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Difference between a boss and a leader

There is a common cliché that says: people don’t quit a job, they quit their boss. While the statistics on this fluctuate, the idea remains true. People want to work for an organisation which treats them equally and inspires them to be their best. Empowering managers who have high employee contact to grow into strong leaders is critical for any organisation. Such managers are the biggest drivers of change within an organisation and are responsible for the majority of influences on employees’ perceptions of their organisation.

There are many differences between a boss and a leader. For example, a boss focuses on revenue and standards, while a leader is value driven and people oriented.  Have you ever considered where your boss falls in this division? Here are some other differentiating traits to help.


Leaders empower, motivate and inspire

Bosses demand respect and use fear


Leaders support, work alongside – put others first

Bosses are above others – put themselves first


Leaders listen more than talk, or at the least, truly listen first

Bosses speak and only want to be listened to


Leaders are always willing to learn

Bosses know everything


Leaders coach/mentor 

Bosses direct/scold


As companies pick up on the need for DEI, or diversity, equity and inclusive cultures, the demands on leadership have grown. Diversity and inclusive cultures in organisations lead to 35% better performance. For an organisation to see sustained positive impacts from their DEI efforts, a strong inclusive leader is needed. In our DEI Leadership whitepaper we dive into why there is a need for DEI while highlighting the impact leadership has, and how Inclusive leaders can prepare themselves to make a difference. Personality traits such as commitment and humility can help create a cascading effect, helping leaders develop a true and sustainable inclusive culture.

Language Partners, and our label, Mazi-Inc have developed a leadership course to help you set yourself apart from administratively centred bosses. Our approach gives you the tools to make a positive impact on both your employees, and yourself. Want to know more, send us a message or book a free 30-minute chat with one of our experts.

Paul Van Zanten
Paul is an American intercultural communications professional living in the Netherlands and connecting with his Dutch roots. With a passion for travel, as well as gaining new perspectives and experiences, Paul aims to further his growth, as well as that of others at Language Partners.

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