Are You a Manager, Leader, or Both?

Learn what differentiates managers and leaders and how you can become more effective at whichever role you wish to play. Leader and manager positions are different, although the same person may often perform the two jobs. 

A Leader:

  • Innovates
  • Develops pathways for the organization
  • Focuses on people
  • People oriented
  • Creates trust
  • Has long-term visionary goals

A Manager:

  • Administers 
  • Maintains
  • Focuses on operations
  • Production oriented
  • Controls
  • Has short-term goals
Managers are personally invested in their goals. Successful managers work on organization goals with an extraordinarily keen focus. They also have a strong and clear vision of what can be, should be, and will be possible in their organization.

A Manager who is also a Leader:

  • Provides direction and shares their ideas with colleagues.
  • Helps to inspire others with ideas or attitudes.
  • Delegates effectively and allows others to learn and grow.
  • Helps move people or ideas in a new direction.
  • Plays an active role in achieving a task.

Some managers may be more likely to do things “by the book,” where managers who are also leaders are more willing to take calculated risks. They carefully research background, innovations, and new methods. They weigh the costs, time, physical resources, and alternatives, and they determine the degree of risk. These leader-managers are risk takers, but not without thorough research and calculation. Which are you?

This article is adapted from BOMI International’s course Managing the Organization. More information regarding this course is available by calling 1.800.235.2664. Visit BOMI International’s website,


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