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Many people don’t recognize that there’s a difference between being a manager and a leader. They think that the terms are interchangeable.The two are intertwined but definitely separate. Actually, though, as a manager it’s important that you are both a manager and a leader. Let’s find out what the difference is:

Subordinates or followers

Managers have subordinates. Their title says that they are the superior to the people below them. Leaders, on the other hand, have followers. Managers who are leaders give up their formal authority and lead others who are voluntarily following them.


Leaders are charismatic. Instead of telling people what to do you show what they have to do by doing it yourself- leading by example. They have to want to follow you and trust your leadership in order to do things that they might not feel comfortable with. Unlike leaders, managers are authoritarian. The company has vested managers with authority. Their subordinates work for them and must do what they are told because they get a reward (their salary).


Leaders need to be good with people. They don’t necessarily need to be the most outgoing people but they need to be able to hold a conversation and be friendly and understanding. Leaders also are often a bit aloof and separated from their followers in order to stay a leader and not become a follower. But that doesn’t mean that leaders aren’t aware of what’s going on with their followers. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Leaders are often very achievement focused and encourage others to work towards their vision. On the other hand, managers are paid to get things done and look at the bottom line often with tight constraints of time and money. Naturally, they pass on their workload to their subordinates to get things done.

What do they seek?

Research shows that leaders tend to be risk-seekers. They recognize that they will encounter problems and hurdles that they must overcome while trying to achieve their goal. Therefore, they are comfortable with risk and will look at all routes possible to get the job done. Managers, conversely, tend to seek comfort. They look to avoid conflict wherever possible.