Can a good manager also be a good leader? Should a leader be a strong manager? How do managers and leader differ?

The key difference between leaders and managers is leaders manage people while managers manage processes.

A successful business owner, manager or anyone responsible for leading a team needs both to be a strong leader and manager to get their team engaged in a vision that will render a successful outcome. Leadership is about getting others to understand and believe in a vision and to work to achieve goals while managing is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day things are happening as they should for the benefit of the vision.


  • Vision: Leaders know their people strength and build upon them. They understand what motivates their people and how to obtain and keep buy in from their people. People will support a world they help to create.
  • Honesty & Integrity: Leaders see this as crucial to having the respect of others. Without respect, there can be no buy-in of the vision.
  • Inspiration: Leaders inspire their teams to be all they can be by making sure they understand their role in achieving the vision.
  • Ability to Challenge: Leaders are never afraid to challenge the status quo and have the courage to think outside the box
  • Communication Skills: Leaders keep their teams informed about the vision. Their role in achieving the vision, reinforce what they do well and guide them through any challenges they may encounter.


  • Execute A Vision: Mangers successfully take a strategic vision and break it down into Key Result Areas to be followed by the team
  • Ability to Direct: Managers monitor day-to-day work activities, review resources needed and anticipate needs along the way
  • Process Management: Managers establish and monitor performance standards, and operating procedures
  • People-Centered: Managers know their people, genuinely listen to them and look to involve them in some areas of decision making

To engage their teams in delivering the best service to customers, clients and even stakeholders, a team must have ownership of the vision and align their outcomes and behaviors to it. Getting others excited about where the vision can take them professionally and personally is key to avoiding low team performance.

With smaller organizations, the challenge lies in making sure you are leading your team and managing the day to day operation. Not an easy task, however, those who do both, lead and manage, have a competitive advantage.

Are you more of a leader or more of a manager?  What would your staff say if you were to ask them?