Four Differences Between A Leader and a Manager

One of the HUGE places where companies make mistakes is by putting managers into jobs that require leaders. Many of those are management positions but when a company doesn’t train their managers much less look for, seek out and promote their leaders then that company will have major problems down the road.

One difference is that natural leaders often don’t even seek a management position. Often times they are happy playing secondary roles. That is because as a leader they understand that some personalities require those people to be in control. Many people who are in control don’t have any understanding of what that means to the group but it doesn’t stop them from forcing themselves into controlling positions like management.

Out of this we find a second difference between leaders and managers. These pushy, controlling, individuals get into management positions because their manager was not a leader. A true leader is almost never bullied or pushed into something. A leader takes control or gives control based upon many different criteria. They recognize the difference between leaders who lead and managers who control.

Seldom will you see an organization that has true leadership bowing down to allow controlling people into management positions because they understand the challenges that will bring to the whole department.

A third difference between leaders and managers is that leaders listen and give value to their people. They encourage interaction and welcome a challenge to their ideas. Many managers are defensive and protective, trying desperately to look like a leader.

Another major difference is that leaders encourage learning. They want their people to get better. They understand that good people, knowledgeable people will bring them good performance and encourage job satisfaction while managers will seldom mention the importance of growth and mentorship.

Great companies work hard to develop good managers. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they put the wrong people into a position but when they recognize their mistake they will correct it by either sending that person for more learning, encouraging their growth or if they prove that they are not management material they will move them to a position of less significance.

Would yo like to become a great leader? Then begin with knowledge and growth. Read all you can on management techniques and personality development because knowledge alone won’t make you good with people.

For more information on being a great manager go to and read blogs and watch the videos on Becoming A Great Manager.

I am Steve Sapato and you can reach me at

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Steve has been a professional trainer for corporations for decades. His mentorship and leadership for numerous businesses have allowed him to create an atmosphere of success that pervades everything he does. His humor and creativity embodies a desire and hope in his audiences to become all that they want to and can become.

His newest book is ‘Become The GO-TO Person For Your Success’ takes Professional Networking to it’s highest calling and teaches you how to become the success you have dreamed of.

Featured on CBS/Atlanta for his expertise on Bullying and for his no-nonsense approach in his seminars on Bullying.