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Boss Quotes For Those Days You’re Struggling With The Daily Grind

These boss quotes will inspire you to make a difference in the people you lead and teach.

As a management professional, I am constantly amazed by how many bad bosses exist in the world. There are so many people in leadership positions that shouldn’t be.

However, the flip side of that is that most employees do not understand how difficult it can be to shoulder the responsibilities of the role, coach difficult employees, and maintain a motivating presence.

Some leaders are up for the challenge, and sadly, others are not. Meanwhile, some employees have a strong entrepreneurial spirit that they need to nurture.

Group of People in a Meeting

We have all seen everything on the boss spectrum. These boss quotes will highlight the differences between a “boss” and a “leader,” and inspire you to chase your entrepreneurial dreams.

What makes a good boss? These quotes have that covered, too! If you came by for some funny boss quotes, or to really get you thinking, then this is the right place.

Boss quotes highlighting the difference between a leader and a boss

1. “A boss says ‘go and make sure you do it’; a leader says, ‘let’s go and make it happen.’ Bosses control people; leaders involve them.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

2. “A boss says you do it, a leader says let’s do it.” ― Amit Kalantri

3. “Every leader is a boss, but every boss is not a leader.” ― Amit Kalantri

4. “Leadership is not a position. It is who you are.” ― Janna Cachola

5. “You telling everyone what to do does not make you the boss. You doing everything you told yourself to do makes you the boss.” ― Terry Crews

6. “A good leader always accepts the blame and distributes the reward.” ― Amit Kalantri

7. “If you’re a boss, and not a leader, your time is limited.” ― T.F. Hodge

8. “Be the leader, not the boss.” ― Debasish Mridha MD

9. “Be a leader with a ladder, not a boss with an order.” ― Debasish Mridha MD

10. “If you define yourself by the title of coach or boss, you’ll never earn real trust from your players or employees.” ― Bill Courtney

11. “In the past, a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.” ― Ken Blanchard

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12. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” Theodore Roosevelt

Entrepreneurial boss quotes

13. “You’ll never make a fortune working for the boss man.” ― Jeannette Walls

14. “You can be your own boss.” ― Sunday Adelaja

15. “Be a Boss, Run a company, Own a movement but never let your heartbeat be anywhere else but home!” ― Kingsley Opuwari Manuel

16. “Everyone has a boss, and a business owner’s boss is the customer.” ― Sabrina Newby

17. “Some people have the courage to bungee jump or even sky dive, yet they lack the courage to work for themselves.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

18. “When you work for yourself, it’s a real bummer when you don’t like the boss!” ― Anthony T. Hincks

19. “If self-employment is the opposite of employed-by-others, then a job is outsourcing your freedom (time and talent) to a boss.” ― Richie Norton

20. “You’ll never get rich by working for your boss.” ― Felix Dennis

Boss quotes about what makes a good boss

21. “An effective boss is someone who doesn’t have to boss around to be effective.” ― Jag Randhawa

22. “Very often managers are just a noise, while the real boss is the project, which we work for and which pays us.” ― Yegor Bugayenko

23. “The best bosses master the fine art of emotional detachment. They learn to forgive people who lash out at them… and they learn to forgive themselves, too.” ― Robert I. Sutton

24. “The best bosses break down problems into bite-sized pieces and talk and act like each little task is something that people can complete without great difficulty.” ― Robert I. Sutton

25. “Every man wants commendation, so do not just commend your boss, commend those who are under you.” ― Sunday Adelaja

26. “Every boss, if you are forgetting, is another human being made of bones and flesh and likes it when his ego gets stroked.” ― Abhishek Ratna

27. “Authority confined in you does not make you a leader. It is the authority created by you that makes you influence people with your purpose.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

28. “I’ve always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” ― Lee Iacocca

29. “My idea of management is that what your job is as the boss is to find really good people and empower them and leave them alone.” ― Ruth Reichl

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Humorous boss quotes 

30. “A baby is the most demanding boss, but pays your salary with smiles and love.” ― Apollo M

31. “Boss asked if I was ready for more responsibility. I’m eating around a sticker on an apple cause I’m too lazy to peel it off, so I guess, no.” ― Nitya Prakash

32. “It takes courage not to laugh at your boss’s joke, especially if it is funny.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

33. “Don’t hire anyone you wouldn’t want to run into in the hallway at three in the morning.” ― Tina Fey

34. “I nearly said something, but then thought better of it. It doesn’t pay to publicly point out the failings of the person providing your paycheck.” ― Donald G. Firesmith

35. “I hire the most talented of people who are the least likely to throw a punch in the workplace.” ― Tina Fey

36. “Every boss started as a worker.” ― Moosa Rahat

37. “Dear Boss! Don’t be a boss-hole.” ― Vikrmn

38. “There are not many words in the English language more lackluster and less sexy than ‘employer’.” ― Roberta Pearce

39. “I have to go. Boss has this weird idea that I should actually work while he’s paying me.” ― Laurie Halse Anderson

40. “It doesn’t matter what your boss thinks as long as he doesn’t cry.” ― Gerry Geek

41. “Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.” ― Doug Larson

Boss quotes that make us think

42. “The truth is that bosses…don’t matter as much as most of us believe. They typically account for less than 15 percent of the gap between good and bad organizational performance, although they often get over 50 percent of the blame and credit.” ― Robert I. Sutton

43. “A boss oversteps the boundaries of good taste and the implied condition of good faith in an employment agreement whenever they demand that their subordinates assist them resolve their personal as opposed to professional problems.” ― Kilroy J. Oldster

44. “You can be the most productive and most effective, but politics show up as ego, jealousy, and sabotage from bosses who can’t perform.” ― Richie Norto

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45. “Bad boss? Fire him/her. When you’re interviewing for a job, your job is to interview them. You are an equal.” ― Richie Norton

46. “No one wants to follow a pessimist… You can be skeptical, you can be realistic, but you can’t be cynical. If your boss is Eeyore, do you want to work with someone like that? Oh, bother.” ― Bob Iger

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Eeyore quotes from the iconic character.

47. “Being the boss anywhere is lonely. Being a female boss in a world of mostly men is especially so.” Robert Frost

48. “If you have to remind people you’re the boss, I don’t think you’re going to be a very effective leader.” ― Paul DePodesta

49. “More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts.” ― Travis Bradberry

50. “Your boss is only human and just wants the best from you.” ― Naomie Harris

What did you learn from these boss quotes?

Being a boss can be lonely sometimes. Being a genuine leader can test someone every day. The reward to leadership done right, seeing someone grow and develop, is priceless though.

I received a message from a past employee not too long ago that said, “Also, I have to say it. You set my expectation of what a good manager looks like way too high. My manager at work is gonna drive me insane.” It made me feel like I had made a difference.

Which is what any good leader should try to do. Make a difference in your organization, and in the people you lead and teach. Yes, it is important to hit goals and metrics, but a leader’s job should always be to help their people succeed.

‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’ Is your boss using theirs wisely? Are you a manager and one of these boss quotes and sayings resonated with you? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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