The difference between a Leader and a Manager

by Oct 8, 2021Human Resources, Uncategorized

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” John C Maxwell.

Are you a leader or a manager?

You might be thinking, “but, aren’t they essentially the same thing?”

There are actually some important distinctions between a leader and a manager, as explained by Lisa McKale in her article written on Resourceful Manager. The article lists 17 traits setting them apart. You can read it here:

From this list, we’ve selected four of the most important differences between a leader and a manager. As you read each one below, we challenge you to reflect on your own style of management/leadership and think about which description better matches your style.

1.  A manager instructs employees. A leader encourages employees.

Managers tend to be very instructional and give directives all day every day because they believe it’s how to get the job done. A leader will not only give the directive but motivate and encourage the employee to succeed in the directive.

2. A manager meets expectations. A leader charts new growth.

Managers are often given objectives or KPIs from their supervisors that they are expected to achieve. Leaders also get this, however, in addition to achieving targets they will often explore new growth opportunities along the way, setting an overall higher standard to reach.

3. A manager plans the details. A leader sets the direction.

It is commonplace for managers to plan a new project alone, and then set directions for employees to follow. On the contrary, a leader will seek employee participation by including them in the decision-making and then involving them in the launch of the new idea or project.

4. A manager accepts the status quo. A leader challenges the status quo.

Managers who accept the status quo are good for businesses who are happy standing still and operating as per usual. A leader who challenges the status quo will add value by continuously brainstorming new ideas and solutions that will evoke change and promote growth in the business.

What do you think? Have your thoughts changed on whether you think you are a leader vs a Manager? Let us know!

Want to learn more? give us a call on 1800 577 515 or email at Alternatively you can book a video chat at

You May Also Like…