Do you think that Leader and Manager are two separate terms and what is the difference?

Personally, I have never even thought that Leader and Manager are two separate personalities and have often used those terms interchangeably. Until I read an article from Abraham Zaleznik in the”Harvard Business Review” (an old issue), which sets apart these two figures on a number of aspects. He states that the main difference between the Leader and the Manager is rooted in their mentality. The former adhere to chaos and unsystematic means of problem-solving, the latter – to logic, order and prescribed paths of thinking patterns. Managers seek stability and control, and often try to solve the problem before having understood it carefully. Leaders, on the other hand, are inclined to delay the decision-making moment until they have gathered all the needed information. Is there are manager, who is a leader or vice versa? Can power and control exist together with rationality and groupthink? Questions that are worth losing a wink of sleep…

Views: 289

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Most definitely.

A leader kind of draws the qualities out a person and sees them for who they are to be.

A manager lives in the now and works with what is there.

a manager can be a leader but a leader can't be a manager...
There are great leaders who are both! The leader who is no longer a manager, was at one time. And how they became the leader (VP, Director, Department Head, Parnter, etc.), was because as a manager they were a great leader. Unfortunately, there are more BAD leaders/managers out in the business world than there are great ones. They are certainly rare. And when you occasionally run into them, you immediately know it because like a great movie for example, they don't come around too often and when they do we immediately notice that they are very different from everyone else. And they typically earn almost instant credibility because of that quality. Unfortunately we've created a society of mediocracy that wishes to only report problems rather than solve them. It's disturbing actually. I believe there were "more" leaders in years past than there are today. We don't encourage great leadership in the business world like we used to. Look where that has taken us! Look around. The results are our economy.
In one of my OB/OD questions we discussed this very topic. Leader's inspire their team and are able to match the right people to the right jobs/tasks. For example, a great leader knows their team well enough to know individuals strengths and match those to optimize a business or project.

Managers get the daily tasks done in some way. You need managers and leaders to operate successfully I think.

For example, you can have a great leader who is constantly inspiring the team to get something accomplished or move in a new direction. They can constantly encourage creativity and reward their employees to hard work and contributions. But, sometimes you need a manager -type personality to help with the daily details involved in getting from ponit a to point b.

I think it's a balance. You can have people that are both leaders and managers, or people that are one or the other. They can be at any level in an organization. And, there are bad leaders and managers (of course!) lol
Without a doubt!

Simple example for sports fans!

Kobe Bryant - Is the leader of the L.A. Lakers basketball team. He handles the team on the floor.

Phil Jackson - Is the coach of the L.A. Lakers because he manages the day to day operations for getting the entire team ready to play.

Great question because people can view them as one of the same.


Lee Woods
The two terms are definitely separate.

A manager directs others to follow a path (or perform tasks, etc) determined by the manager.

A leader convinces others to take that path of their own free will.
Great question Teodora. I think both can have qualities of the other and there is much overlap. The distinguishing characteristic of someone who truly can lead (and this includes managers) is that they can get out of the way and let their people shine while getting the work done that needs to be completed. A manager can be a leader, not all leaders are great managers.

I frequently think of managers as the people who keep the parts and processes moving and leaders as those who inspire everyone to do the stuff.


I help train inspirational leaders.
can answer this simple question do both a leader and manager ...take remuneration for a living ??

could you name a few leader's ...whom you have looked onto or have followed or read their live's closely specifically those from your gender ??

your definition or view of a leader sounds to me as some one who want's or is relishing his twilight year's ...looking back-upon laughing to him/her self ...about what could or would have been ...managed,

your definition of a leader also probably sounds like who is looking for a scapegoat ,

there certainly are a few things or qualities that makes a leader standout , but i really don't see there should or would be great difference's between leading or managing a pack ,bunch of flok's ... a decision taken in the nick of the moment ...and holding on to the consequence's ...quite confusing ...

so it really zerod into or a microscopic view ...viz. looking for a scapegoat or acknowledging or owning upto
decision or choices had taken consciously or due to circumstance's.

any how nice that the topic or issue came for a discussion.
if power and control cannot exist together ...i don't believe makes a sound decision ...for any one to take up role's ...that don't match-up to their skills or competency ??

it is like some-one walking into a marriage or a relationship ...would you lament or decision's that you choose to once's a individual makes his/her choice's ...expanding these things to a macro level depend's who make's a manager or who make's a leader.

Reply to Discussion



All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service