The Difference Between Boss and Leader - Marc Kitsko

The Difference Between Boss and Leader

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The Difference Between Boss and Leader

There is a difference between being a boss and being a leader. You may have heard the saying, “Every leader is a boss. But every boss is not the leader.”


Let’s break this down a little:


Back in college everyone in business class was encouraged to pursue being a manager, or “the boss.” It was kinda like if you had that title you’d have bragging rites and people’s respect…after all you are the boss.


Being a boss means you have a position, but it doesn’t mean that those who work for you respect you or even like you. It just means you have a position with authority. People might respect your position as the boss and do what you say, however, it doesn’t mean they respect you as a person – Big difference!


A leader is respected by those he/she is leading and it’s not because of their positional authority, or seniority. A leader’s respect comes mainly from their character and certain qualities that people look up to.


There’s a lot of talk about developing one’s leadership skills, but ultimately good leaders lead by example and their example inspires others to a greater level of self-awareness and conduct.


  • A boss works an eight-hour day, but a leader is available even after you clock out.

  • A boss puts the pressure or the blame on others, but a leader seeks a solution to the problem.

  • A boss doesn’t have to abide by certain standards of living in order to do their job effectively or keep their position, however, a leader’s character matters in both their professional and personal life.

  • A boss gets the task done by giving orders. A leader gains respect through their actions and in return motivates others towards action.


If you want to be a good leader you must display certain characteristics: Knowledge, planning, foresight, perspective, anticipation, respect every person, earn respect in your decision-making process, action, results oriented, be a friend/mentor.


Once a boss begins to live out these qualities, people’s perspective begins to shift from this is my boss, to this is my leader.


Which are you, a boss or a leader?



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