HomeBUSINESSWhat Is The Difference Between A Leader And A Boss?

What Is The Difference Between A Leader And A Boss?

What It Means To Be A Leader: Choosing How To Lead The Group

Nowadays, running a company is also and above all, a matter of style. Whether a large industry or a small and medium-sized enterprise, it’s not just a question of making ends meet. The difference between a leader and a boss lies in the ability to delegate and trust and grow their resources so that they share a sense of responsibility towards their company.

What Does Leadership Mean?

Let’s start with the etymology of the English term leadership, which embodies the main characteristics of this figure. The verb “to lead” indicates the ability to guide, direct and lead. Those who hold leadership are able, with their actions and interactions with others, to show the choices and work of a group. And here, a fundamental difference between boss and leader already emerges: the boss gives orders and commands; the leader leads by example and behaves virtuously.

This is why, if we leave the world of entrepreneurial organization for a moment, the image of leadership training appears even more evident. In various fields (politics, economy, school, culture), a leader is someone who, through their behavior, can positively influence colleagues, insiders, and the public by passing on their perspective.

Who’s The Boss?

Leading a group of people in achieving a work objective does not mean fulfilling the role of boss. There is often confusion between boss and leader, thinking that the two figures correspond and substitute for each other. In reality, the boss is the boss, a figure endowed with an aura of authority. The boss is the one who is at the top of the social hierarchy compared to the employees. The boss is entirely rational, examines the available data, and elaborates on the action to be taken. He hardly deviates from an idea that he has taken.

Who Is The Leader?

The leader has the task of guiding and directing his group towards achieving an objective, always remaining involved and actively participating, in one way or another, in work. The leader is gifted with problem-solving skills: in this way, even in difficulties, he can understand how to intervene and constantly evaluate growth opportunities. The leader does not think selfishly but tries to involve the group by asking for opinions and suggestions. He knows well that embarking on a journey with his employees is an excellent opportunity to enhance the qualities of each member of the group.

Also Read: Effective Business Communication: Identifying And Overcoming Barriers

What Are The Qualities That Characterize A Good Leader?

  • Have a wealth of specific knowledge and skills in a particular sector.
  • Have self-confidence and transfer your security to others.
  • Be innovative, seeking an opportunity for growth in change.
  • Being empathetic and knowing how to listen and understand what the needs of the group are.
  • Have the ability to enhance and exploit the qualities of each member of the group.
  • Feeling part of the group to all intents and purposes and sharing its results, even if these are negative.
  • Have charisma and know how to communicate in a motivating way what actions to take.

The Tone Of Voice Of The Leader And Boss

In these details lies the difference between leader and boss: the former does not need to shout to be heard, simply because his speeches’ content is highly considered. On the other hand, the boss is forced to scream using threatening and peremptory tones precisely because he doesn’t have a natural following. In other words, the leader, with his strategically virtuous behavior, often managing to behave as an equal, raises the level of attention and stimulates the entire company environment. The boss, more distant by his choice than him, often suffers from isolation from the corporate environment.

Leadership Styles

The topic of leadership has been addressed several times over the years. Although there is no single definition of a leader, it is possible to identify standard lines to guide one’s group toward achieving objectives in the different leadership styles. The American psychologist Daniel Goleman has made an essential contribution to this research, stating that a leader must be endowed with emotional intelligence.

The kind of intelligence that leads to awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, and social skills. These characteristics have allowed Goleman to define six types and styles of leadership which respond to specific business needs. What is Situational Leadership? Each leader’s task is to adopt the technique based on her situation, the objectives to be achieved, and personal and group capabilities.

Visionary Style

The visionary leader creates a shared dream. He is capable of knowing how to share the company mission with the group, showing which way to go to achieve the goal. Change must be seen as a joyous moment, and the leader must be able to indicate the direction to follow clearly.

Democratic Style

The democratic leader listens to the needs and opinions of the group, creating a participatory and collaborative climate. Decisions are made together, and each group member is essential to achieving the objectives. The democratic leader tends to value the individual and the related skills.

Coach Style

A leadership coach’s goal is to connect the objectives and interests of the individual member of the group with those of the company. The individual’s potential, improved over time, is exploited to obtain better performances. A prerequisite for exercising a coaching leadership style is that each group member is motivated, endowed with a spirit of initiative, and predisposed to grow professionally.

Demanding Style

A demanding leader requires achieving results and often, in a short-term perspective, requires speed of execution by the group. A demanding leader loves the success and perfection of his company. He can sometimes be empathic toward his collaborators to achieve these goals. To prevent a demanding leader from taking on a negative aura, he must be personally involved in the actions to be taken, setting an example for others.


An affiliative leader (lit.: “who affiliates a minor”) focuses his attention on group harmony, trying to obtain a positive atmosphere by taking charge and sharing with the group, even if only symbolically, the problems of the individuals. The objective is to prevent team members’ conflicts and create solid relationships.

Authoritarian Style

The authoritarian style belongs more to the leader than to the boss. In this case, we can speak of a chief leader or a chief leader. A demanding person imposes his vision and does not accept changes or failures. In this case, while getting his hands dirty in the executive phase, the leader doesn’t listen too much to his collaborators, doesn’t allow them to ask questions, and warmly invites them to follow the only way forward.

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