Manager or Leader- Who Do You Think You Are?

Posted February 5, 2020, by Jenny Sakr

Building a successful business empire is not child’s play. One should have excellent managerial skills and leadership qualities to become the strongest pillar of their business empire. But, many employee/business owners are dubious about whether they have the personality of a manager or leader. But, little do they know about what it actually takes to be a manager or a leader.

What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

Basically, a manager is a designation provided to a person in a company or organisation for his contributions and achievements. He/she manages the team to deliver its best for the company’s betterment.

On the other hand, a leader is a person who has these leadership skills inbuilt in him. They work with the team towards a vision and helps them develop along with him/her, both personally and professionally.

What the difference between a manager and a leader?

So what’s the difference between these two and which category do you fall in? You can analyse the characteristics that a manager and a leader should have by going through the following…


  • Create goals
    Managers work for short term goals. They maintain the employees focus on work and controls or minimises the risks. They work on brushing up their skills and copy the successful methods or strategies that worked previously.
  • Direct their team
    The main role of a manager is to lead a team to execute a vision. So, he/she should have good ability to direct the team members towards the vision of the organisation.
  • Manage processes
    Managers should be able to manage the process of the work in the organisation. This requires them to look after the task allocation, work progress analysis, developing new strategies to improve work quality, etc.


  • Create a vision
    Leaders have this DNA to create a vision. They take along the people in their team and motivate them to look up the same vision.
  • Have the ability to challenge
    They take up risks and never leave a chance to break stereotypes. Uniqueness and innovation is their success mantra. They take opportunities to learn new things, develop new skills and improve.
  • Build relationships
    They think for the long haul and focus on building relationships with people rather than building processes. They coach people to try something new every time other than following the same routine.

How to become a leader or a manager?

Be it a manager or a leader; it is not something that comes naturally. You need to work and develop your skills accordingly to become one. In saying that, no matter how much of a ‘natural’ manager or leader you are, one must always be working to improve themselves and their skills… This is where a handy course comes in! Check out these courses in management and leadership and start upskilling today. 

How to be a good manager?

If you want to become a good manager, you need to develop some skills mentioned below:

The first thing you need to have as a manager is gratefulness towards your employees. This plays a very crucial role in your team’s progress. Take some time to appreciate your members for something they have achieved or have improved. This makes their bond with you and the company strong. Indirectly boosting productivity.

Trust your team
When you have assigned a task to a member or the whole team, trust them. Yes, do not get anxious about how they will carry out that task or fear about failure. When you count on them, they realise the responsibility they have to handle. This way, they will work better and take up their responsibilities as well.

Secret tip: If it is their first task, or something crucial, give them an early deadline. This way, if the things don’t come our quite right, you will still have enough time to handle it.

Be there for the team
When you are working with a team, many things happen that you need to deal with. Situations, when there is a misunderstanding among the team members or someone’s motivation is low, or a team project is not going as planned. This is when you need to stand with the team and not against them. Motivate them, help them if they face any trouble and together solve the issue rather than blaming them or leaving them to deal with it all alone. This encourages teamwork and boosts your team’s energy.

Act the way you want them to
You are in a position with great responsibility. Your behaviour is important. Be sure to act in a way that employees admire and look up to.
So, act in a way you want your employees to look up and inspire from. If you want them to be punctual, then you too must be on time for work, meetings and deadlines; you want a positive attitude, then you must have one yourself….

A very important thing for any team is communication. Communication is key – make this your team’s mantra! Organise team lunches, prepare team-talks and other such opportunities where you get enough space and time to communicate with your team. This encourages positive vibes at work that can help in developing a good work culture.

If you’re new to the world of management then be sure to check out these five preparation strategies.

How to be a good leader?

If you want to become a good leader, you need to develop some skills that are mentioned below:

Become a role model
Since you are the leader, the leading person of your team, you need to be a role model for others. This is how they can look up to you and follow your vision.

Make good decisions
Being a leader is not easy. It needs you to make some crucial decisions. While you should never be impulsive about any decisions made, you need to also be ready to make essential and risky choices at any moment.

Understand the team
You should know your team well. You should have a clear idea of their strengths and weakness so you can make them bring out their best.

Be innovative
Don’t be afraid to try something new and ‘out of the box’. You need to be open to innovation and challenges. This is how you can find new opportunities to learn and grow.

Encourage growth
You should not restrict your team members and keep them in their bubble. You need to grow together. So, give them some space and freedom to grow. If they are learning something, encourage them.

Now that you know what the characteristics of a leader and a manager are, analyse your personality. Understand the skills you possess and the skills you need to develop to not just become a leader or manager, but be a great one

This article was produced for Career FAQs by Adam Jackson

Jenny Sakr
Jenny Sakr

Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.

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