Juliet D'cruz

What skills make managers and leaders different?

It’s indeed critical – developing leadership skills like a professional – and just simply to managerial positions. People sometimes get confused with these two terms – leadership and management, which have a significant difference between them, as they two possess two different skill sets. Management is concerned with the execution of responsibilities, while leadership is concerned with inspiring people.

To be a leader, one does not need to have the title of a manager. All that is required is to exhibit the necessary leadership skills at the workspace. But before that, what you need to know is the difference between manager and leader and their skills. Continue reading to discover more about the basic skills difference in the manager vs leader sphere to have a deep insight about how to develop your leadership skills to bring about a change.

Manager vs leader

To add to the confusion, most of the same skills that leaders possess can be found in managers too, and vice versa. This is the reason people find this line to be almost unbearably hazy as they get quite confused. You may have one in your organization without the other. In a culture of conformity and compliance, management without leadership will suffice. But you may have to face maverick behavior results if leadership is without management.

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Managers are the ones who remain in charge of the day-to-day operations in an organization. They have individuals who report to them, supervise their work, and assist in the smooth running of all the projects. These managers confidently handle processes and ensure that their employees feel understood and valued by the company. 

On the other side, leadership is the ability of a person to create an objective that everybody in an organization can strive forward. With intellect and authority, they direct and inspire the employees. They make others feel more confident and enthusiastic about following their example. 

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Although leaders and managers appear to be distinct, they share many characteristics. If a manager is a good leader, employees will be inclined to follow the lead, trust him or her and have a better working experience. 

Different Characteristics Possessed

Learn about the differences between leaders and management skills, and how they have certain key qualities that make their roles distinct from each other. Different management styles and leadership theories also have a big impact on how a leader or manager behaves.

Attributes of Leaders:

  • Innovative
  • Motivating
  • Inspiring
  • Empowering
  • Focuses on people
  • Creates a vision for the future
  • Sets the tone for a great group culture
  • Has a Long-range vision
  • Embraces change

Attributes of Managers:

  • Administers
  • Sets specific goals
  • Provides a structure for the team
  • Plans
  • Organizes
  • Delegates
  • Implements strategies
  • Solves problems
  • Detail-oriented

Essential Skills in Manager and Leader

To add up some clarity to the confusion in manager vs leader, let’s get in through some of the necessary skills that they must have.

Essential Skills of Manager:

  1. Organization: The best managers are extremely organized and can set up & maintain corporate procedures to track work progress, arrange priorities, and even keep their teams on pace to meet organizational goals.
  2. Attention to every detail: Managers must be acutely aware of what is going on in the organization’s teams and be capable of identifying and assessing essential tasks.
  3. Communication: Managers must have the ability to communicate as they give constructive comments, clear up the misunderstandings, provide guidance and other corporate managers.
  4. Time Management: When you realize that managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the organizations, it’s clear that they have excellent time-management skills. 
  5. Delegation: As managers can do their tasks, they must also have the ability to successfully delegate work to others while trusting them to complete it appropriately.

Essential Skills of Leader:

  • Vision: While managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations, leaders are more concerned with the team strategy and the broader direction of the culture, department, or organization.
  • Curiosity: Effective leaders are not satisfied with the status quo and address challenges with a new perspective. This is why they are termed as born inventors who are eager to learn, grow and get a thorough understanding of how things work.
  • Communication: While managers must be able to convey orders and criticism, leaders place a greater emphasis on empowerment and encouragement than the technical details.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Leaders who inspire others to follow them rather than commanding them to do so require a high level of emotional intelligence.
  • Accountability: Finally, most effective leaders are held to a high standard of accountability. They consider being accountable not only to themselves but for others who look upon them as well.


While management and leadership are not the same, you may utilize the skills both to be a great manager who leads its workers. Managers and leaders who combine the attributes of each of these jobs have a greater effect.

A lot of ground-level experience and effort is required to develop the traits of a successful manager and leader. Leaders and managers are two essential roles in an organization – while being a competent leader and manager that may help to win great professional sweepstakes.

So now that you have got a clear understanding of the difference found in manager vs leader, you can variably improve your leadership and managerial skills to accelerate your career.