Similarities and differences of a leader and a manager

The terms “leadership and “management” are seen very differently by diverse people. Some individuals see these terms as synonyms and frequently use them interchangeably throughout phrases and sentences. Others approach them as extreme opposites; so extreme, in fact, they would argue that you cannot be a good manager and a good leader at the same time. Still other people reside somewhere in the middle and realize that while there is a difference between leadership and management, with the right knowledge an individual can successfully navigate both from the same position.

The field of leadership has been a fast-growing part of management knowledge since the beginning of the 20th century. in most conceptions of management and organization, leadership has given a central place in enforcing principles, motivating employees and communicating future goals and visions to strive for. .

Management and leadership have been partners in the successes and failures of countries and companies before the start of recorded history. The basic concept of both are well understood but despite a large amount of information available, there is still confusion and disagreement on the implementation of management skills vs. leadership principles. Successful creation of professional development program is dependent on the recognition that technical/management skills are learned abilities .they are the backbone of the companies core capabilities. These capabilities must b augmented with leadership attributes that allow the team to move forward in implementation of the core business (Ukko, J. & Tenhunen, J .& Rantanen, H., 2007).

(Ballinger,G & Schoorman, F & Lehman, D, 2006) The terms “management” and “leadership” are often interchanged. In fact, many people view them as basically the same thing. Yet management is as distinct from leadership as day is from night. Both are necessary, however, for a high-performance organization. By contrasting them and understanding their differences, we can better balance and improve these essential roles. Therefore, both are two distinctive and complementary systems of action and necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment. Each has its own function and characteristic activities…strong leadership with weak management are no better, and are sometimes actually worse, than the reverse. the real challenge is to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other.

One key distinction between management and leadership is that we manage things and lead people. Things include physical assets, processes, and systems. People include customers, external partners, and people throughout our team or organization (or “internal partners”).when dealing with things, we talk about a way of doing. In the people realm, we are talking about a way of being.

(Jovanovic, Z & Sajfert ,D, 2009) There are differences between leadership and management. Leadership is influence and challenging future actions enterprises and it deals with effectiveness and manager efficiency. Managerial skills are prerequisite for leadership. it is possible to be an excellent manager, and to never become a leader.

Good managerial skills not only provide the basis for good leadership, but also enough time to conduct, because it is not possible to become a good leader and the management of the operations do not happen successfully.

Often indicates the following differences between the management and leadership. The leadership based on the relative impact and management in relation authority. The secondly, leadership and leaders engage followers, and the management of managers and perpetrators They are both complete action systems neither is simply one aspect of the other. Each has its own distinctive purpose and characteristic activities. People who think of management as being only the implementation part of leadership ignore the fact that leadership has its own implementation processes.

Literature Review:

2.1 Concept of management

(Haslam, 2004) Management is basically the process of getting activities completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people and it tends to involve direction of day-to-day operational tasks, management and maintenance of budgets and deadline oriented, directing teams to achieve goals by establishing objectives.

(Ukko, J. & Tenhunen, J .& Rantanen, H., 2007) management the term which can be defined functionally as the action in measuring a quantity on a regular basis and adjusting an initial plan and the actions taken to reach one’s intended goal .

2.2 Concept of leadership

(Haslam, 2004) Leadership is quite possibly the most-researched aspect of social and organizational psychology. As a result, a lot has been written on the topic. have a look at the business section of your local bookshop and see just how many books are devoted to an attempt to explain leadership. It is fascinating to both academics and practitioners.

(Ukko, J. & Tenhunen, J .& Rantanen, H., 2007) The term leadership as a process or action that affects the actions of an organized group when it is heading for goal setting and goals. The main qualities of leadership are abilities for long-term strategic thinking, communication skills, integrity and ambition. in popular language, leadership usually refers to motivating and committing people- in short, leading people. leadership comes from personality. Companies spend a lot of time, money, and effort on the selection of their high-level leaders. Yet consistent leadership traits have been very difficult to identify. Two things that are clear are:

(1) Leadership is a relationship between people.

(2) An effective leader is different in different situations.

Based on (Jovanovic, Z & Sajfert ,D, 2009) leadership can be defined as the process by which members of a group activity directed toward the achievement of objectives. Here it can have several meanings:

· Leadership involves other people-the employees or followers that means not equal distribution of power between leaders and group members .

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· Leadership is the ability to be in different ways using various forms of power to impact on the behavior of followers.

2.3 What is a manager?

(Haslam, 2004)in many organizations, “Manager” is a formally conferred title. you can even go to college and learn to be a manager. Managers are possibly part of but often separate to the group they manage. Offices rarely have more than one office Manager.

Being a good manager is about using the authority attached to your role well and appropriately. Manager’s focus on day to day tasks to make sure work is completed. They use rules and processes, tactical direction and control, to manage others’ activities.

2.4 What is a leader?

(Kent, 2005) Leaders achieve change. They use ideas and dialogue to influence, inspire, help, and encourage change in peoples’ attitudes – leading to changes in behavior. it is often said: “management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.” leadership involves the risk of following new ideas to create opportunities, while management diligence produces tangible results. Being a good leader is very much about developing relationships. Sometimes they are personal, other times they are idealogical. Either way – followers ‘connect’ with the leader on a personal level.

2.5 Leading and managing

(Haslam, 2004) Perhaps it is true that we must be able to see things separately before we can understand how they can ¬t together. while it is recognized that the two processes, managing and leading, must work together and reside within the same individual, it is useful – in order to understand each process more completely – to comprehend them separately.

It is argued then that the two processes, while distinct, cannot effectively work without each other working in tandem. From the standpoint of the purposes of the two processes, how effective is it for a leader to develop a vision for the organization and to muster support and motivation to pursue it if the manager in him/her does not procure and efficiently allocate the resources to accomplish the vision? Or, the manager can effectively select and allocate resources, but if he/she has no vision or sense of direction what is that allocation based on, and where is it taking the organization.




To create direction will to pursue it through the development of people’s thinking and valuing.


The establishment of thrust toward a purpose or end the creation of social orderliness to carry out that thrust higher states of behavior and thinking in terms of principles, values, morality, and ethics.

Processes :

Creating vision, aligning people within a team, managing their “Self”, recognizing and rewarding, communicating meaning and importance of the vision.


To determine and compare alternative uses and allocations of resources and to select that alternative which is most energy effective toward accomplishing or producing a product, end or goal.

Products :

Resources, organized effort, and awareness of performance and progress toward goals

the creation of a desired mode of working among people and other resources

The creation of the most energy effective way of dealing with the causes of events and situations in accomplishing a purpose tied to a particular situation

Processes :

Planning, organizing, controlling, and coordinating.

There must be a constant hand off, or changing of hats, within a single leader/manager to be effective. The leader part of the leader/manager develops the vision and sense of direction and the manager ¬gures out how to get there in terms of the right alternative path, acquiring and allocating the resources that are needed. Wearing his/her leader hat he/she works the people issues and engenders commitment, and motivation while advancing the organization’s ethics and values. Handing off to the manager in him/herself she insures that goals are set and helps determines the most effective way of accomplishing those goals.

The mission is carried out through this constant handing off (within the same person) from leader to manager and back to leader.

2.6 Leading or managing

(Kent, 2005) The leader/manager must act in the manner appropriate to the given context. If the vision is clear and well communicated, it is probably time to get working on its execution. That would include establishing goals, making assignments, following up and other managing functions.

It is probably safe to say that most would agree that there are (at least) two signi¬cant functions that are important to the success of any organization – leading and managing. The two functions are, practically speaking, inseparable. Theoretically and conceptually, they can be differentiated. They can be studied, to some extent, separately. But in reality, they reside within, and are practiced by single individuals. Organizations need both functions in order to thrive.

It is probably an acceptable proposition that most positions in modern day organizations that require some degree of leadership also require some degree of managing (using those words as de¬ned above). but one might ask what is the degree of leadership and of managing that is required by a given position? Would it not be possible, given the argument to this point, that we could calibrate the leadership requirements of any position and the managing requirements of that position as well?

We can imagine jobs that require a high degree of managing and a low degree of leading perhaps a manufacturing engineer who is responsible for installing a new section in

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a manufacturing line. this does not suggest that the job does not require any leadership.

We might see that the engineer must gain the commitment of the line workers, enlist their cooperation, recognize their assistance and contributions, etc. but for the most part, the job requires managing many details and resources. yet a different job, say a team leader for a self-directed work team might be described as demanding a great deal of leadership and only some managing. again, the team leader must manage some things – it is not that they have nothing to manage; but the greatest demand of the team leader is on her leadership. a third job, such as a project manager for a new product introduction, may require a great deal of both managing and leading. a fourth job, perhaps a receptionist in

a law ¬rm, requires little managing or leading. ¬nally, some supervisory positions require the incumbent to perform the hands-on work itself, coordinate and problem solve the work, and to lead a number of others who are also performing the work.

2.7 How management and leadership can work together

(Haslam, 2004) the difference between a manager and a leader is that a manager says, “Go”, while a leader says, “Let’s go.”

Management researchers concede that leadership is an integral part of a manager’s job, but how much depends on the circumstances. although some companies use job titles like “team leader”, a leader fulfils a role rather than a position. anyone in an organization could be a leader, given the right situation.

This principle is sometimes used politically, where each person takes on the role as leader at different times. one well-known example is the rotating Presidency of the European Union, where each EU country gets a six-month turn at being the leader.

The Presidential country is not the “manager” of the European Union. management tasks are dealt with in Brussels. during its term, the EU President takes care of diplomacy, both within and outside of the EU: a relationship issue.

2.8 Can a Manager be a Leader and a Leader be a Manager?

(Ukko, J. & Tenhunen, J .& Rantanen, H., 2007) the answer to the question is “yes.” The skills to be a leader or a manager are not exclusive in nature. A leader who only displays leadership skills will be ineffective when it comes to checking time cards, completing employee reviews, and scheduling employee vacation time; things that employers require their managers to do on timely bases. Similarly, a manager who spends all his/her time completing paperwork and reading reports; only creates more problems for him or her because they lack a developing relationship with their employees.

If you are a manager who has spent too much time managing and not leading his/her employees, start spending 10% of your time each week leading until you can establish 25% of your time in leadership practices. If you are a leader who only likes to lead, either become a politician, hire an assistant to be the manager, or start spending 50% of your time getting the paperwork done.

2.9 Differences between leadership and management

(Lightfoot, W & Kehal ,M, 2005) management and leadership are often considered interchangeable. Yet relatively recent evidence argues in favor of the two becoming separate disciplines – related, but clearly different.

Regarding leadership, there are set of fundamental truths about all leaders as follow :

1. Leaders always create (and need) change

2. Leaders always create (and need) followers

3. Leaders have a rock-solid value system, which is congruent with their followers.

(Gill, 2005) the differences between management and leadership simply.Managers plan, allocate resources, administer and control, whereas leaders innovate, communicate and motivate. vision is one of the key differences between a manager and a leader.

Other differences can be illustrated as follow:

• Management is about path following; leadership is path finding.

• Management is about doing things right; leadership is about doing the right things.

• Management is about planning and budgeting; leadership is about establishing direction.

• Management is about controlling and problem solving; leadership is about motivating and inspiring

In addition , leadership represents one of the oldest, most natural and most effective of all human relationships. Management is a later product, with neither so romantic nor so inspiring a history. leadership is of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision; its practice is an art. Management is of the mind, more a matter of accurate calculation of statistics, of methods, timetables, and routine; its practice is a science. managers are necessary; leaders are essential.

(Crevani,L.& Lindgren, M. & Packendorff, J., 2010) the biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate the people who work or follow them, and this sets the tone for most other aspects of what they do.

Many people, by the way, are both. They have management jobs, but they realize that you

Cannot buy hearts, especially to follow them down a difficult path, and so act as leaders too. leaders manage and managers lead but the two activities are not synonymous. management functions can potentially provide leadership; leadership activities can contribute to managing. Nevertheless, some managers do not lead, and some leaders do not manage”.

There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. to manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion.

(Kent, 2005) one way to understand something is to identify how it is different from something else.

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Since the 1980s most scholars trying to understand transformational leadership have attempted to differentiate between leading and managing and to understand leading as something distinct and separate from managing. Some characterizations of these differences include the ideas of:

managers do things right; leaders do the right things;

managing is an authority relationship; leading is an in¬‚uence relationship; and

managing creates stability; leading creates change.

While these ideas are provocative and stimulating, they do not provide a basis for study and deep understanding of the dynamics behind the two processes of leading and managing.

We can de¬ne both the leading function and the managing function in three terms. Each term or perspective is distinctly different from the other two. the ¬rst term provides the perspective of the purpose of each function. this answers the question “why does each function exist? the second term describes the products or outcomes or results of each function. this answer the question “what does each function result in or create?” the third term has to do with the processes involved in each respective function and it answers the question “how does each function come about, or how is each manifested?

3- Discussion

Leaders have followers. Managers have subordinates. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they inspire the people who work with.

There are some key differences. Managers usually have people whose output they are responsible for. They have a positional authority over their follower and their output. Alternately, following a leader is always a voluntary activity. Leadership is often situational rather than positional – the right person in the right place at the right time to lead the troops forward.

It is clear that manager and leader both may know the business well. But the leader must know it better and in a different way. He must grasp the essential facts and the underlying forces that determine the past and present trends in the business, so that he can generate a vision and a strategy to bring about its future. One telling sign of a good leader is an honest attitude towards the facts, towards objective truth. Subjective leader obscures the facts for the sake of narrow self-interest, partisan interest or prejudice.

Effective leaders continually ask questions, probing all levels of the organization for information, testing their own perceptions, and rechecking the facts. They talk to their constituents. They want to know what is working and what is not. They keep an open mind for serendipity to bring them the knowledge they need to know what is true. An important source of information for this sort of leader is knowledge of the failures and mistakes that are being made in their organization.

Leaders investigate reality, taking in the pertinent factors and analyzing them carefully.

On this basis they produce visions, concepts, plans, and programs. Managers adopt the truth from others and implement it without probing for the facts that reveal reality. .

Leaders base their vision, their appeal to others, and their integrity on reality, on the facts, on a careful estimate of the forces at play, and on the trends and contradictions. They develop the means for changing the original balance of forces so that their vision can be realized..

The most dramatic differences between leaders and managers are found at the extremes: poor leaders are despots, while poor managers are bureaucrats in the worst sense of the word. Whilst leadership is a human process and management is a process of resource allocation, both have their place and managers must also perform as leaders. All first-class managers turn out to have quite a lot of leadership ability.

We can sum up the key differences between manager and leader as follow:

– The manager administers; the leader innovates.

– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

– The manager maintains; the leader develops.

– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

– The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.

– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

– The manager imitates; the leader originates.

– The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

– The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

To summarize, leadership and management are certainly different but are essentially complementary to each other. Manager uses a formal, rational method whilst the leader uses passion and stirs emotions If you want to lead employees to very high performance, treat them with great respect and not like robots, thus leading them to treat their work, their customers, each other and their bosses with great respect. It’s vital for senior individuals in positions of great responsibility to be able to play both roles: the boss who cannot manage will kill an organization just as fast as one who cannot lead. But the person who can do both, they are on the path to success.

4- Conclusion

Although there are clear differences between management and leadership or manager and leader, there is also a considerable amount of overlap . when managers are involved in planning, organizing , staffing and controlling , they are involved in management . Both processes involve influencing a group of individuals toward goal attainment.

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