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The Leadership Quest Blog

Manager vs. Leader

June 26, 2015

Manager vs. Leader_ Article.png

Often we use the words manager and leader interchangeably, but there are big differences between the 2 roles.

There is no doubt that most leaders must also manage, but not all managers lead or know how to lead for that matter. Knowing how much of your time to dedicate to managing things vs leading your people is a learned skill. If you can convert just 10% of your time from management (things) to leadership (people) it will be a dramatic game changer within your organization. Spending 4-5 additional hours per week with your people will be the beginning of a whole new story for your company. Here are some answers to what management looks like versus its corresponding leadership behavior:


  • Accepts the status quo
  • Focuses on improvement
  • Administrator
  • Watches the bottom line
  • Gives answers
  • Plans when and how
  • Sets standards of performance


  • Challenges the status quo
  • Focuses on innovation
  • Instigator
  • Watches the horizon
  • Asks questions
  • Asks why and what
  • Sets standards of excellence

Leadership is a step above management. Many people have the capability to manage, but leaders think outside the box, push limits, and have a sincere desire to initiate positive change. People are the focus of that change. Think about the changes you can make in your career to become more than just a manager.

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