What Is The Difference Between Managers And Leaders?

2 minutes read

Not all managers are leaders, and not all leaders are managers. However, a person can be a manager and a leader at the same time.

After reading this article, you should be able to:

  • Describe the difference between managers and leaders
  • Explore the focus of a manager’s job

Who’s A Manager?

  • A manager is a person that plans, administers, directs, and controls the use and coordination of resources to achieve a goal.
HP Manager image

HP manager Regine Pohl demonstrating the webOS based Touchpad Tablet at DLDWomen 2011.
Source: Flickr

Functions Of Managers

  • They are part of the formal organizational structure.
  • They oversee and allocate resources.
  • They use the Five Management Functions and resources to achieve the goals of a plan.
  • They manage people who need to be part of the process.
  • They embrace processes and solve problems.
  • They manage, monitor, and control things.
  • They foster/drive change.


  • This is the process whereby a manager, who alone or in partnership, determines the structure, activities, and resources, using the functions of management, and pushes people, who need to be part of the process, to set and achieve organizational goals

5 Functions of Management

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Staffing
  4. Leading
  5. Controlling

Who’s A Leader?

A leader is someone with a vision and interpersonal skill; who guides, influences, or heads the direction of a group, or team, in a non- coercive modelling manner.


This is the process of motivating, inspiring, and influencing individuals and groups to set and achieve goals by pulling people who want to follow voluntarily.

Functions Of Leaders

  • They influence with or without power.
  • They’re not part of the formal organizational structure.
  • They inspire and motivate people.
  • They have followers who want to follow voluntarily.
  • They pull/carry people along.
  • They lead change.
  • They communicate and get buy-ins.
  • They model the desired behaviour for their followers to abide by.
  • They coach and develop people.
  • They create momentum.

Characteristics Of Managers Who Are Leaders

  • They continually improve the situation.
  • They hold themselves accountable.
  • They’re responsible to set and achieve goals.
  • They have vision.
  • They listen.

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

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