Difference Between a Manager and a Leader


Last Updated: December 1, 2022
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“Great managers are leaders, but not all leaders are managers.”

What is the main difference between leadership and management? Though many of you would believe that these two terms have the same meaning, that is erroneous.

A few years ago, managers were employed to oversee businesses that had been founded by inventors, entrepreneurs, and leaders. However, you’ll notice that our school system is primarily focused on management education today. That’s why you see people going crazy over getting into Harvard, Princeton and Stanford!

Leadership and management are often deemed to have overlapping responsibilities. While this can be right, these two words have unique definitions and shouldn’t be used synonymously. Both imply a different range of qualities, traits, and abilities that are related.

Typically, when we refer to leaders, we mean managers, and when we address managers, we consider them to be leaders. The same person may be both, they don’t necessarily have to be. Even Mussolini can be called a leader, but he definitely wouldn’t be an example of a manager!

So, in this blog, we will dig deep into the differences between leadership and management.

Leadership vs Management: What are the Differences Between the Two?


Good managers don’t have to be great leaders—and some leaders may not possess the designation “manager.” But you need both to have a strong team and a good business.

A leader is someone who influences the actions of those who follow him in order to achieve set targets. As a leader, you’re capable of directing people in a specific situation and guiding the group toward the achievement of the similar goal.

As a manager, you would work for the company and are responsible for overseeing and directing the tasks of other team members. You would be the one who assigns work to employees and are in charge of hiring or firing them.

Job Roles

Leaders are visionaries. The majority of them have a distinct vision for the future of their organisations. They are not the only ones responsible for carrying out that vision, though. The mission, vision, and goals of the company must be explained clearly to the entire organisation by the leader.

Managers are responsible for keeping workers connected with the central corporate goals and values. A manager is typically someone who is chosen or appointed within a company. A manager is usually chosen based on certain technical abilities, experience, and expertise. Managers are the ones who can influence employees to work towards the same goals.


Leaders are often described as smart, erratic, and charismatic. However, they are frequently viewed as mysterious and private persons. They are comfortable taking risks, sometimes presumably wild and crazy risks. Nearly all leaders possess strong imaginations.

The majority of managers are calm, logical problem solvers. They frequently concentrate on the objectives, frameworks, employees, and resource availability. Managers tend to have persistent, strong will, critical, and intelligent minds.


Because of their charm and personality traits, subordinates follow leaders instinctually and willingly. His power over people is typically informal and unrelated to his position.

A manager is obeyed due to the formal authority granted to him/her. People thus generally show greater loyalty to leaders than to managers.

Ability to Lead/Direct

When it comes to motivating their teams, leaders are inspirational. They help them understand that they are essential to the success of the team or the organisation.

Managers oversee the team members’ work, evaluate it, and convey instructions to them. This is where the difference lies. While managers merely point out the destination, leaders assist the team in getting there and provide them more opportunities to participate.

Main Focus

Leaders concentrate on people, on all the stakeholders they must inspire to support their goal. They are very familiar with their stakeholders and spend the majority of their time with them. By constantly keeping their word, they gain customers’ loyalty and trust.

Managers concentrate on the mechanisms needed to set and achieve objectives. They concentrate on the quantitative and make sure mechanisms are in place to achieve desired results. They assist others in achieving their goals and objectives.

Become a Manager or a Leader With Mentoria’s Help!

It’s not easy to become a manager or even a leader, for that matter. If you need any help developing your skills and abilities to become either of the two, we’re here to help you

We at Mentoria work with experts to give you proper career guidance and help you discover what you will truly enjoy and excel at. Sure, it might seem scary at first but it is not impossible with the right people helping you in your journey.

Our career counsellors are psychologists, educators and HR experts who are rigorously trained to guide you towards careers that fuel your passion. Our counselling sessions also enable you to determine your strengths and development areas, following which, we share a relevant action plan for you to work on. 

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