“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” — Seth Godin.


You’ve likely had a manager or two that you weren’t very fond of. And on the flip side, you’ve probably worked with or for someone who you looked up to. So, not every manager is good at leadership, and not every great leader is good at management. 


Suppose you’re a current or aspiring manager. In that case, it’s really important to focus on good leadership, and it can be a huge asset to understand the differences and how you can work to develop the characteristics of both.

So, is a good manager automatically a good leader? What is the difference between leadership and management?

The main difference is that leaders have people who follow them while managers have people who work for them.

Managers are generally responsible for the day-to-day operations of an operation. They have people who report to them, oversee their work, and help make all projects run smoothly. They manage systems confidently and help their workers feel understood and meaningful to the organization.

Leadership is all about building a vision for people to follow. They inspire and direct with authority and intelligence. They help people feel confident and excited to follow their lead. 

Both leadership and management are important to have in every organization. Without leadership, teams would be directionless and not be united on a vision. Without management, teams wouldn’t be able to take actionable steps or complete the goals they need to achieve their vision. 


Let’s check the differences in style of approach to team management between a leader and a manager:



Focus on goals

Focus on vision 

Ask “how” and “when”

Ask “what” and “why”

Provide tasks

Provide direction

Create stability

Create change 

Think of the short-term

Think of the long-term 


Playing both roles

While there’s a clear distinction between the two roles, certain situations will require managers to step up into a leadership role while others will need leaders to take on more of a managerial role. Below are a few examples of when this may be required.  


Managers as leaders: 

– When overseeing an extensive team.

– In the absence of or during a transition of a team leader.

– While providing mentorship to team members or employees.


Leaders As Managers: 

– When taking on a direct report.

– In the absence of or during a transition of a key manager.

– While working with managers or direct reports who need additional support or more specific guidance.


Keep in mind that if a manager is ineffective, it can lead to reduced productivity, loss of motivation of employees, and an inefficient workflow. If a leader is ineffective, team performance may also be impacted, resulting in employee turnover, employee development suffering, and the organization’s culture misaligned.

This is why it is important to understand the differences between each style of approach to team management and effectively use each style in the correct situation to garner the most from your staff.



📌Oversee: supervise (a person or work).

📌Managerial: relating to management or managers, especially of a company or similar organization.

📌Monotonous: dull, tedious, and repetitious; lacking in variety and interest.

📌Workflow: the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

📌Actionable: able to be done or acted on; having practical value.


📌Bring off: to succeed in doing something difficult synonym pull something off. 

“It was a difficult task but we brought it off.”

📌Look into: examine, explore, or probe. 

“We need to look into the reasons behind why half the class failed the exam.”


📌Like clockwork: precisely; with extreme regularity.

📌On an even keel: stable, balanced.


Related Articles:

📌Hard Skills and Soft Skills in the Workplace https://www.englishpriority.com/hard-skills-and-soft-skills-in-the-workplace/

📌How to sound more Professional at Work https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-sound-more-professional-at-work/

📌Starting and Running a Successful Business https://www.englishpriority.com/starting-successful-business/



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