“Boss” and “leader” are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but do they really mean the same?

Certainly NOT!

There’s a big big difference, almost as big as Burj Khalifa. Yes, we really mean this. Let’s explain it with a simple example before we start the comparison. Imagine your boss asks you to get to the top of Burj Khalifa, but without using any means of vertical transportation. It would be a panic situation to ascend 140+ floors without using an elevator. You’ll be left trapped and on your own to find a solution. But, if a leader asks the same, he will not leave you unaccompanied. In fact, he will work along with you and find a way to get the job done effortlessly!

While both hold positions of authority, a boss and a leader differ in various aspects. A boss tends to rely on control and power and uses his authority to command the employees. They have a ‘know-it-all’ stance and prioritize their interests while issuing orders. Instead of fostering a collaborative environment, they create an isolated one ruled by power.

On the other hand, a leader believes in inspiring, motivating, and empowering the team. They lead by example and set clear guidance while encouraging open communication. They build the team up and enhance team motivation which helps to achieve the goals better.

Now, let’s explain the difference with the help of a series of engaging illustrations that cleverly distinguish between a boss and a leader. Scroll down, witness the power of influence, and ask yourself, which side are you?



A leader believes in a ‘we’ instead of a ‘me’ attitude. This refers to how a leader will always carry the team along; regardless of failure or success, they give the due credit. While a boss will only sing about their triumph.



While a boss only uses the employees to direct his commands and execute his goals, a leader helps the members to learn and grow.



A boss relies on control and expects compliance with the orders commanded. They just tend to push instead of directing the employees. Whereas a leader puts his best to motivate the team to achieve the goal.



A boss stands aside for any project and supervises only to manage the work. While a leader takes the initiative and gets in the trenches with the team.



A boss will always blame the employees for failures. They scold harshly in front of everyone, resulting in shattered confidence in others. A leader communicates for the wrongdoings and comes up with new plans to keep everyone motivated.



A boss forces the employees to follow his orders, while a leader becomes a helping hand to help accomplish goals together.



A boss takes all the credit and doesn’t praise their team for their hard work, while the leader keeps everyone motivated by giving the due credit to the deserved ones.



A boss keeps commanding as they believe in the ruling power. They enforce their decisions and don’t consider employees’ opinions. While the leader keeps the communication gate open for everyone and appreciates team ideas.



In conclusion, the difference between the boss and leader is not merely a matter of titles or positions but a fundamental difference in mindset and approach. The illustrations used in the article explain how the two use their power and influence their team. By embracing the qualities of a true leader, the workplace can thrive in collaboration, trust, and continuous improvement.


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