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A Leader Versus a Manager


Business success depends on how operations are carried out from the top management, and trickled down to the lowest level of personnel. Despite the clear differences in meaning, the terms “leader” and “manager” are frequently interchanged. According to Esmerova (2020) a manager is a team player in a company, with the task of executing the fundamental managerial functions of setting plans, organizing, directing, and controlling. A leader on the other hand, do not have to be in a management role to be effective (Wajdi, 2017). Leadership is measured by the ability to offer guidance to people while helping them achieve success in the accomplishment of an objective. This paper seeks to differentiate a leader from a manager by clearly identifying each position’s job and responsibilities, and detailing the business perspective.

Roles and Responsibilities of Leaders and Managers


Just like love, leadership is universally sought yet impossible to define precisely. Gandolfi & Stone (2018) define leadership as the technique of utilizing authority and influence to guide people toward a specific objective. Traditionally, leadership was vested in posts, while today’s leadership is considered a vocation that one moves continuously into and out of, dependent on the occasion (Ciulla, 2017). A leader’s most important task is to offer clearly articulated guidance (Streimikiene et al., 2021). This begins with a statement of the leader’s views along with their goals and objectives for the direction of the business. This is followed by them continuously demonstrating those beliefs and ideas. They need to provide their subordinates with a well-defined strategy for the company’s future growth. They also owe the obligation of spreading that vision to team members and ensure that everyone knows their individual role in helping the company succeed.

The other role of a leader entails being responsible in providing the institutional framework and processes that help other employees to achieve substantial work. Ingram (2016) introduces the notion of “servant leadership,” wherein the leader’s duty is characterized as being responsible for eradicating the hurdles that inhibit individuals from performing optimally. Rather than establishing a “central command” atmosphere, leaders take lessons from their followers in terms of what they must do to achieve work efficiency, and then they help encourage them to do their best.

Trust creation is the other role of a leader in business environments. The finest leaders make it apparent that they still have faith that their subordinates understand what to do, and how to accomplish it (Ciulla, 2020). They are obligated to guarantee that everybody in the organization possesses necessary skills to accomplish their tasks. When those items are in effect, leaders trust the subordinates to be responsible for their productivity, making them agents of trust in the organizations.


Managers on their part, design a plan for attaining the defined company objectives. Alloting staff resources and overseeing task completion, as well as defining attainable timelines and performance target, are all pieces of the procedure (Schermerhorn & Bchrach, 2020). Managers should keep checking job progress frequently and ensure any deviations are remedied as needed while still upholding a clear depiction of the firm’s broader goals and objectives. Managers’ planning responsibilities include working independently to determine which tasks must be allocated to which employees, establishing prioritization for specific operations, and generating timelines.

Alongside planning, a manager needs to organize people and resources smooth operations of the firm. Maintaining organization of all aspects of the organization is an essential part of a successful firm (Schermerhorn & Bchrach, 2020). Organizing entails implementing strong processes and systems, and determining which employees or workgroups are most suitable for specific tasks. Organizing entails beyond just successfully allocating duties and establishing that all their subordinates have the tools necessary for the completion of their assignments. Managers should also be capable of reorganizing the firm in the face of shifting conditions.

The third role is directing the subordinates to achieve optimum functioning. Managers teach, advise, and supervise the behaviour of their employees to accomplish predefined goals. Managers must feel comfortable and confident in managing their teams’ daily tasks, as well as in times of significant upheaval or conflict. This requires projecting a clear sense of purpose when setting goals and communicating new procedures, goods, and services. This shows that managers are key initiators of direction in the firm.

Managers ought to review staff performance, productivity, and the coherence and effectiveness of completed tasks regularly to ensure that the other three roles are working in harmony to realize the organization’s growth. In managing, to control means to ensure that the firm’s long-term goals are met, and also instituting any required changes when necessary (Schermerhorn & Bchrach, 2020). In management, monitoring facilitates in the identification of defects so that remedial action can be implemented. Establishing standards, monitoring actual results, and taking corrective action are part of managerial control. Controlling makes sure that people adhere to the rules and meet the set expectations.

Business Perspective of Leaders and Managers

Businesses should approach both leadership and management as complimentary and synergistic notions rather than seeing them as distinct concepts. Both are required for somebody with influence to be effective. They may focus on different sectors and give various technical skills, but performance diminishes if one is missing. According to Azad et al. (2017), both leaders and managers are essential components that allow an organization’s resources to be channeled for higher efficiency and goal achievement. With the right people in place to show others the correct way forward, goals can be achieved faster, and avoid wastage of resources. This proves that for a team or organization to be effectively functional, good leadership and management needs to be put in place.


Whilst managers and leaders have similarity in roles whenit comes to dealing with individuals and pushing them to accomplish objectives, they do have clear differences. Managers use their skills to create plans, direct, control and organize individuals in order to achieve goals and visions. Leaders on the other hand use their traits to focus on a change in the future by providing guidance, bringing people together, encouraging, and empowering others. Managers and leaders must need to coexist and operate in tandem. Clearly, the two Although the positions are not identical, they are intricately linked and synergistic. Any attempt to distinguish the two will very definitely create more problems than it addresses.


Azad, N., Anderson, H. G., Brooks, A., Garza, O., O’Neil, C., Stutz, M. M., & Sobotka, J. L. (2017). Leadership and management are one and the same. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education81(6).

Ciulla, J. B. (2017). Trust and the future of leadership. The Blackwell guide to business ethics, 334-351.

Esmerova, E. (2020). Manager corporate governance and business model. anglisticum. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies8.

Ingram, O. C. (2016). Servant leadership as a leadership model. Journal of Management Science and Business Intelligence1(1), 21-26.

Schermerhorn Jr, J. R., & Bachrach, D. G. (2020). Exploring management. John Wiley & Sons.

Streimikiene, D., Mikalauskiene, A., Digriene, L., & Kyriakopoulos, G. (2021). Assessment of the Role of a Leader in Shaping Sustainable Organizational Culture. Amfiteatru Economic23(57), 483-503.

Wajdi, B. N. (2017). The differences between management and leadership. Sinergi: Jurnal Ilmiah Ilmu Manajemen7(1).


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