Difference Between Manager and Leader (With Table)

“All managers are leaders, but all leaders are not managers.” This is a statement that is hundred percent accurate, and it truly reflects the connection between a Leader and a Manager. They both may be used as synonyms in some places but are different from each other.

A person who wants to start a business must possess the skills and the ability to be a leader. A manager, on the other hand, requires somewhat distinctive but also some similar features. They have different concepts as well as ways of working.

Manager vs Leader

The main difference between a Manager and a Leader is that a Manager has to follow the five functions of the management process. While a Leader does only have one job from the management system. That being, direction. While a Manager follows this in addition to planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling.

A manager is a person who manages a certain portion of a place, whether it be at a business or an institution. The main qualities required by a Manager are decisiveness, intelligence, and being good at time management. These qualities are important as many a times Managers have to take fast decisions in a limited time frame.

A leader is a person who has the trait of leading a person or a group of people to complete a goal. A Leader does not only exist in a business or company. There can be Leaders in an informal structure as well. For example, a sports team captain or head of a trekking route, etc.

Comparison Table Between Manager and Leader

Parameters of Comparison



Purpose of the title

A Manager manages and overlooks the work process going within the place.

A Leader influences people and helps them in various situations.


A Manager may delegate their responsibilities to their subordinates.

A Leader does not delegate.

Personal focus

A Manager does not focus on their employees outside life.

A leader builds a relationship with the people around them and focuses on them aside from the work details.


Managers do not take many risks and just follow the orders of their superiors.

Leaders would take risks and initiate new things in the place.


Managers use the same path that the earlier Manager has.

Leaders do not use the same path and find new ways to solve a problem.

What is Manager? 

A Manager is an individual who manages the subordinates beneath them and their activities. Usually, in a business, They are the connection between the companies owners and its hired employees. They want their employees to work on the given instruction(s) by the company owners.

The main focus of a Manager is to fulfill the companies goals. When a subordinate, a person below the Manager, does good work, they are rewarded, and if they fail to do so their work, often the Manager would have to make hard decisions in regards to the situation.

The title comes with great responsibility and power over a group of people. It just does not include assigning orders but taking control and organizing the work and guidelines of the business. It is said that a great Manager must be a Leader.

What is Leader?

A Leader is an individual who leads people, but instead of people listening to the leader, the people below the leader themselves want to follow them. A Leader does not have to give orders time after time. The employees would themselves get inspired by them and do the required task.

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” This is quoted by Bill Gates, and it is true. It is known that a Leader does not have subordinates, like Managers, but followers who share the same goals and objectives with the Leader.

A Leader is someone who looks for the big picture and not only focuses on what is going on. The qualities of a Leader not only come from training from other superiors. One has to go through each individual, understanding them and nourish their existing knowledge.

Main Differences Between Manager and Leader

  1. The main aim of a manager is to supervise people below their position. On the other hand, A Leader, aside from supervising, contributes to the companies goals and develops new ideas as well.
  2. Managers are required in every management system. From planning, organizing, staffing, directing, to controlling. A Leader is though only has a role only in one management process, and that is directing.
  3. Leaders are considered to be more empathetic in comparison to Managers. A Manager usually wouldn’t ask or converse with their employee outside of a work topic. A Leader, though, would have more personal conversations and personally connect to them.
  4. A Leader encourages people to develop their basic knowledge into more advanced ones. While a Manager does not encourage people but demands a certain work to be done.
  5. A Manager is only required at a type of business. In oppose to it, A Leader, aside from being at a business, can be of other things as well. Like being head of a country or of any type of informal group.


A person who wants to have a prosperous business must be a good Manager and even better leader. These two terms have to go hand in hand. A Manager brings creativity while a Leader brings imagination and initiative. There has to balance between these two terms in a place to flourish.

“Good management consists in showing ordinary people how to do the work of superior people.” Both of these titles are one of the most common words used in the business world as they are very important titles and every type of business, starting from a small company to big enterprises, needs people to fulfill these responsibilities.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=mgFCDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=manager+vs+leader&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimsur-4MLxAhUd73MBHcuyCoAQ6AEwAHoECAUQAw#v=onepage&q=manager%20vs%20leader&f=false
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/15222154