Difference between Managers and Leaders

Differencebetween Managers and Leaders

Oftenit is assumed that everyone in a management position is a leader butthis is not the case. Leadership is performed by people who are notin management positions. It is important though to have both leadersand managers in an organization as both make valuable contributionsto an organization.

Whilemanagers can comfortably be described as administrators, leaders onthe other hand are change instigators to people and organizations. Abetter outlined distinction between the two is that management is afunction that has to be exercised in any business where as leadershipis basically a relationship between the leader and those being led.This relationship is one that can energize an organization.

Thefact that a manager focuses on systems and structure, limits hisability to innovate. Managers tend to put more effort in maintainingwhat already exists contrary to the leader who strives to develop.The leader is his own person and banks more on inspiring trust amongmembers rather than control (Bennis, 2007. Pp 89). As a result ofthis, the leader finds doing the right thing being very important asopposed to a manager who will push to do things right even if theyare oppressive. A manager can never challenge the system no matterthe shortcomings.

Inshort leadership is a process that involves developing a vision forthe organization, aligning people with the vision throughcommunication, and motivating them to action through empowerment andbasic need fulfillment. It creates uncertainty and change in anorganization. Management on the contrary is a process involvingplanning and budgeting, organizing and staffing as well ascontrolling and problem solving.

Stylesof leadership

Thereare various styles of leadership that can be employed by a leader.One of this is autocratic leadership style. In this style the leaderdetermines all policies, activities and goals of the organization.This type of leadership is marred by members being uncertain of whatto do and only take action when told to. The down side of thisleadership style is that delays may happen if the leader isunavailable to give directions. The leader in this style takes partonly when conducting a meeting or demonstrating a course of action.Usually in this style the leader is taken accountable for both praiseand also criticism despite the work being done by individualorganization members.

Aleader can also adopt the democratic leadership style. Thisleadership style promotes a feeling of satisfaction and achievementas the group makes strides on tasks. This is so because the styleproduces a shared leadership. The role of the leader in this style ismaking members understand what is required in working to achieve theorganizational goals. Members in turn respond by taking greaterresponsibility for group maintenance and task performance. This styleinspires more interest among members in their work as they feel theyhave a stake in it (Kotter, 2001. Pp 36).

Aleader can choose to employ laissez-faire style of leadership. Thisone involves a non-interference policy where complete freedom isgranted to members. It also has no particular way of attaining goals.This style can be very chaotic if the members of an organization werenot carefully prepared for it as it can easily result to confusion(Burns, 2003. Pp 70). To prepare them adequately for this the leaderneeds to ensure that they all understand what the goals that need tobe achieved are.

Groupwork and teamwork are critical to business organization because theyaid in enhancing the performance of an organization. When individualswork in teams or groups, they are in a position to perform better inbusiness because they are in a position to share many things. Forinstance, an employee may be new in an organization, but putting himin a group may assist in ensuring that he learn new things quicklythat can aid in enhancing the performance of an organization(Dinitzen, 2004. Pp 90). Apart from using teamwork and group work inenhancing the performance of new employees, teamwork and group workcan be used by managers in training employees. Training is animportant aspect to employees because it helps in ensuring thatemployees get the best knowledge that assists them in performing jobsin an organization. When in a group or team, employees are in aposition to learn better because they educate one another. Theunderstanding of employees is different, which implies that employeescan understand their jobs differently depending with their capacityto hold things. When employees train in a group or team, they are ina position to learn better because each employee has differentunderstanding. Besides, through teamwork and group work, employeesare capable of learning each other’s role.

Belbin’stheory is important to an organization because it is used inidentifying people’s behavioral weaknesses and strengths in anorganization. Belbin’s theory can be used in developing the bestpossible teams because it emphasizes on building productiverelationships (Belbin, 2012. Pp 106). Through this theory, employeescan be organized in different groups according to their abilities.Employees have different abilities, but putting them in a team iscritical in ensuring that employees learn from each other. Belbin’stheory ensures that employees build trust and understanding amidstone another, which is a critical aspect in a team. The theory can beused in developing the best performing team because it ensures thatmanagers select and develop high-performing teams. When managers usethe theory, they are in a position to recruit well, which ensuresthat they get the best working team. When the recruitment process isdone with seriousness, managers are in a position to get the verybest of employees. Therefore, this theory is critical in ensuringthat managers get the very best of employees. In addition, thetheory is critical in ensuring that managers get the very best ofemployees because it helps managers in raising self-awareness andindividual effectiveness (Taylor, 2014. Pp 64). Furthermore, thetheory ensures that employees work as team players, which ensurescooperation in doing different tasks in an organization. This isimportant in ensuring that managers get the very best of employees.Thus, this theory is critical in obtaining the very best ofemployees.

Tuckman’stheory is critical in employee development. According to this theory,a team is likely to develop maturity and ability as it grows and asthe leader changes leadership style. Thus, according to the theory,leadership style is a significant element (Martin, 2006. Pp 54). Thetheory identifies three leadership styles that a leader movesthrough a leader begins with a directing style, moves throughcoaching style, and enters into a participating style. This theory iscritical in leadership because it ensures that a team developsaccording to leadership styles exhibited by the leader. This theoryis also significant in ensuring that there is good performance in anorganization.


Leadershipis critical in an organization because it ensures that a leaderutilizes the bet leadership style in enhancing the performance of anorganization. A leader must ensure that he/she chooses the best styleof leadership in order to enhance the performance of an organization.Leadership aligns people with the vision through communication, andmotivating them to action through empowerment and basic needfulfillment. Teamwork and group work are critical aspects in anorganization. When individuals work in teams or groups, they are in aposition to perform better in business because they are in a positionto share many things. Teamwork and group work can be used by managersin training employees, which is a crucial aspect in ensuring that anorganization performs well. Belbin’s theory ensures that employeesbuild trust and understanding amidst one another, which is a criticalaspect in a team. The theory can be used in developing the bestperforming team because it ensures that managers select and develophigh-performing teams. According to Tuckman’s theory, a team islikely to develop maturity and ability as it grows and as the leaderchanges leadership style. This theory is critical in leadershipbecause it ensures that a team develops according to leadershipstyles exhibited by the leader. Hence, a leader should be keen inidentifying and using leadership styles.


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Martin,B., 2006, OutdoorLeadership,: theory and practice,Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


Taylor,M.N., 2014, Buildinga Winning Team,London, Prentice Hall.