Manager – An employee of the organization, responsible for its management. Leader – A person who leads, guides, and directs others. There is always a buzz when we talk about the terms leader and manager.
In an organizational setup, a manager is an important link between the firm and its stakeholders, i.e. employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, government, society, and so forth. He is the one who performs basic managerial functions.
Conversely, a leader is the one who inspires, encourages, and influences his men, to work willingly, in the attainment of the organization’s objectives. The two are not one and the same thing, however, one can only become a successful manager, when he/she is an effective leader.
In this context, what you need to know is that Leadership is a skill, and the person who possesses this ability is known as a Leader. On the other hand, Management is a discipline, and the practitioner of this discipline is known as the Manager.
This write-up contains the differences between leader and manager.
Content: Leader Vs Manager
|Basis for Comparison||Leader||Manager|
|Meaning||A leader is a person who directs, guides and influences the behavior of his followers towards the attainment of specific goals.||A manager is a representative of the organization responsible for the management of the work of a group of employees and takes requisite actions whenever required.|
|Work||Providing direction to the employees by creating vision and communicating it and encouraging them to reach effortlessly.||Formulating the structure of the organization and delegating authority and responsibilities to the employees.|
|Management function||Performs only one function - direction.||Performs all five functions - planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.|
|Authority||Informal authority by virtue of his/her personal qualities||Formal authority due to his/her positional role.|
|Exists in||Both formal and informal structure.||Formal structure only.|
|Qualities Required||Leadership qualities are required.||Both managerial and leadership qualities are required.|
|Motivation||Intrinsic process||Extrinsic Process|
|Basis for Comparison||Leader||Manager|
|Key Attribute||Foresightedness||Prompt decision making and coordination|
|What does he/she do?||Sets directions||Plans activities|
|Aims at||Motivating and inspiring people||Directing and Controlling employees|
|Change||Promotes change.||Reacts to change.|
|Conflict||Uses conflict as an asset||Avoid conflict|
|People||Aligns people||Arranges people|
|Strives||For effectiveness||For efficiency|
Definition of Leader
A leader refers to a person who leads others in a specific situation and is capable of heading the group towards the accomplishment of the ultimate goal by making strategies to pursue and reach the same.
A leader has a vision, who inspires people, in such a way that it becomes their vision.
Further, the leader can be any person having the potential to influence others, be it a manager of an organization, or head of the family, or a captain of a team, minister of a state, or leader in an informal group. He/She is the one who:
- Takes charge of and directs the activities of subordinates.
- Provide the group everything that is required to fulfill its maintenance and needs related to the task.
- Required at all levels to act as a representative of the organization
- Encourages the whole team to work together and supports them in accomplishing their tasks, as a guide.
Now, you must be wondering, Why people follow a leader? Well, it is because the behavior of people is influenced by the leader. And that is why a leader can exercise power over them.
Also Read: Difference Between Boss and Leader
What is Leadership?
Leadership refers to a social influence relationship amidst a group that depends on one another for the accomplishment of the goal. The relationship basically moves around the acceptance or rejection of the leader by its followers.
Qualities of a Leader
- Foresightedness: To predict and make plans for the future.
- Intelligence: To integrate and interpret relevant information.
- Creativity: To have unique, innovative, and original thinking.
- Enthusiasm: To remain energetic, show interest, and think positively.
- Charisma: To attract and influence people.
- Decisiveness: To take quick and appropriate decisions.
- Self Confidence: To trust their competencies and have confidence in their abilities.
- Bravery: To take the first move, to bring change in certain situations.
Types of Leader
- Transactional Leader: These leaders use social exchanges to influence followers, i.e. they motivate by rewarding the subordinates for their productivity and this induces them to work towards the achievement of the goal.
- Transformational Leader: Such leaders encourage and awaken followers to make efforts in achieving extraordinary outcomes. He/She is someone who comes forward to change things.
- Charismatic Leader: He/She is one such leader whose energy, enthusiasm, and charisma often motivate people to behave in a specific manner. He derives his power from exemplary character and heroism.
- Visionary Leader: Visionary Leader is the one who has the potential to develop and pursue the vision, which is not just realistic but achievable too. He possesses psychological attractiveness, due to which people get influenced towards the leader’s dreams.
Definition of Manager
Managers are those individuals who are employed by the organization so as to direct and monitor the work of other employees working in the organization. They are the ones who get their work done by the employees and have the authority to hire or fire the employees.
He/She ensures that the tasks are completed within the stipulated time frame while complying with all the rules and policies of the organization and using the allocated resources.
Also Read: Difference Between Entrepreneur and Manager
Classification of Managers
- Top-level Managers: Top Managers represent the real head of any organization. They are the ones who operate at the top or near the top of the organizational hierarchy. It may include – CEO, MD, Chairman, Director, etc.
- Middle-level Managers: Middle-level managers act as a link between top and first-line managers. They are the ones responsible for communicating goals to the first-line managers, which are set by top managers. It may include – department manager, plant manager, project manager, etc
- First-line Managers: First-line managers also known as front-line managers or functional managers. They direct the routine activities of non-managerial staff. It may include – supervisors, section officer, shift managers, foreman, etc
- Planning: The planning function encompasses setting up goals, formulation of strategies, and development of plans to coordinate the activities of the organization.
- Organizing: Organizing involves the arrangement of resources and scheduling of tasks so that activities can be performed in a sequential manner.
- Staffing: This function involves recruiting the right personnel for various positions in an organization.
- Directing: Directing involves providing direction, guidance, and supervision to the subordinates, so that they can perform the task effectively.
- Controlling: Controlling involves keeping a check on the activities performed by the employees so as to make certain that they are performed as planned, by making comparisons. And if there are any deviations then, measures should be taken to improve them.
Skills and Competencies of Managers
As per Robert L. Katz and others, managers must possess four skills, which are:
- Conceptual Skills: Skills possessed by managers, with which they are able to analyze and identify complex situations correctly.
- Interpersonal Skills: Skills that facilitate managers to work cooperatively with others, both individually as well as in groups.
- Technical Skills: It determines job-specific technical skills and knowledge possessed by the managers to carry out the tasks effectively.
- Political Skills: Skills to make strong connections, either by authority, influence, or support.
Also Read: Difference Between Supervisor and Manager
Key Differences Between Leader and Manager
Here we have divided the differences between leader and manager into two categories, i.e. main differences and additional differences. Come let us discuss them:
- A leader is someone who guides and leads other people. He/She gives a proper direction and purpose, to their efforts by shaping and moulding their behavior, to attain the desired objective. On the other hand, a manager is someone who is responsible for the management of the organization. He looks after the day-to-day operations, keeps updated with the changes in the market, encourages people to work cooperatively, arranges all the resources, etc.
- A leader shapes employee’s behavior and defines direction by developing and communicating organizational vision, and stimulating them to achieve it. On the contrary, a manager tends to lay down the structure of the organization and delegate authority and responsibility to the employees.
- While a leader performs just one function of management, i.e. providing direction, a manager performs all the functions of the management, i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.
- When it comes to the origination of authority, a leader possesses informal authority by virtue of his/her personal qualities – knowledge, skills, and abilities. As against, a manager has formal authority, due to his designation or position in the organization.
- Talking about approach, a leader has a proactive approach, as he can predict future events and takes preventive actions in advance, whereas a manager has a reactive approach, and so he/she waits for the right time to take the action.
- A leader can be found in both formal and informal setup, i.e. in a business organization, and an informal group i.e. a family, friend circle, batch, etc. In contrast, a manager can be found in a formal setup only i.e. in a business organization only, irrespective of its size, type, and nature.
- To become a leader, one requires leadership qualities, whereas to become a manager one needs to possess both leadership as well as managerial qualities.
- Followers comply with the leader’s instructions because of their own will, whereas employees comply with the instructions and orders of the manager, because of the role authority of the manager.
- The key attribute of a leader is foresightedness, while that of a manager is quick decision-making regarding various matters and coordination of different activities and tasks effectively.
- A leader has followers who follow him, whereas a manager has employees, in the form of subordinates who reports to the manager about the day-to-day activities.
- While a leader sets directions, for the entire group, a manager plans the activities, for the smooth functioning of the concern.
- The manager uses a transactional leadership style wherein rewards and punishments are used to motivate employees. As against, a leader uses transformational leadership style, in which the leader inspires his subordinates to bring change in their behavior so that they can achieve the desired goal.
- A manager strives for efficiency, i.e. performing the tasks and activities in the right manner, i.e. completing them in a stipulated time, while adhering to all the rules. Conversely, a leader strives for effectiveness, i.e. doing the right thing.
- A leader focuses on the people, whereas a manager focuses on the processes and workflows.
- A leader is a change agent, that is why he/she promotes such change which is for the betterment of his/her subordinates and the organization as well. As against, a manager reacts to change in the business environment.
- The manager always tries to avoid conflict, as he/she believes that it is going to hamper the activities and growth of the organization. In contrast, a leader uses conflict as an asset so as to provoke people to do better than others.
- A leader aims at motivating and inspiring people. Oppositely, a manager aims at directing and controlling employees
- While a manager arranges human resources, the leader aligns them.
Video: Leader Vs Manager
DigiLap Computers is a firm that deals in Laptops, Tablets, and Personal Computers. The business was commenced by Mr. Rao in the year 1995. It has multiple branches in the city, employing more than 100 workers. Each branch has a team of 20 workers, lead by a supervisor who supervises them in their work. Further, Mr. Arun instructs the supervisors of all the stores and also looks after the day-to-day chores of the workers.
Role of Manager
- Interpersonal Roles
- Figurehead: It involves ceremonial duties performed by the employees like greeting clients and dignitaries, attending weddings of employees, taking clients to lunch, signing contracts and legal documents, etc.
- Leader: Being a leader, the manager is required to encourage, train, counsel, and lead employees. He/she should make efforts in reconciling the needs of the employee with that of the goal of the organization.
- Liaison: As a liaison, a manager acts as a binding agent, that fosters contacts, as well as maintains and manages information links both inside and outside the company.
- Informational Role
- Monitor: The manager acts as a monitor by constantly scanning and observing the business environment to extract information from a variety of sources like liaison agents, industry journals, web, market surveys, reports, and subordinates. Generally, a manager, receives unsolicited information, resulting from a network of personal contacts created by him.
- Disseminator: As a disseminator, the manager conveys some important information to subordinates directly, via email, phone calls, memos, circulars, notices, etc.
- Spokesperson: Being a spokesperson, the manager is someone who makes a statement or provides information to various groups like shareholders, clients, consumers, creditors, etc. on behalf of the organization, via speech, interview, or formal communication.
- Decisional Roles
- Entrepreneur: As an Entrepreneur, the manager always encourages creativity and innovation, looks for novel ideas, takes risks, and also attempts to improve performance, by effectively adapting to the changing conditions.
- Disturbance Handler: Being a disturbance handler, a manager takes all the corrective measures at the time of conflicts and crisis, identifies and implements solutions to unanticipated problems, as well as resolves disputes among subordinates.
- Resource Allocator: As a Resource Allocator, a manager divides various tasks among subordinates, delegates authority, manages schedules and budgets, and also sets priorities.
- Negotiator: Negotiator means the one who negotiates with other parties. The manager has to negotiate with the union leaders, on different issues, as he represents the organization.
Also Read: Difference Between Manager and Director
It has been said that ‘A manager is always a leader, but vice versa is not true’ Do you know why? Well, a manager also plays the role of a leader in an organization by influencing and motivating those working under him, but a leader may not be a manager, because, there are people who lead informal groups, like in our friend circle, dance group, etc.
Hence, we can use the word ‘leader’ to address a person leading an informal group, as there is no manager in such groups.