ali khan
Ali Khan
Published On
December 14, 2023
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Leader Vs. Manager: Key Differences

The terms "management" and "leadership" are sometimes used synonymously. While some tasks that managers and leaders perform are similar, there are also crucial differences. Let me take you through these differences below.

Difference Between Leader and Manager

To know the difference between a leader and manager, let’s understand what a leader and manager mean.


A manager is a person who leads by example. He works with his team, makes decisions on what needs to get done, and delegates tasks to other employees. A typical manager is a boss who has a very high position in the hierarchy of an organization. They are responsible for the overall operation of the team.


Leaders are people who possess the ability to direct others and have a positive impact on their followers. They are in charge of motivating the team and making sure that everyone is getting things done. The best thing about leaders is that they not only make decisions, but also motivate people to act on those decisions.

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While both roles — leaders and managers — are important for an organization, managers are responsible for managing resources and employees. Leaders, on the other hand, help with developing new ideas and concepts and implementing them with their team members.

Key Differences Between Leaders and Managers

In order to get a better understanding of the difference between leaders and managers, let’s take a look at the differences between the two roles: - Managers focus on numbers and paperwork

- Leaders focus on ideas, dreams, and inspiration

- Managers don’t make decisions; they only manage things

- Leaders make decisions based on the available options

- Managers have experience; they do things that they have practiced many times

- Leaders look out for opportunities; they try out new things

Takeaway:  A manager has to plan how much time each employee should spend in various tasks, while a leader finds out how much time each employee can dedicate to various tasks.

How to Work Effectively With Your Manager or Leader?  

1. Respect your Manager  Your manager is there to help you reach your goals! You should not just accept orders from them but also offer opinions whenever you want. Offer your views instead of accepting everything your manager says without thinking. Try coming up with best solutions that will benefit both you as well as your manager. It is important that you respect your manager as much as you can. You should treat him or her like family as he/she is always there for you when you need them!  

2. Communicate Correctly With Your Manager Make sure that you communicate with your manager appropriately so that you can get what you want from him or her. A manager always wants to listen to his or her employees; however, it is important that you give clear instructions so that he or she does not misunderstand anything. Make sure that you do not get angry or irritated for any decision your manager makes rather accept it happily!    

3. Follow Management Tasks Properly Your boss will always want to see his work completed properly so it is important that you perform your job correctly and according to his/her instructions at all times! Try being creative while doing your job but always keep in mind your boss’s vision while completing it!   4. Communicate With Other Employees It is essential that you discuss the issues with other employees when it comes to management so that everyone knows what is going on! The best way to do this would be going to a private meeting room with your colleague/co-workers who have been facing similar problems at work!  

5. Always Keep Up To Date With Your Manager's Goals And Vision Make sure that you research about your boss’s goals as well as his/her vision before starting work! This will help you gain more knowledge about important information related to your work, especially if you were not updated earlier!  

6. Learn From Previous Mistakes/Decisions Whenever you make mistakes at work or take wrong decisions, always remember these mistakes so that you do not repeat them again in future! It is important that you do not repeat these mistakes again so that you do not lose your credibility in front of your boss or customers!  

7. Be Flexible And Reachable At All Times! As an employee, make sure to be reachable at all times so that if there is any problem popping up at work suddenly, it can be taken care of as soon as possible! Do not go missing for too long in between as this will make things worse when working with other employees!  

8. Know Your Limits And Limits Of Others Around You While working with others around you, make sure to set clear boundaries and limits for yourself so that no one misbehaves with others while doing their job! It is important that everyone knows what they can expect from others while working together so they can complete their jobs effectively even if there are more than one person working on one task at the same time!  

9. Keep Yourself Goal Oriented   It is important that while working at any workplace, never forget why exactly are you working here? Always keep yourself goal oriented instead of getting overworked just because of completing tasks assigned by others! Set goals for yourself as well as learn how to complete tasks within deadlines effectively without losing track of time! Setting goals will help you wake up early in the morning even before everyone else for work instead of staying in bed for long hours before going places where work gets done!    

10. Keep Your Manager Updated With Team Progress And Changes Always make sure to keep updating your manager about progress updates or any changes in plans relating to tasks or projects under progress or even any small detail regarding these projects so that he/she does not find out from someone else first! It is always good if we tell our managers about anything related related to our work ourselves instead of someone else telling them about it which could sometimes lead him/her towards wrong conclusions as well as miscommunication between him/her and other team members working on the same project together! It would be good if we tell our managers about things ourselves first without them knowing about it second hand through someone else rather than telling them directly first hand so that we don’t mess up any relationships between us and our managers which could lead us towards misunderstandings which could lead us towards bigger problems in future!  

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11. Be Dedicated And Put In Extra Efforts To Improve Yourself    

12. Stay Up To Date With New Projects And Changes    

13. Act Responsibly And Never Put Your Own Needs Before Customer's Needs   14. Do Not Rush Things Or Worry About Time Limits      

15 . Do Not Complain Too Much But Rather Accept Decisions With Patience     16 . Always Think About Future Opportunities So That You Never Fall Back In Present Tasks/Projects      

17 . Never Consider Others As Misunderstood People      

18 . Never Think Anything Is Impossible Or Impossible To Achieve      

19 . Do Not Worry About Losing Job As Nobody Can Replace Your Work Because Of Inexperience      

20 . Never Listen To Anyone Else Instead Work On Yourself Only Since Every Person Has Own Way Of Thinking

The goal of leadership is to bring out good, non-incremental change, which includes developing a vision and strategy to guide the transition, empowering others to carry out the vision in the face of challenges, and building a combination of momentum and energy to progress the change. 

Management consistently motivates the confused, misinformed, unmotivated, and misdirected to achieve a single goal. Understanding what drives people's behavior and having the capacity to bring out the best in them while keeping a goal in mind is where management and leadership genuinely meet.

These kind of skills you do not just learn them in a day or in three or four years in college even if you graduated in Harvard business school. This is an ongoing cycle of learning process. Human resources can guide you if you want to know which one is the manager and which is the leader in the company your work for. Both the leader and the manager can influence people.

Traits of a Leader 


A leader knows where they are and where they want to go. They also tend to involve their team in determining the future course and direction.

Integrity and honesty

People that follow leaders follow them down the road they have established and believe them.


Most of the time, leaders inspire their teams and aid them in placing their roles in a larger framework.

Functional Communication

Leaders always keep their team up to date on events, both past, and future, as well as any challenges they may face.

Being able to challenge

Leaders must question the status quo. They have methods for carrying out tasks and resolving issues and frequently think creatively.

Traits of a Manager 


For their team to follow, managers create a strategic vision and deconstruct it into a roadmap.


Managers are in charge of daily operations while also analyzing the required resources and foreseeing the need to make adjustments along the route.

Process management 

Workplace policies, standards, and operating procedures can be created by managers.

People person

It is common knowledge that managers take care of and attend to the requirements of the people they are in charge of, listening to them, including them in certain important decisions, and accommodating reasonable requests for change to boost productivity.

Manager Vs. Leader Important differences 

There is a possibility for both of them to work together. But just because someone is a brilliant leader does not necessarily mean they will also be a great manager and vice versa. What significant differences exist between the two roles, then? 

You can learn for both via an online course, leadership and management both are pretty important. Their differences by their job title and personality traits makes them both equally important. Both of them are self aware of their job importance. Good leadership makes great leaders and great leaders continue to make a great leader.

While a manager organizes, a leader creates or innovates

The team's leader generates fresh concepts and initiates the organization's shift or transition to a forward-thinking phase. A leader constantly has his or her sights fixed on the future, creating new tactics and plans for the business. A leader thoroughly understands all the most recent developments, skill sets, and trends and has a clear sense of direction and goals. On the other hand, a manager typically only maintains what has already been developed. To avoid disruption, a manager must keep an eye on the bottom line while managing the staff, workers, and organizational workflow.

A leader fosters trust while a manager focuses on control.

A leader pushes employees to perform their best and knows how to create an appropriate pace and tempo for the rest of the group, unlike a manager who relies on control. In comparison, managers are obliged by their job description to establish control over staff members, which assists in developing their strengths and brings out the best in them. To effectively perform their duties, managers must have a solid understanding of their employees.

A manager tends to focus more on the questions "how" and "when," while a leader asks "what" and "why."

Some people may dispute authority to change or even reverse decisions that might not be in the team's best interests to live up to their leadership responsibilities. A lot of sound judgment is necessary for effective leadership. What did we learn? This is the question that a leader will raise whenever a company experiences a difficult time.

However, managers are not compelled to evaluate and examine failures. They are asking "how" and "when" questions are focused on their job description, which usually aids them in ensuring that plans are carried out correctly. They frequently fail to make changes because they simply accept the situation. 

Keeping Value and Creating Value

Value is only measured by managers. Some people reduce value by eliminating or otherwise neutralizing ideas and contributors. As much as their followers are value creators, leaders concentrate on creating a particular value that is above and beyond what the team already creates. Action-based leadership is characterized by leading by example and by enabling others.

Surrounded by influence and surrounded by power

Managers create a circle of power, whereas leaders create a circle of influence, as was previously mentioned. Managers have employees, while leaders get followers. 

Leading People vs. Managing People

On the other side, leadership is the capacity of a person to inspire, influence, and empower other workers to contribute to the success of an organization. Not control and authority but inspiration and influence differentiate leaders from managers.

There are two different approaches to improving teamwork among employees: 

Managing and leading. 

The new vision and initiatives are led by leadership, while management efficiently manages the resources to make those ideas a reality. In addition, you can improve your leadership abilities over time by gaining emotional intelligence and social influence skills.

“Leadership is the ability to influence, teach or direct other people toward the accomplishment of a goal.” - Max De Pree.

A manager leads by example, positions the team members, and helps toward the goal. The manager is important – without an effective manager, you can’t have a successful team. Leaders are important – without leaders, you can’t have a leader! The key difference is this: a manager leads by example, whereas a leader leads by setting the goal. Setting goals is one of the most important characteristics of a good leader. Without leading your team/organization towards a goal, nobody and nothing can be accomplished. The duties of the two positions are basically different.

A manager leads and motivates people to reach their goals, whereas a leader sets the goal for others to follow and inspires them to achieve it.To conclude, both leadership and management roles are very important in the success of any organization. Both roles are equally significant – without managers, employees would not be motivated, while without leaders, there would be no vision or direction to follow.“Leaders don't follow; they lead or they get out of the way!” - Donald H. Wolfe

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More Articles From Ali Khan

Ali is a co-founder of Wrenly known for his innovative thinking and exceptional drive to create value for every Wrenly customer. His dedication, mentorship, and leadership skills have not only shaped various careers but have also made him an invaluable asset to the Wrenly team.

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