BBC Content Team
Leaders vs Managers
The words “leader” and “manager” may seem like synonyms. Both seem to have influence and have great respect. However, in the business world, leaders and managers could not be more different. In this release of Business Bootcamp’s Management Articles, we will be going over just how different leaders and managers are.
First of all, a manager is a specific position. What I mean by this is that a person has to be hired for the role of a manager, they cannot just decide to be one themselves. Depending on the place of work, the manager will have specific tasks to do that only pertain to a manager. You would not see an employee assigning work to their employees, a manager would be assigned to do it as a part of their job. A leader, on the other hand, does not have to be in a specific position or come with a designated title. Simply put, they are the people in the workforce who take the initiative to go the extra mile in some form.
To go further in depth, a leader finds a way to motivate and inspire others to perform better and give it there all. They always, no matter what, act as an ethical manager and think about how their actions are impacting others. Leaders also excel at not only developing themselves but developing others. It is very easy for someone, especially for someone in a lower position, to just do what benefits them in hopes for a promotion. True leaders aspire to help lift others and discover success together. Lastly, leaders are great at communicating. This is a huge factor because there are so many parts of communication. Leaders will often communicate about issues or cross communicate with other parts of the organization to relay information. In addition, they know how to participate in positive small talk that further strengthens their relationship with their coworkers.
It is important to acknowledge that a leader can be a manager. When managers enforce the behaviors of a leader, they make the workforce more productive and just a more overall enjoyable place to come to everyday. Afterall, the manager influences all of their employees and having one that obtains the qualities of a leader will derive the best results. Unfortunately, not all managers are leaders. Contradictingly, anyone can be a leader. That being said, every employee should strive to be a leader to strengthen the workforce and better their team.
There are many different things you need to do as a manager to see if you are acting like a leader. According to the article “Leader vs. Boss” JJ DeGeronimo, there are a few things that a manager should ask themselves: “Do you work from a place of fear or a place of opportunity and community? Do you see yourself as being “in charge” or “a guide?” She goes on to emphasize that “It is not easy to shift from being in charge to being a guide, but it is necessary to move from being a boss to being a leader. To do so, be honest about how you approach your position and how you interact with the people around you.” This advice is crucial in any workplace where you have to manage any group of employees whether it is long term or just for one project. If you strive to improve to act as a leader, you will gradually see a shift in not only your attitude but everyone around you.
Leaders and managers cannot be more different. Those who can do both, however, bring the best outcomes for themselves, their employees and their company.
DiGeronimo, By: JJ. “Leader vs. Boss.” Smart Business Magazine, 27 Oct. 2020,
Eastwood, Brian. “The 5 Qualities All Successful Leaders Have in Common.” Northeastern
University Graduate Programs, 30 Nov. 2020,