Categorized | Articles

What is the difference between a Leader and Manager?

Posted on 01 August 2011

Anyone running a business today, whether it is a Fortune 500 company or the entrepreneur of a small and medium sized business (SME), needs both leadership and management skills.


A business needs a good leader who can develop a vision for the future of the business and who doesn’t fear making changes and taking risks.


At the same time, a business needs good management to carry out the plans and operations of the leader’s vision, to make certain things are completed on time, as well as ensuring targets/goals are met.


Leadership is opportunity orientated and management is problem solving orientated. Some business experts say leaders have vision and strategize while managers keep things together. Modifying Peter Drucker’s philosophy…Leaders “Do the Right Things”, and Managers “Do Things Right”.


The thinking of a leader is different from that of a manager. Leaders have a long-term perspective, which is necessary to provide a future for the company. Managers think in a more short-term time span, which is how task are done quickly and efficiently.


A key focus of a leader is to surround themselves with managers who have skills the leader may not possess, and who have extraordinary business process skills. It is through business process development, mapping, and implementation where the effectiveness and efficiency gains of the enterprise will outperform the competition.


Some entrepreneurs have great ideas and visions that speak to their leadership ability. Unfortunately, others fall short on the carry through. A vision must be backed by the ability to produce results which can be brought into reality by proper management.


Leaders and managers should provide clear responsibility, authority, and accountability throughout the enterprise. Providing only one or two of these attributes is insufficient to ensure empowerment of those carrying out the vision and mission of the enterprise.


Groups are often more loyal to a leader than a manager. This loyalty is created by the leader taking responsibility in areas such as:

  • Taking the blame when things go wrong.
  • Celebrating group achievements, even minor ones.
  • Giving credit where and when due.


Leaders are observant and sensitive people, and must take a point of highlighting the successes within a team. They know their team and develop mutual confidence within it.


The below table gives a sense of the differences between being a leader and being a manager. This is, of course, an illustrative characterization, and there is a whole spectrum between either ends of these scales along which each role can range. And many people lead and manage at the same time, and so may display a combination of behaviors.

















If you would like to become a more effective Leader or Manager, contact The Cypress Group for an evaluation and individual development plan.

About the Author



CEO and Senior Managing Partner

The Cypress Group

Suite 1101,

150 Creekway Bend

Southlake, TX 76092

Phone: 817-421-4774

Cell: 817-307-7577




Doyle J. Girouard is a private coach/consultant in business performance improvement and the founder of The Cypress Group.


As a builder of strong companies and leaders, a consultant, coach, facilitator, trainer, lecturer, and over 35 years of business experience, Doyle J. Girouard, CEO and Senior Managing Partner of The Cypress Group, has coached numerous CEO’s, business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers on the integration of strategy, people, and processes which leads to business performance improvement. He has assisted clients achieve sustainable strategic competitive advantage by intersecting strategy, business processes, and organizational behavior.


Before founding The Cypress Group, Mr. Girouard had a dynamic twenty-eight year management career, with a Fortune 500 company, leading organizations through the critical stages of start-up, turnaround, crisis management, and high growth. Since 1996, he has worked extensively within the Travel Industry and is a member of SITE, ADME, ACTE and NTA.


He has also led the design, development, and delivery of customer executive education and training programs focused on informing senior executives of Fortune 500 companies on attaining strategic competitive advantage.


In addition to attending the University of Southern Mississippi, majoring in Political Science/Pre Law, Mr. Girouard also attended Northwestern University’s, J.L. Kellogg School of Management and is a graduate of the Executive Development Program and the Advanced International Executive Management Program.


© 2008 The Cypress Group – All Rights Reserved









This article and its contents are the property of The Cypress Group. Because it contains confidential information proprietary to The Cypress Group, no copies may be made whatsoever of the content herein, nor any part thereof, nor should the contents be shared with any party without the express written consent of The Cypress Group. The Cypress Group reserves all rights to ownership, use, reproduction, distribution, and publication of this document and the intellectual property therein. Some parts of the document are reprinted from other sources.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Videos, Slideshows and Podcasts by Cincopa Wordpress Plugin