Leader vs. Manager

by Ad Mal; Updated September 26, 2017
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Being a manager and being a leader are two different things. In the corporate world, they are vastly different jobs that require different skill sets. Yes, there are similarities, and it is hard to be considered a good manager without leadership capabilities. But being a manager doesn’t mean you have the inherent ability to lead. And leaders don’t necessarily make the best managers.

Leadership Definition

Leaders can be found in all corners of the office or jobsite. A person can be considered a leader when he can successfully encourage others to follow his lead and influence colleagues to work toward an objective in which the goal is of benefit to the group. Leadership is an innate ability that is difficult to learn. However, they may not be able to handle complex business-related issues

Manager Definition

A manager is someone who is usually a leader by default of the position. Employees follow him because they are required to in their job descriptions. Managers offer stability and confidence in an organization. Managers are good at delegating tasks and achieving results, but may not be the first person employees look to when in need of guidance.

Difference

Management can be defined as doing things right, while leadership is doing the right thing. Managers have subordinates, while leaders have followers. Employees may not feel a sense of loyalty to a manager, but will stick with the leader because they have a greater sense of belief in the latter. Managers who don’t have true leadership skills lack certain qualities that are attractive to followers, such as charisma.

Being Both

Being able to blend the styles of a leader and a manager represents a distinguished skills set. That’s why people with the ability to be leaders and managers are found at the top of all successful companies. The most successful businesses and teams have strong leaders to achieve buy in from employees and managers who know how to harness employees to get the results required to achieve success.

About the Author

Ad Mal has been a professional journalist for over nine years, working at various community and specialized trade publications in reporting and managerial editing roles, and in television and radio in both on-air and behind-the-scenes roles. He has covered all levels of sports and politics, local news, crime, and business and finance. He graduated with honors from Seneca College's Broadcast Journalism Program.

Photo Credits

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