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Leadership vs Management

Is it True that a Good Manager is a Good Leader by Default?

The terms ‘Leadership’ and ‘Management’ are among the most regularly used in the corporate world, and they are sometimes used interchangeably. However, have you ever wondered what the terms mean? The major distinction between leaders and managers is that leaders have followers, whilst managers have employees.

Many people believe that if you are a manager, you are automatically a leader. That, however, is not the case. Someone else has the power to promote you to manager. You, on the other hand, are the only one who can make yourself a leader. Furthermore, just a few people are capable of both managing and leading.


A manager is a person who works for a company and is responsible for the four major management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Are all managers, however, leaders?

Most managers are natural leaders, but only if they carry out the management tasks of communication, inspiration, guidance, and as well as motivating staff to achieve higher levels of productivity.

Sadly, not all supervisors are natural leaders. While employees obey their supervisors because they’re compelled to do so, a leader’s direction is followed rather because they’re respected, or influence and inspire employees.

What Characteristics do Managers Possess?

The ability to carry out a plan: Managers create a strategic vision for their company and then break it down into a road map for their employees to follow.


The capacity to direct: Managers are in charge of day-to-day operations while also analyzing essential resources and predicting the need for adjustments.


Work norms, processes, standards, and operational procedures are established by Process Management Managers.


People Focused: Managers are recognized for taking care of and catering to the needs of the people they supervise. This involves listening to them, including them in crucial decisions, and tolerating reasonable requests for change to boost productivity.


The key distinction between management and leadership is that leaders are not always in management positions. Simply defined, a leader does not have to be an organizational authority figure; anyone can be a leader.


Leaders, unlike managers, are respected for their personality, demeanour, and views. A leader invests personally in activities and projects and shows a strong desire to succeed. Leaders care deeply about the success of their followers, helping them to achieve their objectives—which aren’t always company objectives.

What Characteristics do Leaders Possess?
  • Vision: A leader understands where they are and where they want to go, and they usually involve their team in charting a course for the future. Honesty & Integrity: Leaders have followers who believe in them and follow them down the route they have laid out.

  • Leaders are usually inspirational; they assist their teams and see their teams’ individual duties in a larger framework.

  • Communication Skills: Leaders keep their teams up to date on what’s going on in the present and the future, as well as any roadblocks that may arise. Ability to Face Difficulties: Leaders are those who refuse to accept the status quo. They have their own way of doing things and solving problems, and they’re the ones who usually think outside the box.
1. Leaders Want You to Win

Instead of waiting for assignments, leaders take on difficulties and assist managers to understand their roles in building companies. Leaders research the organization and development managers in addition to their roles. According to Meredith Moore Crosby of Leverette Weekes, the transition from individual contributor to leader requires a mentality adjustment.

2. Leaders Are Visionary, Managers Are Tactical

The charisma of a leader inspires others to perform. Managers are tactical and oversee a company’s day-to-day operations. Changing from manager to leader typically necessitates a shift in heart and thought. As Rick Itzkowich of 501 Connections Inc. states, a person may need to change employment and start over.

3. Managers Micromanage, Leaders Inspire

A leader forges a route forward by encouraging others to listen to others’ views with interest. They motivate themselves and others to be the best they can be by pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones. According to Kris McCrea Scritchfield, being a leader starts from within, not from without.

4. Managers Train, Leaders Develop

Leaders develop their people on a personal, professional, and educational level, allowing for long-term growth and advancement. Managers teach employees what to do and how to accomplish it, developing competency and specific abilities for a certain function or department. -General International’s Susan Taylor

5. Leaders Lead, Managers Follow

A leader might lead from the front, the side, or even the back. If a leader is leading a team or organization to a new location, they can even report to a manager. To make the shift from manager to leader, you must have a clear vision of the future. – Up Until Now Inc.’s Maureen Cunningham

How to become a Good Leader

Praising individual leaders may encourage individuals to forget that the show is never run by a single person. Not everyone in charge of a team is a leader and a manager at the same time. To create a successful organization, both must be present, and all individuals who contributed to that accomplishment must be recognized.

Many people have experience as both a manager and a leader. After managing people but realizing that you can’t bribe people to follow you down a difficult path, you begin to act as a leader.

The problem, therefore, becomes ensuring that you are both leading and managing your team daily.

Those able to do both will gain an advantage in the marketplace.


The Three Tests

Vineet Nayar shares three tests he designed to help managers determine if they have successfully made the transition from managing to leading people in his article,’ ‘Three Differences Between Managers And Leaders’.

  • Counting vs. Creating Value:

According to him, managers are the only ones who count value. Some individuals devalue ideas and people who offer value by disabling or otherwise negating them.

Leaders, on the other hand, concentrate on generating value that is distinct from that which the team generates—and are just as much a value producer as their followers. “Leading by example and leading by enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership,” Nayar stipulates.

  • Circles of Influence vs. Circles of Power:

Managers have subordinates, and leaders gain followers, as previously said, implying that managers establish a circle of authority, whereas leaders create a circle of influence. Nayar gives suggestions on how to figure out which circle surrounds you. “Counting the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for guidance is the easiest way to figure out which of the two you’re doing,” he adds. The more you do, the more likely you are to be considered a leader.”

  • Leading People vs. Managing People:

Controlling a group to achieve a given goal is one of a manager’s responsibilities. Leadership, on the other hand, is defined as an individual’s ability to encourage, influence, and empower other employees to contribute to an organization’s success. Leaders and managers are distinguished by their ability to inspire and influence rather than by their control and authority.