Is there really a difference between leadership roles and management roles?  Do they share the same qualities or perhaps they just learn particular skills over-time? We often use the words ‘leaders’ and ‘managers’ interchangeably. Below we will take a look at both and see if, and what, these differences are.

The Job of a Manager

Within a company, or organization the Manager will have responsibilities and tasks that are particular to management.  These will concern developing and planning, organizing, leading and governing.  Does this then mean they are also leaders?    It could be that most managers do tend to also be leaders.

If these managers are performing well as managers and motivating and guiding as well as inspiring others to increase their productivity then they are indeed leaders. It is an important function of a manager to incentivize their employees to up their game and not just while playing on a Slotocash Casino, but to increase their productivity.

However, not all managers are able to do this and therefore not all managers are leaders.   Employees need to be inspired by their manager to carry out their tasks and not just because they are obligated to do so.   Some managers just don’t have those special leadership qualities necessary to motivate their employees.

The duties of a manager are usually set out in a formal work contract and those employees working beneath this manager will follow their lead by virtue of their position.   The manager’s main job is to meet certain objectives and goals and they are responsible for ensuring that these get met.   It is also the manager who is responsible for the employees working towards these goals also.   The manager has the authority to hire and fire and also to reward employees for good work and behavior.

What is the Job of a Leader?

The main difference between Managers and Leaders is that leaders do not have to be managers or in a managerial role.  A leader can be anybody.  They don’t have to be in a position of authority within the company or business.

People are inspired by leaders because of their personalities or their behavior.   A leader will be passionate about what he or she does and will invest much energy into their projects and tasks. A leader is interested in motivating those around them and helping them in their development and ensuring they reach levels of success.  This does not have to have anything to do with the aims of the organization.

The authority and power that a leader may have over people is not necessarily something tangible or something that can be perfectly measured.  However, a leader can maintain their power over people by how much they are able to inspire them and motivate them in their endeavors.

One main difference could be in the words we choose: managers have subordinates whereas leaders have followers.   When a manager requests something from subordinates they are expected to obey and carry out the request.

Leadership works in a different way.  The leader must inspire his followers to adhere to what he wants and they can choose at any time to stop following that leader.   Leaders tend to be those who question the status quo.   Leaders are creative, passionate, and innovative.

The Qualities of a Manager 

  • The ability to implement an idea – managers put together the vision and then set out a plan for the team to execute.
  • Managers have the ability and the responsibility to make choices, decisions and to delegate.
  • It is managers who are responsible for daily work schedules, reviewing the resources available and deciding what changes need to be made.
  • The authority lies with Managers to make the rules and operating procedures.
  • Managers look after the interests of the people they are responsible for.  The manager will listen, include and involve people in the decision- making process when appropriate and make changes if this will increase productivity.

What are the Characteristics of a Leader? 

  • A leader has a vision of where they want to go and can direct others on the path.
  • Leaders have integrity and people will follow them and want to walk the path with them.
  • Leaders are able to inspire people and will help to develop members of their team to incorporate the bigger picture.
  • Leaders will communicate with the team and keep them updated about everything that concerns the project they are involved in.
  • Leaders have the ability to think and work outside of the box.  They are able to challenge the status quo.

How are Managers and Leaders Different from One Another? 

It is possible to be a manager and a leader at the same time.   However, you can be an incredible leader but not make the cut as far as a manager goes.  The same applies the other way around.    So, are there specific differences between the two?

  • A leader is an innovator, a manager is an organizer.  A leader of a team will initiate new ideas and promote new ways of thinking.  A leader is always thinking ahead and looking to develop new ways of working for the company or organization.  A leader keeps abreast of all the latest trends and new technologies and has a clear future plan.  On the other hand, a manager is someone who is maintaining the current status of that which is already established.  A manager is generally looking to keep things flowing and maintaining the status quo.
  • Alan Murray in his book “Lasting Lessons from the Best Leadership Minds of our Time”, writes that a manager “establishes appropriate targets and yardsticks, and analyzes, appraises and interprets performance”.  They are in tune with the people with whom they work and know how to utilize people to suit the task in question.
  • Leaders inspire others to put their trust in them. Managers, on the other hand, will rely on control.   Leaders encourage and motivate employees to develop themselves and to do what is best for the team.   Managers are employed to be in charge and in control of their employees.  It is critical that they have a good understanding of who their employees are. This way they are able to bring out the employee’s potential.
  • The questions of a leader will include “What” and “Why” and the questions of a manager are likely to be “How” and “When”.

A leader will show good judgement and will stand up to those in more senior positions if they feel that some improvement needs to be made.   If mistakes are made, it will be the leader who will ask what and how can we learn from this.   A manager is unlikely to ask this question. It is not their job to figure out the reason for failures or successes.  They will be looking at the how and the when of executing specific plans.  A manager is not actively looking to alter the status quo.

Managers and Leaders both have an important role to play.  If you are lucky enough to find both qualities in the same person you have definitely hit the jackpot and you should keep hold of them.