Business Leadership: Leaders VS. Managers

Leaders and managers. Two words that are often used interchangeably, but what's the real difference? While someone can be both a leader and a manager, one key differentiating factor is that managers have people who work for them while leaders have followers.

Leaders and Managers - What's the Difference?

It may sound cliché, but if you look at the definitions of management and leadership you'll start to notice the different mindsets. Management "comprises of directing and controlling a group of people for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing the group towards accomplishing a goal;" while leadership is defined by "the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization."

5 Attributes That Separate Leaders From Managers:


Power: Get power from formal authority and the title of their position. Managers may view their team as subordinates.

Planning: Plan resources and tasks to achieve set objectives. Managers focus on obtaining short term goals and work to make quick fixes.

Work: Administer and make sure day-to-day activities are happening as they should.

Responsibility: Delegate tasks and are likely to delegate blame. Managers are likely to only take on responsibilities that are given directly to them and not go above and beyond what is asked of them.

Action: Reactive. Managers follow instructions as given and will react to situations as they arise.


Power: Use their charisma and influence to gain power. Leaders obtain followers because people believe in them and their vision.

Planning: Have a clear and sustainable vision. Leaders focus on long term goals that will sustain the organization.

Work: Get people to understand why the work is being done and work with teams to achieve goals.

Responsibility: Take full responsibility for their actions. Leaders are honest and thoughtful when it comes to admitting they are wrong and own up to their mistakes. Great leaders use troubling times as an opportunity to set higher standards for themselves and map out an even clearer vision for the future.

Action: Proactive. Leaders anticipate changes and prepare in advance to steer the team to safety and success. Use a calm demeanor to roll with the punches. Leaders have confidence that their teams can overcome any challenge that comes their way.

What differences have you noticed between leadership and management? Now that you know the attributes that separate leaders and managers, implement a leadership attitude into your work life and let us take care of the managing with our document management and managed print services. Our services free up your time so you can focus on leading your company to success without being bogged down with daily maintenance. Contact Coordinated Business Systems to find out how our customized solutions can work for your business.