Differences Between a Boss And a Leader

Differences Between a Boss And a Leader: The terms ‘Boss‘ and ‘Leader‘ are usually used interchangeably to refer to people at the top; that’s to say highly ranked officials in a Work place, association or other related organizations. So for instance if you have a Manager at your workplace, you may refer to such a Manager as a Boss or Leader and same is the case when you have a President of your association.

However, in English Parlance, this should not be the case as these words ‘Boss’ and ‘Leader’ aren’t to be used interchangeably as they are different words. For this purpose, this Article shall examine the differences which exists between these two words ‘Boss’ and ‘Leader’.

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Who is a Boss?

Specifically, the term ‘Boss’ refers to a person who either employs others or who is in charge of a group of people working in an organization, and as such exercises authority over these people, as well as control and supervise their actions at the workplace.

Defining Characteristics of a Leader
Defining Characteristics of a Leader

In summary, a Boss is person who is in charge of any group of people, assigning tasks, duties and responsibilities to them, supervising their activities, and telling them what to do and what not to do.

Also see: Advantages and Disadvantages of being a Leader

Who is a Leader?

The term ‘Leader’ basically refers to a person who is in a dominant position and who has the ability to influence and guide others in an organization, association or even a State.

Boss vs Leader
Boss vs Leader

A leader is in charge; motivating and working with other people toward achieving their desired goals. So for instance, the President of your association is a Leader as he doesn’t command you as a boss will do, but rather he will influence and motivate you towards taking any responsibility necessary for the advancement of the goals of the organization.

I trust this above scenario has given you a snippet of the difference between a Boss and a Leader? Let’s now consider in detail this and other differences which exist between a Boss and a Leader.

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Differences Between a Boss and a Leader

The following are the differences which exists between a Boss and a Leader:

1. A boss micromanage his people. This means that a Boss manages people with exclusive control and little room for their autonomy to make key decisions and act as it may please them. However, a Leader often gives his people some leverage of autonomy by seeking for their opinions, advice, input and implementing same to achieve a common goal.

What separates a boss from a leader?
What separates a boss from a leader?

2. Seeing that a Boss micromanages his people and as such has full control over all their activities, a Boss gives order to them and dictates to them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, whereas a Leader does not necessarily dictate rather he listens to his team, leads by example and inspires them to do the necessary job to ensure that they achieve their goals.

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3. A Boss conceives an idea and dictate to his people how to implement such idea. However, a Leader communicates an idea as he listens to the opinion of members of his team, responds accordingly and provides a constructive feedback to them.

Similarities of a boss and a leader
Similarities of a boss and a leader

4. A boss is dictative and as such criticizes his employees when they don’t perform as expected, but a Leader is accommodating and rather than criticize his team when they perform below par, he encourages them to improve their performance as well as advice them on ways in which they can improve their performance.

5. A Leader guides his team by being in the forefront and working hand in glove with them in order to achieve the vision, aims and objective of the team, whereas a Boss doesn’t necessarily work hand in glove with his team, rather he allocates to each of them their portion of work to be performed and micromanages them to ensure their performance.

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6. The subordinates of a boss are called Employees, while the subordinates of a leader are usually called Followers.

What's the Difference Between a Boss vs Leader?
What’s the Difference Between a Boss vs Leader?

7. A boss uses people, while a Leader invests in People. This literally means that a Boss uses his employees to achieve his personal aim of making profit. He usually use their constant effort to steadily climb the ladder of success in business and in return for their mighty efforts he pays them a meager salary.

However, a Leader invests in people by inspiring them, giving them opportunities to get a better life, helping them to develop, and investing rightly in their future. In other words, a Leader is people oriented and is motivated by team success, while a Boss is profit oriented and is motivated by personal success.

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8. A boss is responsible for creating the goals of an organization, organizing people to achieve these goals, making effective plans towards achieving the goal, developing and implementing strategies and delegating task to the people in the Organization set out to work towards achieving the goal. On the other hand, a Leader is responsible for innovation, creating Vision for his association, inspiring his followers and empowering them.

Example of boss and leader
Example of boss and leader

9. A boss hears, while a Leader listens. This means that a Boss often hears out what their subordinate got to say, but they don’t act on it. On the contrary, a leader listens as he hears out what his followers got to say, and he acts upon it and gives them a feedback.

10. A boss often causes nervousness on the part of his employees as he always gives them a task which they must effectively discharge without the Boss even teaching them how to go about such task, but this is not the same case with a Leader as a Leader inspires the confidence of his followers by creating a comfortable environment wherein they’re carried along towards achieving their common goal.

Differences Between a Boss And a Leader
Differences Between a Boss And a Leader

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11. A Leader creates value as he inspires his team, encourages them, influences their effective performance and build them to become valuable to people around them. However, this is not the case with a Boss who rather uses the input of people for his own profit.

12. A boss expects great input from his or her employees even if they are new in the Organization. However, a Leader teaches members of his or her team how to produce great input.

13. Leaders are very innovative as they listen to the opinion of members of their team, implement such opinion, adapt to same and revaluate processes to improve themselves and members of their team, but a Boss is not usually innovative as such a Boss often operates on the basis of what they already know and are not receptive of working with their ideas of their subordinates.

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14. A Leader is accountable and  usually takes responsibility for the success and failure of his team, but a Boss doesn’t take responsibility for the failure of his team, rather he seeks to heap blame on others.

15. A boss acts like he knows it all as he gives answers and usually talk more than he listens. However, a Leader doesn’t act like he knows it all, as he is willing to listen, willing to learn, open to new ideas and he is seeking to give viable solutions to ensure the progress of everyone on the team.

16. A boss demands effective performance and result from his employees, whereas a Leader inspires the effective performance of members of his team.

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In conclusion, as Klaus Balkenhol rightly pointed out “A boss demands blind obedience; while a Leader earns his authority through Trust and understanding.” This is the key difference between a boss and a Leader, in addition to other aforementioned 16 differences. I trust this Article was insightful and you now fully understand the difference between a Leader and a Boss. For more informative Articles, kindly stay glued to this blog.