Leaders vs Managers: Is One Better Than the Other?

By Nika Goddard

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

The debate around the supremacy of either management or leadership when it comes to running a company, or even in a day-to-day situation, has been around for quite some time now.

In a head-to-head race between leadership and management, it’s very important to understand the differences between them and their good parts in order to get the best of both worlds.

This article will take you through the differences and similarities between managers and leaders in an effort to put an end to this question once and for all.

A Leader – What is it?

A leader is a person that has followers and manages to influence their decisions through the power of example.

A good leader usually arises from the collective and knows how to influence the people around them to challenge norms and guide innovation.

By definition, a leader needs to have followers, as that’s where they draw their power to achieve goals.

Managers – Definition and Main Aspects

Being a manager requires making sure that employees conform to certain standards and are able to adhere to policies set by the company or, in some cases, by the manager directly.

Depending on the level of management that is brought into the discussion, a manager has to ensure that the company’s goals are met by applying certain techniques to keep people motivated and at their peak.

There’s also middle management which basically refers to those managers that have to make sure that the goals of their leaders are completed.

Management vs. Leadership

There’s no secret that there are some big differences between managers and leaders. However, it’s true that management and leadership go hand in hand in certain situations.

Usually, leaders are game-changers that love taking risks to innovate and bring new perspectives in a company and to their team.

On the other hand, managers are the ones that generally love to go by the book, doing things according to the regulations to maintain the status quo.

Any company needs both leaders and managers simultaneously to run smoothly and be productive.

A lack of leadership will leave you with an uninspired and stagnant workforce while a lack of managers and coherent management might put a company in the risky situation of not meeting goals or not being able to comply with the norms needed to reach goals.

Regarding authority, managers and leaders may function at opposite ends of the spectrum.

That doesn’t change the fact that they’re on the same team though, and they must contribute to the overall goal of making a company efficient and productive.

The Best of Both

The bottom line about the eternal dispute between leadership and management is that a leader with a great vision needs good managers to make it happen, while managers need strong leadership skills in order to share their vision with other employees.

What Makes a Leader and What Makes a Manager?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Nika Goddard
Nika Goddard
Nika is a psychologist, freelance writer, traveler and creative person. She is a lover of culture, languages, food, wild spaces, and urban places by nature.
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Brilliant Leadership Logo

Improve Yourself & Your Team

Get The Training Proven By 40,000+ Leaders