Leaders vs. Managers

I’ve asked some friends to bring their insights to the Leadership Freak community. Please give a warm welcome to today’s guest writer, Lolly Daskal.


What is the biggest difference between managers and leaders?

Both roles are important but they seek to do different things…

  1. Leaders lead people. Managers manage people.
  2. Leaders set destinations. Managers navigate the roads to get there.
  3. Leaders cultivate change. Managers cultivate creating stability.
  4. Leaders inspire. Managers comfort.
  5. Leaders appeals to the heart. Managers appeal to the head.
  6. Leaders set direction. Managers set plans with details.
  7. Leaders work on a system. Managers are working the system.
  8. Leaders have vision. Managers are about reaching goals.
  9. Leaders   are about effectiveness. Managers are about efficiency.
  10. Leaders have followers. Managers have subordinates.
  11. Leaders take ownership. Managers take responsibility.
  12. Leaders shape culture. Managers enact culture.
  13. Leaders are proactive. Managers are reactive.
  14. Leaders accomplish achievements.  Managers accomplish compliance.
  15. Leaders break rules. Managers make rules.
  16. Leaders use conflict. Managers avoid conflict.
  17. Leaders set new direction. Managers go on the existing roads.
  18. Leaders go inward. Managers work outward.
  19. Leaders are concerned what is right and managers are concerned about being right.

As you can see managers and leaders are two different people. Do organizations need both? YES.

Leadership begins where management ends and smart organizations value both and great organizations work hard to make each a part of their team.

What comparisons and contrasts do you see between managers and leaders?


Lolly leads the “Lead From Within” movement. She travels the world speaking and coaching. Learn more about Lolly Daskal at her website: http://www.lollydaskal.com/ . Follow Lolly on twitter @LollyDaskal