A catalyst leader is someonewho ignites action in others.

2Boss or Catalyst?What Makes a Great Leader?

Your New Job: Catalyst Leader

The term boss has taken a real beating both in work and popular culture. In movies the boss tends to be a ruthless gangster or amoral chieftain. In digital gaming, the boss is the last, biggest, and most horrific in a series of monsters that must be defeated. But in the workplace, now it's you. And you've got an image problem. Search for “Bad Boss” on Google and find over 36 million entries. Headlines include “Ten Things Only Bad Bosses Say,” “What Makes a Bad Boss Bad,” or, our favorite, “How to Survive 13 Types of Dysfunctional, Disrespectful and Dishonest Little Dictators.” There are even multiple websites for bad bosses. One, BadBosses.com, shows a photo of a person with the head of a wolf. Needless to say, you don't want to become the wolf in your office.

Consider Marian, a marketing and social media specialist and writer in a communications department at a midsized university. She had the classic bad boss: didn't communicate, failed to set team goals, missed deadlines, and played poorly with his peers in other departments. His inefficiency gave the department a bad reputation throughout the whole campus.

When Marian's boss was abruptly fired, the team was shocked. We had no idea he was so unpopular outside of our team, she said. But when Marian was tapped as his interim replacement, there was a catch: He had negotiated to stay on for ...

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