What’s the difference between a boss and a leader?

Arthur von Kriegenbergh
Last updated 
December 17, 2020
A list of differences between a boss and a leader. Left are boss examples (talks about resources, inspires fear and takes credit). Right are leader examples (talks about people, earns respect and gives credit).

What’s the difference between a boss and a leader? 🤔

75% of people leave their job because of their boss.

One of the important reasons for bad leadership is that many people who are in a leadership position, once started as a specialist.

They came in that position, because they were really good at their craft. But being good at your craft, doesn’t automatically make you a great leader.

A traditional boss...

  • Talks about resources
  • Says "I" when achievements are made
  • Inspires fear
  • Takes credit for successes
  • Micromanages
  • Thinks short-term

A leader...

  • Talks about people
  • Says "We"
  • Earns respect
  • Gives credit for successes
  • Delegates
  • Thinks long-term

Join 50+ professionals in the five-day course on agile leadership: The Millennial's Guide to Agile Leadership.