Difference Between Boss and Leader

Boss vs Leader

Key Difference: Leader leads, listens, teaches, and learns while Boss commands, orders, and ignores

Although both these terms, boss and leader, look alike, there are differences between a boss and a leader, in the modern business environment. A leader and a boss have two different characteristics. A leader can be a boss, but every boss cannot be a leader. They are two distinct personalities. Read on to understand the difference between boss and leader.


Who is a Boss?

A boss can be identified as an individual who acts as an immediate supervisor for a specific set of employees who are having the authority to make certain decisions on behalf of the company. The term boss can be used to refer to any employee in the company who is at a higher level including a supervisor, executive, manager, director or CEO. 

Who is a Leader?

A leader is a person who can influence the behavior of others. They are always working towards achieving the organizational vision and always inspire and motivate their subordinates at work. Being a leader requires much commitment towards achieving success. Leaders are considered as role models for everybody, and they inspire the people who are around them. Employees get motivated to work with such people. They listen to their subordinates and empower them. Best performers are rewarded by good leaders. Bosses are highly concerned about the outcomes of a process and the leaders feel responsible for the process of that outcome and the people who see it out.


Difference Between Boss and Leader

What is the difference between Boss and Leader? 

• Leader leads and Boss rules

A leader leads in the front. Leader guides his subordinates to work towards the success by encouraging and motivating them and inspiring them while a boss always tries to rule the employees without encouraging them to move forward.

• Leader listens and speaks while a Boss commands 

Boss tends to give orders to his employees expecting that they would listen and obey him . However, a leader always welcomes the opinions of his followers and always gives priority to them.

Leader provides advises, discusses issues and provides direct feedback to the employees.As the leader is approachable, individual employees feel stronger and build confidence about them.

• Leader identifies employee strengths while a Boss thrives on employee weaknesses

Some bosses are discouraging their employees considering their weaknesses, but leaders motivate the employees considering their strengths. Leaders provide opportunities to their employees to develop their capabilities while minimizing their weaknesses. Leaders identify the employees’ skills while working with them and then assign tasks on those areas in order to get effective results.

Leader teaches and learns while Boss expects and ignores

A true leader has self-esteem, and he does not hesitate to learn from those who are at lower levels in the organizational hierarchy. This shows the leader’s tendency to pay attention to his subordinates , knowing that there is always more to learn from them. A good leader always shares their knowledge and experience with others rather than the boss.

• A good Leader is not biased

A leader establishes equal relationships with everyone. A good leader always treats everyone equally and do not allow for personal preferences like many of the bosses.


Boss vs Leader | Difference Between


Image Courtesy: John Lester (CC BY 2.0), Quotespictures

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Manager and Leader