A boss manages their employees, while a leader inspires them to innovate, think creatively, and strive for perfection. Every team has a boss, but what people need is a leader who will help them achieve greatness. Not sure how to tell the difference between the two? Here are some key traits that differentiate bosses from leaders.

Boss vs. Leader (09 Differences)

09) Leaders are Motivated by Passion and Purpose. Bosses are Driven by Fear.

Bosses and Bad Leaders are driven by FEAR and reaction. A leader stays driven by PASSION and PURPOSE even during the challenging times of business change and transformation.

08) Leaders Focus on Sustainable Solutions – Not Quick Fixes.

A boss will teach you what to do. A leader will show you how and why to do it. A focus on the why is one of the most critical leadership approaches because it makes learning sustainable and transferable to other situations. Sustainable learning and self-reliance are huge deterrents of toxic leadership and micromanaging.

07) Boss chooses favorites. The leader establishes equal relationships.

Equal relationships help ensure that personal preferences don’t enter the team dynamic, according to Elite Daily. A boss who chooses favorites causes stress and tension, but a leader tries to treat everyone equally.

06) Boss creates circles of power. The leader creates circles of influence.

Nayar advises managers to look at how many people outside of their reporting hierarchy come to them for advice. The more people that do, the more likely it is that the manager is perceived as a leader.

05) A boss commands. A leader listens and speaks.

However, leaders always listen to the opinions of their colleagues and regard them as important.” Volaris Group adds that bosses talk more than they listen, while leaders listen more than they talk.

04) A boss controls. A leader trusts.

Similar to the way a boss manages work while a leader leads people, a boss tends to control workers and what they do. This behavior and frame of mind undermine productivity and growth. A leader is not caught up in micromanaging workers and work; instead, that person relies on trust and inspires workers to trust others.

03) A boss counts value. A leader creates value.

A leader focuses on creating value through leading by example, according to Nayar. A boss focuses on counting value and can even reduce value. “If a diamond cutter is asked to report every 15 minutes how many stones he has cut, by distracting him, his boss is subtracting value,” says Nayar.

02) A boss expects big results. A leader is generous with praise.

A leader offers “immediate praise, thanks and constructive criticism (when appropriate) as it happens,” according to the business author and speaker Barry Moltz. Workers are motivated by more than money. Praise and signs of appreciation can help with morale and engagement, while a boss who simply expects good work can miss out on these opportunities.

01) A boss gives answers. A leader seeks solutions.

Part of being a leader means coaching employees. A leader will help an employee grow by guiding him or her through challenges. This is how employees can develop problem-solving abilities and other skills that add value to a company.