4 Differences Between a Boss and a Leader

Whether a company has a boss or a leader can have a very strong impact at a company. This is because, while both leaders and bosses are usually in positions of power, there are still many significant differences between the two. These differences are very important, when it comes to successfully managing employees.

Here are some of the top differences between a boss and a leader.


Leaders tend to strive to inspire their employees. Unlike bosses, leaders do not simply want to give orders and just expect people to follow them. Good leaders demonstrate enthusiasm, purpose, passion, and skill, and they tend to create inspiration as a result. Employees who are inspired are more likely to work harder for the company. They are also likely to enjoy their jobs more.

Leaders understand this, and they work hard to generate inspiration as a result. Bosses often do not care about this. They just care that their orders are followed.

Team-Based Mindset

Leaders view the company as a team, and are concerned with team performance. As a result, they often want to help and teach other team members in order to make the team stronger. Bosses often do not think like this and can view themselves as separate from the team. If an employee isn’t performing well, they would often rather fire the person versus try to train or teach him or her.


Leaders are often positive and fill their employees with belief and confidence. However, bosses tend to rule with fear and intimidation. A good leader would rather say, “Let’s try to do x” than “Do x or else there will be negative consequences.” Bosses, however, would often rather say “Do x or there will be negative consequences.”

The result of the different approaches is that people tend to care about their leaders and want to work hard for them. Also, many people end up resenting their bosses. People who have bosses and not leaders frequently dislike their jobs and seek new ones.


A good leader demonstrates leader qualities by treating everyone with respect. This means, being polite, professional, and courteous. However, bosses tend to not care about this and can be rude, short, or neglectful with their employees. They may yell at them, they may embarrass them in front of their coworkers, or they may simply not talk to them directly. All of these things can demonstrate a lack of respect toward employees on the part of the boss.

Managers and executives who demonstrate leader qualities can be much more effective at their jobs than those who demonstrate boss qualities. This is because leaders are often much better at generating enthusiasm, and making teams more productive and effective.

So, if you are wondering whether you should try to be a leader or a boss, being a leader definitely appears to be the better path to choose! Now may be a great time to start working on building the qualities that leaders usually have, such as those mentioned here. If you work hard enough, you might be able to turn into a great leader!

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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