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.
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.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.
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
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
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
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
Good Boss Quotes To Inspire The Management Team
51. “A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.” — Charles Erwin Wilson
52. “A good boss asks what part she could have played in the problem. And then she asks herself what she can do better next time.” ~ Lisi Harrison
53. “The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.” — John C. Maxwell
54. “Good thinkers are always in demand. A person who knows how may always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss.” — John C. Maxwell
55. “Bosses push, Leaders pull. Real leadership is servant leadership.” — Dave Ramsey
56. “There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” — Sam Walton
57. “Your own mental attitude is your real boss.” — Napoleon Hill
58. “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” — Tina Fey
59. “A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.” — Charles Erwin Wilson
60. “To be a good boss, you must be transparent” — David Niu
Remarkable Boss Quotes For Employees
61. “By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.” – Robert Frost
62. “I would be a billionaire if I was looking to be a selfish boss. That’s not me.” — Alfred North Whitehead
63. “Now, if your boss is a sadist, then you have a big problem. In that case, fire your boss and get a new job.” — Donald Trump
64. “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt
65. “The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” — Woodrow Wilson
66. “Bob arum is Manny Pacquiao’s boss, Floyd Mayweather is his own boss.” — Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
67. “I let ballplayers yell back at me because I wasn’t trying to prove I’m boss. I know I’m boss.” — Al McGuire
68. “The joy about the recording is that you are your own boss. You don’t have a director telling you how to do it.”— Jim Dale
69. “Divine love is the sublime boss of the universe.” — John Muir
70. “If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.” — Bill Gates
Boss Quotes To Make You Embrace Your Work
71. “I’m single, I’m enjoying life. Being a boss. Like all true bosses, one day you gotta give it up.” — Rick Ross
72. “Be nice to nerds, they’ll probably be your boss one day.” — Bill Gates
73. “I think that there shouldn’t be an age limit to become a boss, so having that element is really important.” — Zendaya
74. “If your boss is getting you down, look at him through the prongs of a fork and imagine him in jail.” — Ricky Gervais
75. “Top managers love people and they want to be loved – it turns out being loved is good for your career, especially if you are the boss.” — Chade-Meng Tan
76. “Being the boss of your own career, you get used to having veto power and getting what you want, or as close to what you want as you have mapped out.” — Neko Case
77. “I’m not used to having a boss. I’m the boss. I don’t need the money. I’m filthy f… rich!” — Kimora Lee Simmons
78. “It’s not going to happen if you wait for the boss to tell you to make it happen.” — Mitch Joel
79. “I have no boss but my conscience.” — Mehmet Murat Ildan
80. “I don’t want to be my own boss. I want to be my own colleague.” — Demetri Martin
Thought Provoking Boss Quotes
81. “Control what I hold and of course be the boss of myself, no-one else will bring my wealth.” — Big Daddy Kane
82. “‘Bossy’ is someone who bosses people around without reason.” — Stefanie Powers
83. “I like my father being the boss in my life.” — Shreya Ghoshal
84. “I am not bossy, I am the boss.” — Beyonce Knowles
85. “The boss isn’t always right, but he is the boss.” — David Robertson
86. “In a world of bosses, you are your own master.” — John Grogan
87. “Tell your boss what you really think about him and the truth shall set you free.” — Patrick Murray
88. “When everything is together – the band, me, the audience, it’s boss! It’s just like magic.” — Janis Joplin
89. “Why do I want somebody to tell me what to do, tell me what I’m doing wrong? I want to be the boss.” — Bubba Watson
90. “Your boss is only human and just wants the best from you.” — Naomie Harris
Boss Quotes That Will Help You To Become A Leader
91. “It is reassuring for people to feel they have a boss, someone who knows the answers and has charted the course.” — George Cukor
92. “You can’t be a good boss without first being a good person.” ― Sarvesh Jain
93. “Bosses care to be in charge, leaders try to take care of those in their charge.” ― Amit Kalantri
94. “The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, ‘Go!’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!” ― E.M. Kelly
95. “If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong – that’s healthy.” — Robert Townsend
96. “A leader is admired, a boss is feared.” — Vicente Del Bosque
97. “There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” — Klaus Balkenhol
98. A good boss realizes that they can also learn from those they work with no matter the level, title or position. Learning is a continuous habit and is one of the best lessons demonstrated by a good boss.” — Byron Pulsifer
99. “A good boss is a person who can tolerate my complaints and still manage to say hello to me every day.” — Byron Pusifer
100. “The mediocre boss tells. The good boss explains. The superior boss demonstrates. The great boss Inspires.” — William Arthur Ward
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.
December 13, 2022 5:00 AM EST