Leader or Boss? Who is Better?



Leading an organization or group towards success can be tricky, especially if doubts and external challenges continuously meddle with the team.

Failure isn’t bad

When the team hits a bump on the road, the leader should not give up and crumble in depression. If a leader does encounters difficulties, giving up should not be an option. 

Leadership skills can be learned and adapted to improve not just the leader’s performance, but the organization’s growth as well.

However, people have different leadership styles, which may affect how people perceive and follow them. The leader’s management style may bring an organization to success or drag it down to definite failure. 

What a leader needs to figure out is whether he is handling his group as a true leader or a managing boss. 

What is the Difference? 

What precisely differentiates a leader from a boss? Here are some qualities that define the two.


  • Listens to members’ opinions and ideas and incorporates them in the team’s plans.
  • Thinks of solutions to the problems the group encounters. 
  • Takes responsibility for wrong decisions.
  • Encourages members with qualities that benefit the team.
  • Seeks ways to improve the team’s performance.
  • Behaves in a way that inspires the team to perform well.


  • Comes up with processes and ideas on his own without consulting the team.
  • Nitpicks problems instead of solving.
  • Blames others for problems within the organization.
  • Regularly points out team members’ weaknesses and wrongdoings.
  • Imposes processes to make him look good.
  • Demands result from team members without pitching in with the work.

Is Being a Boss Bad?

Having the qualities of a boss instead of a leader does not need to be a negative thing. Some leaders may even have certain attributes of a managing boss.

What is essential is a boss does not have to be one forever. Leadership skills are soft skills that can also be learned from mistakes and developed from failures. Institutions like Matter can help interested people to cultivate the leader within them through feedbacks. 

How Can a Boss Become a Leader?

Many team leaders or managers may be acting more like a boss instead of a leader without knowing it. The good news is a boss can still become a leader if he has the will and inclination to improve himself. 

Below are a few ideas to follow to become a better leader. 

  1. Talk less, listen more. Leaders are not the only ones with opinions. Other people on the team may also have ideas on solving problems or overcoming challenges. It is also a surefire way to encourage members to become more involved with the team’s processes. 
  2. Be more vulnerable. Leaders are also human being and let the team know the same. Everyone has their weaknesses, and when a leader shares his, it allows the team to step up and fill that gap.  
  3. Be more sensitive. Conflicts will always arise in any team. It is crucial for a leader to become sympathetic to his members but still be able to come up with a resolution objectively.
  4. Stop thinking of ranks and hierarchy. Getting rid of ranks helps promote respect and equality within a team. Everybody should work and do their job properly, including the leader, to achieve success.

It is not easy to develop the qualities a leader should have, but it is not impossible to become one. 

A leader takes his team to success while a boss expects his team to bring him success. When a boss stops boosting his ego and starts thinking about his team, then he is already started becoming a leader.