The difference between a Leader and a Boss

Have you questioned your supervisor in work why he or she is put in that position? Tired of him or her questioning of his or her leadership? Or keep on asking,  “Is he or she really a good boss?” “Does he or she have what it takes to be a good leader?”


Photo from: slideshare

Those are the things I always hear from my friends when I ask them about their superior. But do they really have reasons to question the credibility of their supervisors? Why do they need to differentiate them as a boss or a leader? Are there any differences?

I made some research about this matter and I saw that many people around the world are experiencing this and keep on labeling their superior as a boss or a leader.


Photo from: marciesmoments

For me a boss and a leader are the same when it comes to managing of people. A leader can be the boss or a boss can be a leader, though it could be the complete opposite where a leader is not a boss, nor is a boss a leader. The difference can also be on how they handle situations or how they treat their subordinate.

Remember just the word “Leader” suggests more positive than a “Boss”.

Let’s differentiate both.


Photo from: m2now


Photo from: m2now

  1. A leader is most commonly compared to a good, caring and down to earth superior, while a boss can be a        selfish one, authoritative and the likes.
  2. A boss is more focused with the outcome or the goal of the team while a leader feels more responsible for the process of the outcome and to people who see it out.
  3. A leader listens, speaks and leads with the team while a boss tends to rule and give command.
  4. A leader teaches, and is open to new knowledge and learning and at the same time motivates other, a boss tends to give expectations and ignore others
  5. A leader takes part with the team while boss stays aside.
  6. A leader treats people equally, bosses tend to give favoritism.


Listed on the table below speaks or differentiate more between the leader and boss.


Inspire people Drives people
Depends on the respect and honor Depends on authority
Cares for your well being Cares for your productivity level
Says “We” Says ”I”
Inspires enthusiasm Inspires fear
Gives credit Takes credit
Says “Let’s go” Says “Go”
Asks Orders
Knows how it is done Shows how it is done


After reading those given examples what are your supervisors? A leader or a boss? Or do you really need to label them? And as a superior what do you think you are? Ask yourself.

On the other hand a mix of those maybe a good combination of being a front-runner. But at the end of the day everything depends on the situation. Let’s say that a leader is also a boss at times or vice versa.

Note: All information in this article is based on my personal views and research I made for this matter.