What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

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The words ‘leader’ and ‘manager’ are among the most commonly used words in business and are often used interchangeably. However, these are two very different concepts.

What is a Manager?

A manager is the member of an organisation who has the responsibility of carrying out four important functions of management. These are the following:

  • Planning,
  • Organising,
  • Leading, as well as

Most managers also are also leaders however, this is only if they also carry out the leadership responsibilities of management. These responsibilities include:

  • Communication,
  • Motivation,
  • Providing inspiration as well as guidance, in addition to
  • Encouraging employees to achieve a higher level of productivity.

Not all managers are leaders

Some of the managers in business have weak leadership qualities. Employees follow instructions from their managers as they are obliged to do so and not necessarily as they are positively influenced or inspired by the leader in question.

A manager’s main focus is to meet organisational goals as well as objectives. They usually do not take much else on board. Managers are held liable for their actions in addition for the actions of their subordinates. With the title comes the authority as well as the privilege to promote, hire, fire, discipline, or reward employees. This is based on their performance and behaviour.

Who are leaders?

Leaders don’t necessarily hold a management position. In other words,  a leader doesn’t have to be an authority figure in the company. A leader can be anyone – from the CEO to the tea lady.

Leaders are followed owing to their personality, behaviour as well as beliefs. A leader personally invests in tasks in addition to projects. A leader will also demonstrate a high level of passion for work. These people take a great deal of interest in the success of their followers. This interest enables them to reach their goals. (These goals are not necessarily organisational goals.)

There aren’t always tangible or formal responsibilities that a leader exercises over his followers. Temporary power can be awarded to a leader. This power can be conditional based on the ability of the leader to continually inspire as well as motivate their followers.

Leadership works on generating inspiration as well as  trust among employees. Those who do want to follow their leader may stop doing so at any time. Generally, leaders are individuals who challenge the status quo. They are change-savvy, visionary, agile, creative as well as adaptive.

The intersection between management and leadership

Exceptional management skills are vital to any manager’s career. If a manager in an organisation is aiming for a higher position, such as a director-level or senior executive role, they may benefit from developing outstanding leadership skills, as well.

While ensuring the competence, control as well as the balance of power among groups with the likelihood for rivalry, managerial leadership unfortunately does not necessarily ensure imagination, creativity, or ethical behaviour in the process of guiding the destinies of corporate organisations. Leadership unavoidably requires the use of power in order to influence the thoughts as well as actions of other people.

In any organisation, both managers and leaders play a vital role in guiding their employees and making sure that the ultimate end goal of the organisation is achieved. If you’re involved in the marketing function of a business, and want to progress to the next level (and gain leadership and managerial skills) we really recommend that  you do our Marketing Management Short Course.

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