The Boss and The Leader: What’s the Difference?

You may have seen it, the faux ancient drawing depicting a slave driver with a whip, standing over their subjects (Boss), and the man at the head of the rope, pulling the rope along with everyone else with one arm forward in a “talley ho” motion (Leader). It’s a simple set of two images that would convey the core differences between the two even if it didn’t have a label placed on either one, but can we delve further into that divide? Of course.

A leader will earn respect, a boss will demand it.

A leader will never ask you to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves, a boss will delegate all the tough jobs away from themselves.

A leader will show compassion and communicate, always willing to work out the kinks. A boss won’t attempt to understand, and ignore issues in an attempt to gloss over a situation.

A leader will never claim perfection, but will always strive toward a greater self. A boss will not admit faults, and will see no reason to try any harder.

A leader will not place undue blame to make themselves look better. A boss will.

A leader will inspire. A boss will infuriate.

A leader is a warrior. A boss is a politician.

A leader earns loyalty. A boss will only ever earn a paycheck.

A leader will be a driving force. A boss will drive with force.

A leader is a sage from whom you will learn much. A boss will only ever teach you what not to do, by example.

A leader will show you who’s boss. A boss will tell you.

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