choice to positively influence those around you regardless of position, title, standing, rank or responsibility level.  The journey to discover your individual leadership style takes intense focus, self-awareness & humility.


Good Boss, Good Leader

This graphic depicts a "boss" as more negative than the "leader".  In my way of thinking, this isn't necessarily true.  Our effectiveness exists on a sliding scale.  After all, we're human & our abilities in either role remain a challenge on a day to day basis.  The measure should reside in our commitment to getting 1% better every day.  To improve the value we bring to the enterprise & inspire those we work with.  People trust the most consistent behaviors we display.  Get caught doing amazing things for others & don't worry about the label!

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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