Leader versus Manager

“Leadership and managership are two synonymous terms” is an incorrect statement. Leadership doesn’t require any managerial position to act as a leader. On the other hand, a manager can be a true manager only if he has got the traits of leader in him. By virtue of his position, manager has to provide leadership to his group. A manager has to perform all five functions to achieve goals, i.e., Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling. Leadership is a part of these functions. Leadership as a general term is not related to managership. A person can be a leader by virtue of qualities in him. For example: leader of a club, class, welfare association, social organization, etc. Therefore, it is true to say that, “All managers are leaders, but all leaders are not managers.”

A leader is one who influences the behavior and work of others in group efforts towards achievement of specified goals in a given situation. On the other hand, manager can be a true manager only if he has got traits of leader in him. Manager at all levels are expected to be the leaders of work groups so that subordinates willingly carry instructions and accept their guidance. A person can be a leader by virtue of all qualities in him.

Leaders and Managers can be compared on the following basis:

Basis Manager Leader
Origin A person becomes a manager by virtue of his position. A person becomes a leader on basis of his personal qualities.
Formal Rights Manager has got formal rights in an organization because of his status. Rights are not available to a leader.
Followers The subordinates are the followers of managers. The group of employees whom the leaders leads are his followers.
Functions A manager performs all five functions of management. Leader influences people to work willingly for group objectives.
Necessity A manager is very essential to a concern. A leader is required to create cordial relation between person working in and for organization.
Stability It is more stable. Leadership is temporary.
Mutual Relationship All managers are leaders. All leaders are not managers.
Accountability Manager is accountable for self and subordinates behaviour and performance. Leaders have no well defined accountability.
Concern A manager’s concern is organizational goals. A leader’s concern is group goals and member’s satisfaction.
Followers People follow manager by virtue of job description. People follow them on voluntary basis.
Role continuation A manager can continue in office till he performs his duties satisfactorily in congruence with organizational goals. A leader can maintain his position only through day to day wishes of followers.
Sanctions Manager has command over allocation and distribution of sanctions. A leader has command over different sanctions and related task records. These sanctions are essentially of informal nature.


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