What’s the Difference Between a Boss and a Leader?

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Often people use the word “boss” and “leader” interchangeably, but they aren’t the same. Many bosses are not leaders, and many leaders don’t have management titles.

A boss is a title that you give to a manager, a supervisor, or the head of a department. They hold decision-making authority in an organization. They direct, supervise, and sometimes “boss” others. While they direct team members on what actions to take, they may or may not inspire their teams.

A leader, on the other hand, positively impacts the people around them. Leaders rally teams toward goals, inspire people to think creatively, push individuals to strive for excellence, and positively influence those around them. They may or may not have an official title or even decision-making authority in an organization. But they nonetheless are invaluable in helping a team achieve greatness.

Pictured above: Ed Perry and Dale Penfold celebrate the B Corp certification of their company, COOK. Get to know Ed Perry in this recent interview about leadership and company culture.

1. Have a Plan B

For years now, many companies have been looking beyond the standard brick-and-mortar landscape as a way to interact with customers and generate additional sales. 

However, in 2020, we discovered that having a “plan B” to shift to the online world isn’t just a way to open up new avenues for revenue

Being ready to move online with an eCommerce store, a cloud-based work environment, and other essential tools allows for a better business continuity level. 

For instance, start by asking yourself what kind of things you and your team would need access to if you couldn’t attend the office for any reason. Do you need an online store to sell to customers digitally or an app where they can shop from their phone?

If you deliver services to your customers, can you interact with them through video conferencing tools rather than relying exclusively on in-person demonstrations? 

How will your staff members continue to work together in an environment where there are no shared offices? Can you introduce collaboration tools for messaging and file-sharing functionality? 

What about everyday productivity? Is there an option to deliver the software your employees need over the cloud?

Having a plan in mind for how you can transition more rapidly to the digital environment will protect you from potential issues and help you stay ahead of the competition, too. 


2020 was a painful time for consumers and companies alike. However, it was also a wake-up call for many of us – demonstrating how unprepared we are for things like the inability to access the office or a switch to a mostly digital landscape. If you didn’t have a crisis plan in place before the events of 2020, now might be the perfect time to change all that. 

Look back at how the crisis has influenced your business and what steps you need to take to prevent similar issues from affecting you again. How can you keep your employees and your customers safe in any environment while maintaining ongoing sales? 

Sit down with your team and identify the areas you consider most vulnerable should the world come to a standstill once again. Then start making sure that you’re prepared for anything.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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