Difference Between Boss and Leader

The key factor behind the success of any organization, is the quality of leadership exhibited to the employees, that motivates them to do better. Have you ever wondered that a boss could be a leader also, but not all bosses are leaders? There exist a line of demarcation amidst the nature and characteristics of these two personalities. While a boss gives orders to his employees, a leader influences his followers by setting an example.

A leader persuades his men to act in a specific manner, to achieve the goals of the organization. A boss can be acknowledged as a leader, by constantly guiding them in their tasks and demonstrating his/her abilities. In this article, we[‘ve broken down all the differences between boss and leader.

Content: Boss Vs Leader

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Key Differences
  4. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Basis for Comparison Boss Leader
Meaning A person who gives orders to employees and behaves in an authoritative way, seeks control and tells his men what to do, is a Boss. A person who influences, inspires, supports and encourages a group of individuals, and works continuously on the achievement of goals is a leader.
Subordinates Employees Followers
Gains respect Due to seniority. Due to the ability and quality of his character.
Orientation Profit oriented People oriented
What he does? Administers and dominates Innovates and collaborates
Seeks Control Commitment
Driving force Standards Values
Focuses On structure On vision
Work Knows how work is done. Shows how work is done.
Delegates Tasks and Responsibilities Authority
What to do? Likes to tell employees. Prefers to teach employees.
Mistake Places blame, shows who is wrong. Fixes it, shows what is wrong.

Definition of Boss

A boss refers to an individual who is in charge of the employee or an organisation. He is someone to whom the workers report, i.e. immediate supervisor of the workforce. He exercises control over employees, orders, assigns tasks and duties to them and is entitled to take decisions on some matters.

In the organisational chart, there is no formal title like ‘boss’, but the term indicates a person who is the owner or appointed as head of the organisation, department, unit or division. Therefore, a boss can be a supervisor, manager, director or any other person working on a higher level.

Definition of Leader

The term leader is defined as an individual who possesses the ability to influence and inspire others, towards the accomplishment of goals. He is someone who holds a dominant position and leads others by example. He is a man with a vision, who stays committed to his goal and strives continuously towards the achieving it. He sets an example, in such a way that people get motivated and follows his footsteps or directions. The qualities of a good leader are:

  • Foresightedness
  • Great communication skills
  • Art of influencing and motivating others
  • Stimulates work
  • Clear goals
  • Appreciate others
  • Sets examples
  • Takes responsibilities
  • Does right things

Key Differences Between Boss and Leader

The significant differences between boss and leader are discussed in the following points:

  1. Boss is a person in charge at the office who gives the order to employees and behaves in an authoritative way, seeks control and tells his men what to do. A leader is a person who leads other by influencing, inspiring, supporting and encouraging a group of individuals, and works continuously on the achievement of the goal.
  2. A boss has employees whereas a leader has followers.
  3. A boss administers and rules by fear while a leader innovates and inspires with trust.
  4. A boss gains respect due to his authority or seniority, but a leader earns respect for himself by his conduct, goodwill and quality of character.
  5. A boss is always profit oriented. Conversely, a leader is people oriented.
  6. A boss exercises control, unlike leader who seeks commitment.
  7. A boss takes decisions on the basis of standards, organization’s norms and rule. As opposed to a leader whose conduct is based on the values.
  8. A boss very well knows how to perform a particular task. On the contrary, a leader shows his followers how to do the task properly.
  9. A boss assigns tasks and delegate responsibilities to his men. However, a leader delegates authorities.
  10. A boss tells employees what to do. On the other hand, a leader teaches employees what to do.
  11. A boss places blame for the breakdown and point out the who is wrong. In contrast to the leader, who fixes the breakdown and identifies what is wrong.


A leader is a person who leads his followers, inspires, motivates and guides them in different matters. On the other hand, a boss is someone who is the owner of the business or is appointed by the owners as an in charge of the workplace. The difference between these two is a matter of psychology, i.e. it’s about the vision through which we see the world. If you are playing the role of a boss, you need to be strict with the employees to get the things done from them or else they will start fooling you.

On the contrary, being a leader you have to be a good listener and influencer first, you have to play a supporting role to boost the morale of the followers time to time.

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