Leader’s vs Manager Table

Leader in BusinessManager in Business
Concerned about the quality of outcome and the right direction to takeConcerned about efficiency and maximising best use resources, time, people – so as to achieve results required
Has the vision – WHERE to go and WHYHas to work out HOW to get there, the best way and by WHEN
Paints the picture of the better future to be had, the adventure along the way, how culture and people will grow and the benefits to everyone involved Monitors the details to ensure the resources, the systems are all in place to obtain best outcomes
Recruits and involves the best talent available that helps build the culture to achieve the VisionMakes sure everyone does their part as a team, with Excellence, day in and day out
Are concerned with PeopleAre concerned with Process
Lead peopleManage work
People follow leadersPeople report to Managers and are accountable to them
Keeps their eyes on the horizonEyes on the bottom line
Champions the Mission and the VisionDrives performance and achievement toward the Mission and Vision
On who sells people on the ideas the vision and audacious goalsTells people what to do and the goals to be meet
Takes risksMinimises those risks
Challenges the status quoMaintains the status quo
Thinks long termThinks short-term
Charts new roadsFollows a map
Votes with their heartVotes with their head

Both are necessary but you need to know which role you are in – so as to maximise your outcome and best fulfil that role.

Leadership is figuring out the right things to do. Management is doing those things right

One is not better than the other – you need both – both serve vital roles to maintain the growth and sustainability of the business

A Leader without an effective manager is just CHOAS

When you have a Manager trying to be Leader – the business just stalls

It goes into Management Mode and can ultimately stagnate and lose direction. A large number of enterprises are in this mode. Usually because the same person is doing the leader and manager role. It is much easier to deflect to the manager – to get stuff done – mode because you simply do need to ensure the business or enterprise is obtaining an income.

Both Leaders and Managers have different skills and mindsets – which can be learnt – but the difference needs to be acknowledged.

The search and appointment of leaders and managers is very important. You need the best, the most committed to ensure the business runs like a well-oiled machine.

While managers do need people skills to build teams that will work together efficiently and effectively and collaboratively – their position does need them to be more Process focused rather than People focused.

Often when a diligent, committed, skilled manager attains the results required – they are considered and quickly appointed to Leadership roles.

This could be a big danger. A person who is Process focused may not be suitable for a position that involves being an EAGLE over the enterprise.

As the table above shows – Leadership requires a look at the BIG PICTURE – Vision, Mission, Purpose, People, Culture and Sustainability and Relevancy.

Knowing how to do the technical work and even being the best at what you do – does not mean that you make a good leader.

So we find many larger corporations, Institutions and Government Departments lead by people who have been appointed because they are reliable, a friend or someone who can be familiar or deserves the position because of the employed at the entity.

Likely such an appointment from Manager in a Leadership role could cause stagnation, confusion and be more focused on Process. When pressure or challenges come along the more likely solution could well be- “we need MORE PEOPLE” – rather than MORE EFFICIENCY and MORE CO-OPERATION in building better teams of People.

We see so many of these entities in constant crises mode – especially public works, hospitals, health centers, safety shelters, mental health facilities. Emergency Departments at hospitals are a constant pressure cooker of need. As we know – having more people could worsen the situation.

However, how much time and thought has gone into appointing the Department Heads and determine who has the most ability to LEAD?

How much effort is made to ensure the right people are in the right position, that the people hired have the skills to lead or to manage their workload and responsibilities?

How well have these decisions really been interrogated thoroughly?

Are these leaders really able to organise others to ensure that groups of people work as teams, focused on achieving the desired results?

Most often, when situations get out of hand – the cry for more money and more staff – goes out. Most often this is not the answer. We hear this cry daily from Politicians, Institutions and the Public – as if more money and more people will solve all problems. They usually don’t.

Leadership is needed to formulate a direction, a solution, a more efficient way of doing things – as more people usually create more problems and the crises becomes worse.


Servant Leadership with its focus on serving and helping and co-operating is a key fundamental in getting our community and enterprises back on track.

People follow Leaders who can work with emotions, sell the vision, have the vision, have the boldness to step out and improve the business, know what drives a person to want to grow and achieve – and builds them up to be the best of which they are capable.

When next looking for a position to fill – be clear if you are needing a LEADER or a MANAGER.