Managers vs. Leaders

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A manager is responsible for directing and coordinating activities within an organization. A leader is someone who inspires others by example.


• Responsible for the overall performance of a group or department

• Has authority to hire, fire, promote, demote, transfer, etc., employees

• Sets goals and objectives for the team/department

• Manages people in order to meet organizational goals

• May be required to make decisions about hiring, firing, promotions, transfers, etc.

• Must have good communication skills

• Usually works under pressure

KEY Takeaways

  • Managers are responsible for the overall success of a team or department.
  • Leaders inspire others to perform at the highest level possible. They motivate people to work towards common goals.
  • A manager manages people and resources; a leader leads people.


• Inspires others through personal example

• Motivates people to work toward common goals

• Encourages participation and cooperation among coworkers

• Works with other leaders to achieve common goals

• Is not necessarily involved in day-to-day operations

• Does not usually have authority over employees

• Usually does not have to make decisions about hiring/firing/promotions/transfers



The difference between managers and leaders is that managers are responsible for the overall performance of their groups while leaders inspire others to perform at their best. While some people may excel at being both managers and leaders, most people tend to lean one way more than another.

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