The difference between a leader and a manager

Leaders and managers, of course, the word is familiar to you, especially for those of you who are active in organizations or who are currently working.


When you hear or read this term, you must imagine that they are a leader or leader in an organization or company.


However, if we dive deeper, the term has different meanings and responsibilities.


Of course, it is important for you to know, so that later if you are in that position, you are not mistaken for action. Then, what are the differences between leaders and managers? Let’s find out the difference below!


Manager Is….


Before discussing the differences between leaders and managers, of course, what you need to know first is the meaning and function of both.


So, from here, the differences will usually be clearly seen, so that we might have misinterpreted it.


Reporting from various sources, the manager is someone whose job is to coordinate various things in the company or organization in order to achieve the targets and goals that have been previously formulated with the highest leadership in that place.


Read: Here’s How to Improve Employee Performance


Therefore, there are 4 functions of a manager that need to be known, especially in the organizational world, namely;


  1. Planning function


Managers make plans for the organization, including activities to be carried out, make choices of plan A or B for these activities, make policies in the organization, make procedures and programs as a means to achieve goals.


  1. Organizing function


In this function, the manager’s job is to combine the visible and existing potentials of all the existing devices in the organization.


Meanwhile, the steps that need to be done are as follows;




Simplify or select what the company needs and what it does not need

Synchronize or pair and place anything that has been done from points 1 to 3.

  1. Work Execution Function


The job of the manager in this case is given the task of implementing planning, and organizing.


Of course, you must activate the things that have been selected at the beginning and then encourage them to be willing and continue to work together in order to achieve common goals.


Therefore, in doing so, a manager must hold to the operating standards that have been set in advance.


  1. Supervision Function


The next function of a manager is to supervise what his team does, of course this supervision is seen from, have they worked according to standard operating procedures?


Managers of course must be able to ensure that their teams work according to the standards applicable in the company.


The Leader Is…



Whereas the meaning of a leader is someone who has power, has influence on subordinates or followers so that he will direct him to what he should be.


Therefore, there are 3 leadership implications that a leader must have for the process of directing and influencing others, including;


The existence of the ability to use their power to be able to influence the behavior of his followers.

Its leadership involves other people, be it followers or subordinates

Its leadership involves a balanced change of power between members.

Both in organizations and in companies, actually need a leader for the following reasons;


Because we as social beings cannot live alone and need other people as leader figures who can lead to something.

Not everyone dares to take risks, even tends to be afraid to take these risks.

However, someone with a leadership spirit will dare to take that risk, even he will do it the first time before telling others.


What Are the Differences between a Leader and a Manager?


From the above understanding and functions regarding leaders and managers, the differences between the two are as follows;


  1. Leaders Dare to Take Risks, Managers Minimize Risks


There is a quite striking attitude between leaders and managers when faced with something, namely leaders tend to take risks and like to do new things, even though the chances of success are very nil.


This is very reasonable, considering the leader has power and has positive ambitions to continue to develop the company or organization he leads.


When it fails, a leader will try to do other ways to achieve these goals.


Whereas managers, basically, are usually the trust of the leader himself where the manager is in charge of coordinating what the leader has done.


Thus, a manager tends to minimize risk, and is even willing to maintain the existing one.


Because indeed managers must try to control, solve, and avoid problems that exist in the company or organization.


  1. Leaders Have Followers, Managers Have Subordinates


Even though a leader also has followers and subordinates, in reality what often appears with the leader is the followers who believe in him.


In other words, who is behind it is the next difference between leader and manager.


The manager has subordinates because his job desk is in charge of the team he works with.


Whereas leaders have followers who believe in them because leaders tend to have a big vision and mission about the future of the company or organization.


As for the vision and mission that will be realized with a mature strategy, only then will inform the followers about it.


A good leader is not only able to make his followers believe and understand the company’s vision.


Because surely this has been done by his followers without any reward. So that he will provide motivation so that his followers can work together well to achieve this goal.


Also read: How to Recruit Employees for Your Business? Here’s how


  1. Motivating Leader, Directing Manager


As mentioned earlier, the manager’s job is to be responsible for managing, coordinating with the team, and ensuring that subordinates work according to operational standards applicable in the company or organization.


Another manager’s job is also to determine the steps that will be taken in order to achieve the target, and predict the results.


To carry out the steps above, of course, a manager will delegate this to his subordinates who usually do daily operational activities.


Those who are given the mandate will be given guidance on how to do and complete it


Meanwhile, leaders tend to “ let go ” of their subordinates in order to overcome solutions to what they are doing.


He already understands and is optimistic that the people around him have the potential and are very competent to finish it.


This is done not because he doesn’t care, he tends to work to provide what facilities he needs to his followers and learn to improve performance independently, rather than having to direct it.


  1. Leaders Work Out Of The Box, Managers Work By Example


Hierarchically, it is natural for leaders to work out of the box because the company or organization is the result of their work and there are no rules from the start.


Meanwhile, the manager will report the performance of his subordinates to his superior, because of that he will work by observing and imitating what the company or organization has set.


Therefore, for a leader, personal branding is very important, he will seek and build on it because he wants to look unique and different from others.


Strengthening the branding is not only for himself, but also brings and strengthens the image of the company or organization to be more advanced than before.


Leaders tend to like innovation and change whenever something interests them. When making changes, they will be carried out with totality and dare to take risks and the resulting ideas are always out of the box.


The managers who work in a company will be asked to organize, coordinate work, work flow, projects, daily operations in accordance with company policy.


So no wonder, he will try to maintain a job that has proven successful both from the process and the system.


The simple way a manager works is that he learns and imitates something from others then imitates and modifies it rather than having to be created by himself.


  1. Different Leadership Styles between Leaders and Managers



Other significant differences between leaders and managers are those of inspiration, power, and control.


The manager in a company is basically given an authority by the company to lead, so that he will formally carry out and control it.


Therefore, the manager will instruct his subordinates to work according to directions and targets. This is categorized as a transactional interaction.


Meanwhile, the interaction of a leader with his subordinates is transformational, that is, it is one of the efforts to make employees believe in and follow their vision.


He will show you that working with him will make you a better person in the future.


The simple definition is, his leadership style directly leads to the ability of an individual, so that he will motivate, influence, and will not hesitate to involve him for larger projects for the success of the company or organization itself.


  1. Leaders Break the Rules, Managers Enforce the Rules


Interesting isn’t the statement the difference between leaders and managers above? Even so, it is true, a leader will be able to break the rules because he indirectly made it.


However, if the rules he applies violate the performance of his followers or employees, he will not hesitate to change and create new rules that can improve employee performance.


Unlike the case with managers, where there are rules from the company, he will obey them and invite his subordinates to comply with these rules.


Managers will also ensure that their subordinates will work in accordance with the “ track ” set by the company.


  1. Leaders Involve Feelings, Managers Involve Logic


Although not in every condition, a leader tends to involve feelings rather than logic.


So it’s not surprising, a leader has high empathy and will always try to understand what other people feel. When deciding something will be done according to his feelings.


As for a manager, he will use his logic to solve a problem. Policies that are carried out are usually more objective and put feelings aside. Decisions made will also be concluded based on available data.




That’s the difference between leaders and managers in a company or organization, I hope this information is useful for you.


Congratulations on carrying out duties properly in accordance with their respective functions either from the leader or manager.

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