How to Differentiate Between a Leader and a Boss?

How to Differentiate Between a Leader and a Boss?

When you work in an organization, you will always encounter stark differences in the personalities of your team members. However, the major difference that an individual observes, is the difference between a leader and a boss in an organization.

“While all the leaders can be bosses, all bosses cannot be effective leaders.”

If by reading the above statement, are you wondering whether your boss is a leader or not? Let’s find out. Read on!

  • Leader empowers, Boss uses power: A Leader believes in empowering their fellow teammates. On the contrast, a boss adopts a structural approach. Perhaps, that’s the primary reason why a boss has subordinates while a leader has followers.
  • Leader teaches, Boss orders: Similar to the above mentioned difference, a leader believes in teaching his followers. Once the followers are taught, they are given complete freedom to achieve the goal through their techniques. Alternatively, a boss prefers to follow the traditional process, curbing the scope of employee freedom in due process.
  • Leader accepts responsibility, Boss Blames subordinates: Since, all employees are in the process of learning, in the event of any error, a leader steps forward to rectify the errors. However, you might find the boss resorting to the blame game to avoid any dent in his reputation.
  • People oriented v/s Profit oriented: Considering a bigger picture, a leader adopts a people oriented approach as he understands that organizational systems are governed by the people. Bosses tend to aggressively result-oriented. They prioritize numbers and profits over people.
  • Innovation v/s Domination: Excess of authority over responsibility constitutes to the domination by bosses. Thus, bosses mostly resort to the task of administering and dominating. Leaders believe that innovation takes place only when employees collaborate and work together. Hence, leaders practice the philosophy of collaboration and innovation.
  • Short Term v/s Long Term: Owing to their focus on structure, bosses often end up with a microscopic perspective. Alternatively, leaders choose to focus on a bigger picture as they undertake decision in sync with the bigger picture. Perhaps, that’s the reason why a boss focuses on structure, but a leader focuses on vision.

Thus, by now, we hope, you are able to categorize whether your boss is a leader or not. In addition to this, always remember that being a leader is not just restricted to upper level management. Even you can be a leader of your team. The question is will you step up in the shoes of a boss or a leader?


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