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Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities

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Manager vs Leader: What are the differences and similarities

Before we discuss the differences between a manager and a leader, let's ask you something. Have you thought of yourself as a manager and even as a leader?

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What are the differences and similarities between the manager and the leader? I will describe this issue in detail as I delve into a number of relative topics concerning management and leadership.

What are the differences between a manager and a leader?

In recent years, the organization is facing new challenges, which are manifested in the following areas:

The market

The market is a phenomenon on which success depends. Ultimately, organizations are market-driven and their management must be market-oriented.


The management of modern organizations should be in the direction of:

  • Research of consumer demand and approach to the client
  • Improving the quality of the product or service provided.
  • Search for opportunities to provide your own niche market.
  • The dynamics

Prosperous organizations never stop. They are constantly changing and improving.


Peters and Waterman, in their book In Search of Perfection, believe that perfection can be achieved if we believe in the capabilities of our co-workers and achieve empathy.

To meet these challenges, organizations must have the resources: human, financial, material, and information. However, the availability of these resources is not enough. Someone needs to combine and coordinate them.

This activity is performed by the manager, who performs various management functions: leadership, planning, organizing, and controlling.

Therefore, the manager is the one who sets the goals, manages, plans organizes, and controls human, financial, material, and information resources.

Setting goals

Goal setting includes:

  • selection of activities to be performed in the organization
  • defining the expected result
  • determining the estimated time for achieving the goal
  • determining costs
  • selection of a criterion or system of criteria that will confirm that the goal has been achieved


Leadership is related to motivating people in the organization, choosing methods and management styles, resolving various types of conflicts, etc.


Planning is a key function performed by the manager. He must be able to foresee the future. In order to achieve the set goals, it is necessary to make different decisions about what should be done, in what way, by whom, and in what syllables. Read more: Planning a Project in Agile Management


By organizing, the arrangement of the individual elements of the organization in time and space is achieved and the organizational balance is preserved. The various changes that take place both within the organization and in the environment require an adequate organizational and coordination response on the part of the manager.

Control and survival

The manager is the one who has to compare the actual situation with the previously desired one (predicted, planned). To this end, it is necessary to define objective criteria for measurement, evaluation, and comparison. It is extremely important in controlling and evaluating to exclude subjectivism, which can lead to conflicts and internal tensions in the organization.


These functions, which are areas in the activities of the manager, make his work diverse, intense, and full of challenges. Good managers tackle these challenges on behalf of the organizations they lead. To this end, they must perform certain roles and possess the relevant knowledge and skills.

Ability to persuade others

According to Kate Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to pursue a goal enthusiastically. Leadership is a human factor that connects teams and motivates them. Management activities such as planning, organizing, and decision-making are dormant cocoons until the leader arouses in them the power of people's motivation and leads them to achieve goals.

Leadership involves directing and influencing the activities of other individuals. In other words, leadership is the process by which a person influences others by directing their efforts toward achieving the goals of the organization. Every leader must have an influence on the behavior of others.

Power and Influence

This possibility is called "power". And "Influence" is the behavior of each individual, which changes the behavior, feelings, and attitudes of another individual. For leadership to be effective, the leader must develop and use power.

A key part of the management of any organization is coordinating its activities and directing the efforts of members to achieve its goals. This process includes the ability to be a leader. Leadership is an integral part of effective governance.

Every manager must be a leader, but not every leader is a manager. Leadership is manifested in our interpersonal relationships. It is associated with achieving goals so that followers perceive them as their own. Management affects people who perform certain functions, controlling the interaction between them. Read more: The five functions of Fayol's management


Effective governance is impossible without leadership. Can individuals be trained as leaders or are they born that way? Why do people with completely different traits, education, and culture manage to present themselves as successful leaders? Is it true that there is no leadership without followers?

The answers to these questions have been sought by many scientists for years. Numerous studies also reveal many points of view. If a leader is to be described on the basis of the most general thoughts, he can be characterized as intelligent, determined, charismatic, strong, brave, enthusiastic, etc.

Walk on water

However, in order to manage a person well, it is hardly necessary to walk on water. What he needs to succeed is to have a clear idea of ​​the desired future results, the ways to achieve them, and most importantly the managerial knowledge and skills to organize, plan and control their work.

In words, it sounds easy, but in practice, things are much more complicated. Therefore, in order to distinguish the leader and the manager from each other, we will consider them separately in order to reach the desired conclusions.

Regarding the topic of management and its representatives (managers), we must inevitably wait for the topic of managerial style, roles, and qualities.

Managerial roles

The different situations in which the manager finds himself in the management of organizations make his work extremely diverse and dynamic. In order to be able to deal with all the problems he faces, he has to perform various managerial roles, which can be differentiated as follows:

Roles related to the implementation of interpersonal relationships and solving problems related to them. Within this group, the manager manifests himself as:


The manager performs representative functions in the external environment - he represents the organization before various institutions and instances, and participates in various events initiated by his organization or other structural units.

In this role, the manager holds meetings with various partners, customers, competitors, distributors, suppliers, and others. Participates in promotions for presentations, awards, and other ceremonial events.


The fulfillment of this role guarantees the realization of the potential opportunities of the subordinates. Contribute to the inclusion of people's empathy for the organization. They use different motivational mechanisms to get others to follow them in achieving their goals.

The various informal means of improving interpersonal relations play an important role here.


Coordinating the individual efforts of people or those of different groups in the organization is one of the conditions for achieving the expected results. In performing this role, the manager must be well acquainted with the individual differences of his subordinates, as well as some key points of group dynamics.


Monitoring how the organization develops can only be done if the manager permanently receives information about all aspects of its activities. In practice, this is done through consultation with other managers or staff members, requesting or researching different opinions, suggestions, and ideas, and receiving reports, memos, reports, etc.


The manager is an element of the communication system. It is he who decides what information to provide to higher management levels or pass on to lower ones.

In doing so, he must have previously filtered and analyzed this information so that it can be transmitted in an appropriate form.


The manager's activity of providing information related to the work of the organization makes him a spokesman. In the course of his work, he constantly communicates with people from both the external and internal environments when participating in various forums and events.

Resource allocator

Resources in an organization are always limited. That is why their purposeful and justified distribution is extremely important.

This applies to all types of resources that are necessary for the normal functioning of the organization - material, human, information, and financial. The successful fulfillment of this role not only guarantees the continuity of the activity but also eliminates the possibility of conflicts.

Initiator of changes

Through the management decisions he makes, the manager can become a generator of different types of change in the organization - structural, technological, and behavioral. Very often it becomes a factor on which the result of the change depends. It is important to make a timely decision to implement change, to identify forces for change, to choose strategies and methods for its implementation, and to overcome resistance against change.

All this gives him a leading place in the implementation of organizational change.


In the event of conflicts in the organization - interpersonal, intergroup, between the individual and the group - the manager must decide on a timely resolution. In doing so, he must be able to identify the causes of the conflict, analyze them, anticipate the consequences, and choose an appropriate method for resolving them.

Leadership roles

Leaders make things different because they are different in themselves. The leader's task is to influence and inspire people who expect guidance and support from him. What distinguishes a leader from the masses is not his gender, age, or occupation.

Nor is their level of education, how much money they earn, where they come from, or who they know. What separates true leaders from other people is awareness and concern for the needs of others.

Leaders inspire others

Resulting leaders inspire others to aim higher, work harder, achieve more in less time, and enjoy what they do. When our company enters the winning round, we can convince others that this was no accident.

Everything was thanks to us and our team, as well as to our good teamwork. And the leader himself has done his job very well.

As a leader, it is very important to be absolutely aware of where we are going and even more important, why we are going there; what makes us do what we do? Because leadership is not a position we hold. It is more of an activity. A leader is simply someone who has the courage to set an example.

The leader lives constantly under the supervision of others. Nothing he says or does goes unnoticed by his followers. Their behavior will then be simply a mirror image of the example the leader has given them.

Prove to be a leader

When a person proves to be a leader, his beliefs, words, and actions make others follow him. 

People will not accept a person as their leader because of his appointment or because he is the owner of the company. They will perceive him as such, because of the man who hides deep inside him.

The leader must be a person of true character who embodies honesty, openness, and true commitment. These things are important because they are the foundation on which everything else is built. He must be ready to serve.

The desire and ability to serve others, as well as the nature of the quality of his services, will be the key to the success of his organization.

We all want those who work in our team to provide the best service for our customers and users. But service is the attitude not a department in our company. Every good leader should know that service starts from above - from him.

It is his duty to "cultivate" his team, to constantly monitor the appearance of fear, doubt, denial, or another kind of negativity that could stifle "his harvest." That is why it is vital that he takes full responsibility for everything.

Managerial qualities

To be good professionals, people must have certain qualities. When it comes to those that are a catch for the success of the manager, we could say that they are extremely diverse. Read more: Different types of managers

The qualities that a manager must possess are the following:

Logical and abstract thinking

For the manager, the tendency to think logically is not unimportant. It finds expression in the search for causal relationships, its ability to make generalizations, to reveal trends. Abstract thinking finds expression in the combination of processes and phenomena and reaching certain conclusions.

Observation and memory

A good manager must have observation and a good memory. Observation is about discovering something specific in the perception of reality, revealing some details that will go unnoticed by other people, as well as storing these impressions for a while.

The very mechanism of memory is different - memorizing names, visual images, and numbers. For example, for managers responsible for personnel management, it is important to remember names, financial managers - numbers and figures, etc.

Ability to concentrate

This is the ability of the manager to direct his mental activity to a concept, content, or object. The success of the manager is related to the concentration on certain content areas.


The ability to combine is a prerequisite for understanding and solving emerging problems. The existence of ideas and their transformation into reality is related to the creative activity of man.


The determination is essential for the manager. He must be ready to act, to take risks. Determination is about perseverance and diligence.

The development of this quality is associated with great tension and effort. It is important for every manager to determine the measure of stress. An inner conviction is also needed to make the decision a reality.


For the manager, dynamics as a quality means a tendency to move, change, initiative, and desire to work. This dynamic largely determines the entrepreneurship of the manager and the desire to achieve a certain positive result.


The manager should be a reliable partner in the activity. For this, it is necessary for him to have: a sense of responsibility, psychological endurance, perseverance, discretion, and honesty, to be ethical.

The trust placed in the manager by shareholders, members of the management board, the management team, clients, contractors, and government agencies largely depends on these qualities.


The manager must believe in his own strength and not allow a sense of hopelessness in certain situations. The manager accepts challenges.


The manager should persuade the people he works with so that they trust him and follow him in taking various actions. This can be achieved if he develops certain qualities such as inner conviction, authority, contact, eloquence, and optimism.

Unfortunately, in practice, it is impossible to have an ideal manager who has the listed qualities. In fact, the manager is also human - he has both positive and negative traits. However, a good manager should constantly strive to develop his qualities in the right direction.

He must be convinced that in parallel with the activity he performs, it is necessary to create conditions and opportunities for improving his own qualities, as well as the qualities of the people he works with. This is the only way that can lead to the growth of any manager and his approach to the ideal.

Leadership qualities

Let's take a closer look at leadership skills using the research of John Maxwell, who is known as America's leadership expert and founder of the Enjoy group, an organization dedicated to helping people maximize their personal and leadership potential.

According to Maxwell, every leader must have the following indispensable qualities in order to be realized as such:

Character: to be hard as a rock

How a leader handles life situations speaks volumes about his character. The crisis does not necessarily create the character, but it certainly reveals it.

Difficulties are the crossroads that put the person in front of a choice - to show character or to compromise. Every time a person chooses the first, he becomes stronger, even if this choice has negative consequences.

Character is more than words - everyone can say they have dignity, but deeds are the true indicator of character. Your character determines who you are. Who you determine what you see. What you see determines what you do. That is why you can never separate the character of the leader from his actions.

Talent is a gift, but character is a choice - character is built every time we make a choice, whether to get out of a difficult situation or delve into it, whether to distort the truth or accept its full weight, to win easy money or to we pay the price.

Character brings lasting success to people - true leadership always includes other people. (As the leadership saying goes, "If you think you're leading but no one is following you, then you're just walking around.") Followers don't trust leaders they know are weak and won't follow for long.

Leaders can't transcend the limits of their character - have you seen people suddenly collapse after achieving a certain level of success? The key to this phenomenon is in the character and is called the "success syndrome". This syndrome says that people who achieve high results but lack a solid character base to help them withstand stress are doomed to disaster.

Charisma: the first impression can make a deal

Most people think that charisma is something mystical, almost inexplicable. They believe that this is a quality that comes with birth or does not develop at all. Simply put, charisma is the ability to attract people to you. Like other qualities, it can be developed if:

We love life - people like leaders who enjoy life. Think about the people you want to spend time with. How would you describe them? Sour? Angry? Depressed? Of course not. These are the people who like to celebrate, not the ones who tend to complain. They love life passionately.

We give the highest appreciation to everyone - one of the best things we can do for people - and which also attracts them to us - is to expect the best from them. It helps people to have a high opinion of themselves, but at the same time, it helps us.

We give people hope - French General Napoleon Bonaparte described leaders as "sellers of hope". Like all great leaders, he knew that hope was the greatest of all riches. If we are able to be the person who presents this gift to others, they will be attracted to us and will be eternally grateful to us.

Share - people love leaders who share and share their life paths. When leading others, give of yourself. Share wisdom, means, and even special moments.

Devotion - it distinguishes the actors from the fantasists

The world does not know a single great leader to whom he lacked devotion. Devotion gives us new strength. For the leader, devotion is everything, because everyone you lead depends on you. Devotion inspires and attracts people. It shows them that you have beliefs.

When it comes to dedication, there are actually four types of people: breakers (people who have no goals and don't commit to anything), lazy people (people who don't know if they will achieve a goal and are therefore afraid to commit. People who go to a goal but give up when it becomes difficult) and everyone else (people who have goals, commit to them, and pay the price to achieve them).


Simplify your message - communication is not just about what you say. It's also in how you say it. Contrary to many teachers' beliefs, the key to successful communication is simplicity.

Look at the person - successful communicators focus on the people they communicate with. They know that it is impossible to communicate effectively with an audience without knowing something about it. If you want to do better in communication, be audience-oriented. People believe in great speakers because great speakers believe in people.

Tell the truth - Trust is the main condition for great communication. There are two ways to instill confidence in your audience. The first is to believe what you say, and the second is to put into action what you say because there is no greater credibility than a belief turned into action.

Look for a response - when you communicate, never forget that the purpose of any communication is action. If you dump a lot of information on an audience, you're not communicating with it. Every time you talk to people, give them something to feel, to remember, and something to do. If you succeed in this, your ability to lead others will rise to a new level.

Competence: if you build it, the other will only come

We all admire people who show high competence, whether they are precise craftsmen, world-class athletes, or successful business leaders. For this purpose they:

They are present every day - the responsible people are always there when they are needed, but the highly competent ones take one step further. They are not just physically present, they are ready to play no matter how they feel, what circumstances they face, or how difficult the game is for them.

They are constantly improving - like Benjamin Franklin, all highly competent people are constantly looking for new ways to learn, grow and improve. They do this by asking why. After all, the one who knows how he will never lose his job, but the one who knows why, will always be the boss.


Experience things to perfection - quality is never a coincidence, it is always the result of high expectations, sincere efforts, intelligent focus, and skillful execution; it is a consequence of the wise choice between many possibilities.

Achieve more than expected - highly competent people always walk one kilometer more. For them, good enough is never good enough.

Inspire others - truly competent leaders do more than get things done at a high level. They inspire and motivate their teams to do the same. While some people rely on such skills to survive, effective leaders combine them with high competence to take their organization to new levels of excellence and influence.

Courage: a brave man is a majority

When an organization makes significant progress, you can be sure that its leader is making bold decisions. The very position of the leader does not give a person courage, but courage can give him the position of a leader.

Insight - put an end to unsolved mysteries

Insight can be defined as the ability to get to the root of things; it relies as much on intuition as it does on rational thinking. Successful leaders need foresight, although even great leaders have not always shown it. Foresight is an absolutely necessary quality for any leader who wants to achieve maximum success. It helps to reach:

The root of the matter

Leaders of large organizations have to deal with great chaos and incredible complexity every day. They are never able to gather enough information to get a complete picture of almost everything. As a result, they have to rely on their foresight.

Organizational foresight does not extend to this narrow-minded concept called rationality. It is achieved in combination with the logic of clear consciousness and powerful intuition. Insight allows the leader to see the partial picture, intuitively fill in the missing pieces, and discover the true nature of the issue.

Increase your ability to solve problems

If you are able to see the root of the problem, you can solve it. The closer a leader is to his area of ​​ability, the stronger his intuition and the greater his ability to see the essence of the issue.

Expand your choice for maximum effect

Never ignore what your emotions tell you, but never think it's enough. Insight does not consist in relying only on intuition, nor only on intellect. It allows you to use both sense and reason to make the best choices for your people and your organization.

Increase your capabilities

Those who lack foresight are seldom in the right place at the right time. Although, according to some observers, the great leaders were just often lucky.

Focus: the clearer it is, the more aware you are

What does it take to have the focus that will make you a truly successful guide? The keys are in priorities and concentration. A leader who knows his priorities but lacks concentration is aware of what needs to be done but never does it.

If he has concentration but no priorities, even if he has achievements, they cannot progress. But when a leader harnesses both, he has the potential to achieve great things. So the important issue is to focus your time and energy rationally.

The strengths of the manager

Focus 70% on your strengths - effective leaders who manage to show their potential spend more time focusing on what they have done well than on what they have done poorly.

The only universal thing is incompetence. Strong performance is always specific! To be successful, focus on your strengths and develop them. There you need to focus your time, energy, and abilities.

Focus on the new

Focus 25% on new things - growth is equivalent to change. If you want to be better, you have to constantly change and improve. It also means entering new areas.

If you dedicate some time to new things related to your strengths, you will grow as a leader. And let's not forget that there is no place in leadership for those who do not grow.

The weaknesses of the leader

Focus 5% on your weaknesses - no one can avoid working on their weaknesses. The key is to keep them to a minimum, and leaders can do that by providing.


Nothing can convince others more clearly that a leader is working in their favor than his generosity. True generosity is not accidental. It comes from the heart and penetrates every aspect of a leader's life: time, money, talents, and possessions.

Successful leaders - those that people want to follow - don't just collect things for themselves; they do it to give to others.


Leaders are obliged to establish a connection with their followers. But this is not the only area in which leaders need to take the initiative. They must always look for opportunities and be ready for action. What are the qualities that leaders should possess in order to make things happen?

They know what they want - if you want to be an effective leader, you need to know what you want. This is the only way to recognize the possibility when it arises.

They can be forced to act - there is an old saying: "If you want, then you can" Enterprising people do not wait for others to motivate them. They know that it is their responsibility to get out of their comfort zone. And they make it a regular practice.


They take more risks - when leaders know what they want and can get themselves to act, there is still another hurdle. This is the willingness to take risks.

Innovative people always face risks. But one of the reasons leaders are willing to take risks is because they know that lack of initiative comes at a price.


They make more mistakes - the good news for enterprising people is that they make things happen. The bad thing is that they make a lot of mistakes. Although initiative leaders make more mistakes, they do not allow them to worry. The greater the potential, the greater the chance of failure.


Use your ears to connect with the hearts of others.

Reluctance to listen is quite common among weak leaders. Peter Drucker, the father of American management, believes that 60% of all management problems stem from the wrong relationship. Many voices demand your attention.

When thinking about how to allocate your listening time, keep in mind that the goals of listening are twofold: to establish relationships with people and to learn. Therefore, you need to keep your ears open for the following people: your subordinates, your clients, your competitors, and your mentors.

Passion - accept life as it is and love it

Professionals spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes certain people successful. They often look at their credentials, intelligence, education, and other factors. But more than anything else, success is due to passion.

Passion is the first step to achievement - everyone who lives outside the confines of ordinary life has a great desire. This is true in every field: a weak desire leads to poor results - in the same way, that a small fire gives low heat. The more fused your fire is, the stronger the desire and the greater the potential.

Passion increases the strength of will - nothing can replace passion. It is fuel for the will. If you want something strong enough, you will find the willpower to achieve it. The only way to have that kind of desire is to develop a passion.

Passion changes you - if you follow your passion instead of the views of others, you can't help but become a more dedicated and productive person. This increases your ability to influence others. Ultimately, your passion will have a greater impact than your personality.

Passion makes the impossible possible - human beings are so structured that when something illuminates the soul, the impossible things disappear. That's why passionate leaders are so effective. A leader with great passion and little skill always shows better results than one with great skill but no passion.

Positive attitude - if you believe you can, you can

If you want to be an effective leader, having a positive attitude is a must. This not only determines your level of personal satisfaction but also reflects on the way others communicate with you.

Troubleshooting - You can't let your problems be a problem.

Effective leaders always face challenges. This is one of the things that separates the winners from the mourners. No matter what field a leader works in, he will encounter problems. They are inevitable for three reasons. First, we live in an increasingly complex world filled with growing diversity. Second, we interact with people. And third, we cannot control all the situations we face.


Leaders anticipate problems - because problems are inevitable, good leaders anticipate them. Anyone who expects the road to be easy will constantly find themselves in difficulty.


Leaders accept the truth - people react to problems in these ways: either they refuse to accept them, or they accept them, and then they come to terms with them, or they accept them and try to fix things. Leaders must always do the last.

Leaders see the whole picture

Leaders must always look at the whole picture. They can't afford to be overwhelmed by their emotions - nor can they get so caught up in detail that they lose sight of what's really important.

One task at a time

Leaders do things one at a time - the ones who most often get into trouble are those who get confused by the size or amount of their problems and then take an amateurish approach to solve them. If you're facing a number of issues, make sure you've really resolved the one you're working on before moving on to the next one.

Leaders do not give up the big task when they are in difficulty - effective leaders know the principle of "rise and fall". They make big decisions when they are on the rise, not during their dark periods.

Relationships - If you get along with people, they will interact well with you.

The ability to work with people and build relationships is absolutely indispensable for effective leadership. If employees need good communication skills, think about how important these abilities are for leaders! Indeed, everyone wants to interact with people they get along with.

And while one could have communication skills without being a good leader, no one can be a good leader without communication skills.


Good leaders never perceive the victim's psyche. They realize that who they are and their situation remains their responsibility - not their parents, spouses, children, the government, bosses, or colleagues.

They face what life brings them and give their best, realizing that they will be given the opportunity to lead the team only if they prove that they can take the ball.

They always do the job to the end, they tend to do more than necessary, they are driven by the desire to achieve the best and they are always productive no matter the situation.

Confidence - competence never compensates for insecurity

No one can live differently in the way he sees himself. If some consider themselves a loser, they will find a way to become one. Every time his success exceeds his confidence, the result is self-destructive. This is true as much for the followers as it is for the leaders themselves.

Uncertain leaders are dangerous - for themselves, for their followers, and for the organizations they lead, because the leadership position multiplies the effect of personal shortcomings. Whatever negative baggage you have in life, it is even harder to carry when you try to lead other people.

Self-discipline - first learn to lead yourself

No one can achieve and maintain success without it. No matter how talented a leader is, his talents will never be realized to the fullest without self-discipline. It gives the leader the opportunity to reach the highest level and is the key to lasting leadership.

A good leader must follow and develop his priorities, turn a disciplined lifestyle into his task, reject excuses, set aside rewards until the job is done, and focus on the result.

The ability to serve - to progress, put others first.

The ability to serve is not related to position or skills. It is a matter of attitude. Surely you have met people who have a bad attitude towards service - the rude employee in the government agency, the waiter who should not be bothered to take your order, the salesman in the store who talks to a friend on the phone instead of discussing you.

Just as you can feel when an employee does not want to help people, you can no less easily sense if a leader is not ready in his heart to do so.

And the truth is that the best leaders want to serve others, not themselves. He puts others before his own program, has the confidence that he must serve, dedicates himself to the service of others, is not interested in rank and position, and serves with love.

The ability to learn - to keep leading, keep learning

Leaders are in danger of being satisfied with the status quo. However, since the leader already has influence and has achieved the given level of respect, why should he continue to grow?

The answer is simple: Its growth determines who it is. It is who determines who it attracts.

Who he attracts determines the success of his organization. If a leader wants to develop his organization, he must develop his ability to learn.

It is important to overcome the disease of the goal achieved, to overcome its success, to give up the shortcuts, to give up his pride, and never repeat the same mistake.

Vision - you can only capture what you can see.

Seeing is all about the leader. It is absolutely irreplaceable. Why? Because seeing leads the leader. It paints the target. It ignites and ignites the inner fire and makes the person move forward. It kindles the fire in those who follow such a leader.

Managerial styles

The manager's leadership style can be seen as a set of knowledge and skills, qualities, way of interacting with subordinates or other managers, the methods of work he uses, and the way he performs managerial roles.

The various elements that make up a leadership style are the reason for its diversity. Nevertheless, organizational theory offers a classification of leadership styles based on the basis of some general characteristics of managerial behavior.

Authoritarian style

The characteristic of this style is the lack of information from subordinates about the ultimate goals of the organization and what is expected of them as a contribution to their achievement.

The manager who adheres to this style prefers to maintain formal relationships with his subordinates, distancing himself from them and fending off any attempts to shorten this distance.

There are two varieties of authoritarian style in the literature:

Exploitative style

With it, the manager personally makes all decisions without trusting his subordinates and without seeking their opinion when developing options. The main ways to motivate people are the fear of punishment, threats, and pressure.

Benevolent management style

The manager treats his subordinates condescendingly and sometimes is interested in their opinion, although subsequently, it has no bearing on decision-making. Also with this variety, some independence in the performance of tasks is possible.

This style of leadership leads to the strengthening of centralism in government and its bureaucratization. In practice, this means not allowing cooperation and teamwork, but the strict implementation of all decisions taken by the various management wounds.

In this way, efforts are focused on small, unimportant things, and the main thing, the perspective remains in the background.

Authoritarian style

The authoritarian style is not particularly suitable for the management of modern organizations. However, its use in crisis situations is justified, when it is required to achieve greater efficiency of the management impact.

The democratic style

The democratic style is the complete opposite of the authoritarian one. This style is characterized by the following:

  • the distance between the manager and his subordinates is reduced;
  • management decisions are made using primarily group methods;
  • the motivation of the subordinates is done by strengthening their interest in the final results;
  • delegation of more rights and responsibilities to subordinates;
  • the control function is performed mainly through self-control and mutual control;
  • Democratic style can exist in two forms:

Consultative form of management

In this form of management, the manager is interested in the opinion of subordinates, consults with them, and strives to use all good suggestions. Incentives predominate in incentive mechanisms, and penalties are used only in exceptional cases.

Subordinates are extremely satisfied with such leadership and refuse exceptional help and support in achieving goals.

Participatory form

This form of management presupposes the complete trust of the head of his subordinates in all matters. In achieving the goals, he relies exclusively on teamwork, and subordinates are seen as collaborators and partners.

The democratic style of leadership is most often used in modern organizations, as it stimulates the creativity and initiative of staff and helps to maximize its potential.

However, it is not suitable for situations that require quick decisions. In addition, the democratic style should not be used when subordinates lack the necessary discipline and the professional and qualification level is not in line with the set goals.

Liberal style

This style of management stimulates the creativity and initiative of subordinates to the greatest extent. The essence of this style is that the manager sets the tasks for the contractors, creates the necessary working conditions, and determines the rules and limits of deviation.

His role is to advise and advise subordinates, if necessary. It also provides the necessary information and evaluates the results achieved.

In this style of management, subordinates are given rights and responsibilities regarding decision-making and their implementation. In this way, they are given the opportunity to show their potential. This in turn motivates them to make even greater efforts in the future.

High level of education

The liberal style of leadership is appropriate to use when the leaders are characterized by a high level of education and qualification and are able to self-organize and self-control.

At the same time, this style can lead to the bureaucratization of management, when the entire management activity is handed over to subordinates and some of them begin to experience themselves as leaders, and they also start using authoritarian methods.

In this situation, the leader only gives the appearance that he is leading, but in reality, he becomes dependent and is not able to make decisions and take any action alone.

The results of studies related to the use of different types of leadership styles show that, in the end, pure type is not found in practice.

As a result, opportunities are beginning to be sought for the search for and use of a more appropriate style of leadership, as a result of which the so-called situational style is reached.

Situational style

The characteristic of this style of management is the cooperation between the manager and the subordinates in solving the problems arising in the organization, which are typical in different situations.

Therefore, in the search for solutions, each situation must be diagnosed and analyzed jointly by the manager and his subordinates.

This leads to the development of group solutions to overcome the situation.

The manager, who adheres to the situational style of leadership, has authority, which is built primarily on his ability to guide his subordinates and participate with them in the search for a way out of situations. In this style, the effectiveness of leadership is higher as a result of the use of motivational mechanisms inherent in each situation.

Important for the situational style is the development of a sense of empathy in subordinates in achieving goals.

The manager who uses this style helps to maintain open internal communications, which in turn leads to a reduction of interpersonal and intergroup conflicts.

Questions and Answers

What is the primary distinction between a manager and a leader?

The primary distinction between a manager and a leader lies in their roles and approaches. A manager is typically responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, coordinating resources, and ensuring tasks are completed efficiently. In contrast, a leader focuses on inspiring and guiding others towards a common vision and goal, empowering and motivating team members to achieve beyond their individual capabilities.

How do managers and leaders differ in their focus?

Managers tend to focus on organizing and coordinating resources, setting specific goals, and ensuring tasks are completed according to established processes and timelines. Their emphasis is on efficiency, productivity, and adherence to procedures. On the other hand, leaders concentrate on motivating, empowering, and aligning their team members with a shared purpose and vision. They emphasize collaboration, creativity, and adapting to changes and challenges.

What are the qualities commonly associated with effective managers?

Effective managers are often associated with qualities such as strong organizational and planning skills, ability to delegate tasks effectively, adept at problem-solving and decision-making, good communication and interpersonal skills, and a focus on meeting deadlines and achieving targets.

What are the characteristics typically attributed to successful leaders?

Successful leaders are often characterized by qualities such as vision and strategic thinking, emotional intelligence and empathy, excellent communication and persuasion skills, the ability to inspire and influence others, a growth mindset, and a commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive work culture.

How do managers and leaders handle challenges differently?

Managers tend to address challenges pragmatically, seeking practical solutions based on existing processes and procedures. They are often concerned with maintaining stability and meeting short-term goals. In contrast, leaders approach challenges with an emphasis on innovation and creativity. They encourage their team members to think outside the box, adapt to changing circumstances, and view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

What is the scope of authority for managers and leaders?

Managers typically have formal authority granted by their position within the organization's hierarchy. They have the power to assign tasks, make decisions, and hold team members accountable. Leaders, on the other hand, may not hold formal authority but can exert influence through their expertise, vision, and ability to inspire and gain followership.

How do managers and leaders foster team development?

Managers foster team development by providing training and skill development opportunities, setting performance goals, conducting regular performance evaluations, and facilitating collaboration among team members. Leaders foster team development by creating a positive and inclusive work culture that encourages innovation, offering mentorship and coaching, promoting a shared vision and values, and supporting employees' personal and professional growth.

Can a person be both a manager and a leader simultaneously?

Yes, a person can effectively combine managerial and leadership qualities, often referred to as being a "managerial leader." In this capacity, the individual demonstrates strong management skills in coordinating tasks and resources while also providing visionary leadership to inspire and guide their team towards shared goals.

What is the impact of managers and leaders on organizational culture?

Managers have a direct impact on the day-to-day work culture, ensuring tasks are completed efficiently, and enforcing organizational policies and procedures. Their leadership style can influence the work environment and team dynamics. Leaders play a more significant role in shaping the overall organizational culture by setting a compelling vision, defining the company's values, and encouraging behaviors aligned with the organization's mission and goals.

How do managers and leaders contribute to employee engagement and motivation?

Managers contribute to employee engagement and motivation by recognizing individual and team achievements, providing constructive feedback and performance evaluations, and offering opportunities for professional development and growth. They play a crucial role in creating a positive work environment and supporting employees in their day-to-day tasks. Leaders, on the other hand, contribute to employee engagement and motivation by inspiring a sense of purpose and shared mission, fostering a culture of trust and transparency, and empowering employees to take ownership of their work and contribute to the organization's success.

About the author

Louise Dupont, Writer at Business Value-Oriented Principles

Louise Dupont is an assistant professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University Paris 3 and teaches business management. Dr. Dupont is the author of research papers in public administration and business administration.

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