Mostly, all the working professionals work under someone we typically call our Boss. Besides a Boss, many of us are also led by a Leader.
However, only a small percentage of people happen to know the difference between a Boss and a Leader. Due to various similarities, both individuals are often confused with one another.
The major difference between a Boss and a Leader is that the former is concerned with putting authority over subordinates, whereas the latter is associated with leading and supporting people.
Comparison Between A Boss And A Leader
|Meaning and Orientation||It refers to a person in an organization who is organization-oriented or works for the betterment of the organization as well as profit-oriented. These people are focused on ensuring the organizational goals are achieved and profit is earned.||It refers to a person in an organization who is people-oriented or works for the betterment of the people of an organization.|
|People under them||People who work under these individuals are called employees or subordinates.||People who work under these individuals are called followers.|
|Responsibilities||These people are responsible for managing work, making vital decisions for the organization, allocating resources and tasks to the subordinates, ensuring the organizational objectives are met, ensuring work is being carried out as planned, asserting control over the subordinates, etc.||These people lead, support, motivate, influence, and encourage people. These individuals’ primary responsibility is to ensure the followers can achieve their personal goals and full potential where they are growing in their careers and field.|
|Work||These people are only subjected to telling people to do work. These people are not concerned with telling them how to do the work.||These people are not associated with telling people to do work. Instead, these people are focused on letting people know how to get work done effectively and efficiently.|
|Mistake||When their employees commit any mistakes, these people are associated with putting the blame on employees and telling them to fix it. These people do not tell them how to fix the mistake.||When people make mistakes, these people rarely focus on putting the blame on people and directly telling them to fix it. Instead, these people generally focus on fixing the mistake altogether.|
|Superior-Subordinate relationship||These people exist in a superior-subordinate relationship, as they are considered superior to other employees and thus have authority over their subordinates.||There is not any superior-subordinate relationship existing in the case of these individuals. These people are not considered to be superior to their subordinates and have no authority over them.|
|Got the spot||These people got their spots because of their managerial and decision-making skills or based on seniority.||These people got their spot because of their leadership qualities and their attitudes.|
|Delegation||These people can only delegate tasks and responsibilities. These people can not delegate authority as they are considered superior to their subordinates.||Unlike a Boss, these people can not delegate tasks and responsibilities. However, these people happen to delegate some degree of authority over their followers.|
|Believes in||These people happen to believe in “my way is the only way,” depicting that their way of doing work is the right one and most work that way only.||These people believe in “strength relies on unity,” depicting there is power when people work together and great things happen when people are united working together.|
|Criticism||These individuals are less likely to take criticism well than a Leader.||Compared with a Boss, these people are likelier to take criticism well.|
Major Difference Between A Boss And A Leader
Who exactly is a Boss?
It refers to individuals who are superior to a set of employees and have authority and control over their subordinates. These individuals happen to be organization oriented instead of individual-oriented.
These individuals are concerned with managing work, making necessary decisions for the organization, working towards meeting organizational goals, and making sure the employees are working as per their orders.
These individuals are also associated with working as per the standards and rules rather than working as per the values and belief system.
Key Difference: Boss
- It can be best described as an individual whose main job is making decisions for the organization, ensuring the organizational goals are met, managing how people work, and ascertaining authority over subordinates.
- People who work under these individuals are known as employees.
- One of the trademark features of these individuals is that these people are profit as well as organization oriented. These people work and control their employees so that the profit and organizational goals are met irrespective of the employees’ personal goals.
- Regarding delegation, these individuals can only delegate roles and responsibilities while the authority lies in their hands.
- If these individuals were given a choice to keep working or hear the concerns of their employees instead of working, they would be more likely to focus on work first. Here, it can not be considered as something wrong because a Boss is a Boss because his job is to focus on the organization first.
Who exactly is a Leader?
It refers to individuals whose primary job is to lead a set of people and help them reach their full potential and personal goals.
People who come under these individuals are referred to as followers. These individuals happen to be people-oriented instead of organization oriented, meaning the priority of these individuals is their followers and not the organization.
These individuals are concerned with inspiring, encouraging, supporting, and influencing their followers.
Unlike a Boss, these people typically do not like to work per pre-defined standards and regulations; instead, they like to work according to values and their vision.
Key Difference: Leader
- It can be best described as an individual whose main job is to lead people, inspire them, support them, influence them, and care about whether employees can achieve their individual goals and full potential.
- People who work under these individuals are referred to as followers.
- The hallmark feature of these individuals is that they are people-oriented, not organization- or profit-oriented, meaning they first focus on their followers and their needs instead of caring about the company’s profit. These individuals stay concerned about their followers’ plans, goals, and well-being.
- Unlike a Boss, these individuals are not concerned with delegating responsibility; instead, they are also associated with delegating authority.
- If these individuals were chosen to keep working or be with employees or followers, they would be likelier to stay with their followers instead of focusing on their work.
The Contrast Between A Boss And A Leader
- Boss – This word is believed to have originated from a Dutch name, “Bass,” which typically means “a master.”
- Leader – This word is believed to have originated from the Middle English word “leader,” which originated from the Old English word “lǣdere,” which means “to go as a guide.”
Meaning and orientation
- Boss – It can be best defined as organized and profit-oriented individuals. Whatever these individuals are supposed to perform, all the efforts are directed toward the organization. The life of a Boss revolves around their work and the organization for which they work.
- Leader – They can be best defined as people-oriented individuals, meaning they are associated with working for the employees of an organization and their betterment. The life of a Leader revolves around their people.
People under them
- Boss – People who work under these individuals are called employees or subordinates.
- Leader – People who work under these individuals are referred to as followers.
- Boss – The main roles and responsibilities of these individuals include managing work, allocating resources to employees, ensuring the work is being done to meet organizational goals, asserting control and authority over their employees, ensuring employees are working as per the orders given to them, and taking vital business decisions for their organization.
- Leader – These individuals’ main roles and responsibilities primarily include leading people.
Along with leading people, these people are also concerned with encouraging, inspiring, supporting, and influencing their followers.
- Boss – These individuals are responsible for telling the employees to do their work and assigning their tasks to them.
These people do not do anything more than that. How to do the assigned work is a headache for the employees working under these people.
- Leader – These individuals do not tell the employees what to do. Instead, these individuals are responsible for telling the employees how to do their work.
These individuals tell their followers how to effectively and efficiently complete their tasks regularly.
- Boss – When any of the employees commit any mistakes, these individuals are only concerned with pointing out who is to blame for the mistake.
These individuals are not responsible for telling the employees how to correct the committed mistakes.
- Leader – One of these people’s significant advantages is that they do not like to point out who is to blame when any of their followers commit mistakes.
Instead, these people like to command their employees on how to fix the committed mistake.
- Boss – These people love standards and rules & regulations and continue to work on the same basis.
These people do not bend standards for anyone. Instead, these people like to receive work from their employees per the desired standards, rules, and regulations.
- Leader – These people do not like standards and, rules & regulations. Instead, these individuals like to work as per their values and vision.
These people typically have no problem bending the rules and regulations as long as people are benefiting healthily.
- Boss – A superior-subordinate relationship exists in these individuals’ cases; they are considered superior to their subordinates and have employees working under them. Thus, these people are blessed with control and authority over their subordinates.
- Leader – There is not any superior-subordinate relationship existing in the case of these individuals.
These people are not considered superior in any way to their followers since the only motive of these people is to lead people.
Got the spot
- Boss – These people typically get their spot based on seniority.
- Leader – These people get their spot because of their leadership qualities and their attitude.
- Boss – These people happen to delegate only tasks and responsibilities as it is the correct order of delegating things as per the superior-subordinate relationship.
Since these people are considered superior to their employees or subordinates, thus, these individuals have authority over their subordinates and can only delegate responsibilities.
- Leader – These people can not delegate any responsibility over their followers; instead, these people happen to delegate some form of authority over their followers.
- Boss – When these individuals give orders to their subordinates, the subordinates have no choice but to follow them.
They can not change their Boss if they do not like him or do not like the way he does things. A person must follow the orders of these people and report to them regularly.
- Leader – People don’t need to complete their Leader’s orders as they have no authority over employees of an organization.
If anyone does not like them or does not wish to work with them anymore, then they can leave the group with no problems.
- Boss – When these individuals allocate tasks to employees, they typically give a deadline or an ultimatum to complete the desired task.
These individuals are only concerned with giving an ultimatum and do so little to encourage the people to perform the task.
- Leader – These individuals do not believe in giving an ultimatum to people. Instead, these individuals are focused on encouraging the followers to complete their tasks effectively and efficiently.
- Boss – These individuals believe in the concept of “my way is the only way,” meaning typically, they believe their way of doing any work is the only correct way, and all must work that way only.
- Leader – These individuals believe in the concept that “strength relies upon unity,” meaning these people generally believe when people stay together or united, the power automatically comes from strength.
- Boss – In most cases, these individuals are not considered easy when it comes to taking criticism. These people generally can not take any criticism.
- Leader – These people have no problem taking criticism. Instead, these people hear their critics thoroughly and make themselves better if they need to do so.
People often get confused when they hear Boss and Leader and use them interchangeably. The major difference between a Boss and a Leader is that the former is organization or profit-oriented, whereas the latter is people-oriented.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the orientation of a Boss and a Leader?
The former is considered to be organization oriented, meaning this person’s life revolves around an organization and its betterment.
In contrast, the latter is people-oriented, meaning this person’s life revolves around the betterment of the people of an organization.
Q2. What are people working under a Boss and a Leader called?
People working under the former are known as employees, whereas people working under the latter are known as followers.
Q3. What are the responsibilities of a Boss?
This person is associated with managing work, making important organizational decisions, working towards achieving organizational goals along with his subordinates, controlling his employees, allocating resources and tasks, etc.
Q4. What are the responsibilities of a Leader?
This person is associated with leading his followers, working for the betterment of an organization’s people, encouraging, motivating, and supporting them, along with showing them how to do work effectively and efficiently.
Q5. What are the major differences between a Boss and a Leader?
The major difference between a Boss and a Leader is that the former works for the organization, follow standards, and has authority over the subordinates.
In contrast, the latter works for the people who believe in vision and values and delegate authority over their followers.
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