20+ Difference Between A Boss And A Leader (Explained)

The distinction between a boss and a leader is in their management style and team impact.

A boss’s primary focus is often on authority and control, enforcing conformity through orders and punishments. A leader, on the other hand, inspires and motivates their team through direction and assistance.

They set a good example by encouraging others to realize their most significant potential. While a boss is motivated by personal success, a leader is inspired by the success of the team as a whole.

A leader creates a healthy work environment, promotes innovation, and builds trust and loyalty among team members.

Boss And Leader Difference

Meaning and OrientationA goal-driven excels in an organization, prioritizing success through focused efforts.A goal-driven excels in an organization, prioritizing success through focused efforts.
People under themPeople who work under these are called employees or subordinates. People who work under these individuals are called followers. 
Responsibilities Managers work, allocate resources, objectives, maintain control, and more.A leader in an organization prioritizes people and works for their betterment.
WorkLeaders empower individuals to find their way.They enable them to work efficiently by providing guidance and support.
MistakeBlamers, when mistakes happen, blame employees, and demand fixes but guidance on correcting the error.Mistake-oriented individuals prioritize fixing errors rather than blaming individuals.
Got the spotTheir managerial and decision-making skills or based on seniority.These people got their spot because of their leadership qualities and their attitudes.
DelegationThey’re superior to subordinates, unable to empower or share decision-making.Unlike bosses, they empower and inspire their teams.
Believes inThey believe in “my way or the highway,” insisting their approach is right and everyone should conform.Together, they harness power, achieve greatness, and make remarkable things happen.
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. 

Who Is Boss?

A boss is a person in a position of authority who supervises and controls a group of employees or a team inside a company.

They are responsible for making choices, establishing objectives, assigning tasks, and ensuring work is accomplished efficiently.

A boss typically has the authority to hire, fire, and discipline people, and their primary focus is guiding and supervising their subordinates’ activities to achieve desired results.

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. 
  • 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. 
Features Of Boss

Who Is Leader? 

A leader is someone who inspires and influences others to work towards a similar goal or vision. They have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and coach and motivate their team members to achieve their maximum potential.

Leaders set an excellent example by encouraging team members to collaborate, trust, and respect one another. They enable others, foster innovation, and promote personal and professional development.

A leader’s job is to achieve results and grow and nurture individuals on the team, build a great work culture, and drive collective achievement.

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. 
  • 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. 
Features of Leader

Boss vs Leader: Explanation


  • Boss – This word is believed to have originated from a Dutch name, “Bass,” which typically means “a master.” 
  • Leader – The term “leader” is thought to have originated from the Middle English word “leader,” which can be traced back to the Old English word “leader,” meaning “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 – Individuals who work under the guidance of these leaders are commonly referred to as followers.


  • Boss – Roles have to manage work, allocate resources, and meet goals. Responsibilities have controlling authority, enforcing orders, and making vital organizational decisions.
  • 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. 

Superior-subordinate relationship

  • 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. 

Believes in

  • 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. 
Difference Between Boss And Leader


In conclusion, a boss emphasizes control and compliance, while a leader inspires and empowers.

A boss focuses on personal success, whereas a leader prioritizes the team’s success. A boss asserts authority, while a leader cultivates trust and fosters a positive work environment.

The distinction lies in their approach to management and their impact on their teams. A good leader guides, motivates, and influences others to achieve collective greatness.

Read More Related Articles.. 👇

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do managers and executives make decisions?

A boss makes judgments that suit their personal interests, but a leader makes critical business decisions that benefit the organization and its people.

How does a leader affect staff morale?

Leaders who empower and encourage their team members can raise staff morale, resulting in higher job satisfaction and productivity.

How does a boss impact employee morale?

A boss with a command-and-control approach may negatively impact employee morale, leading to disengagement and decreased productivity.

Can a boss become a leader through development and training?

Yes, a boss can acquire leadership skills and become an effective leader with proper development and training.

Differences Between Boss And Leader

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment