Why is leadership so important in 2025? A Leader vs Manager

 In Leadership

As we experience changing times, both managers and leaders are required in organisations to ensure that both vision and execution across teams is achieved.

Here are six key differences between a manager and leader that you as a business owner need to know.

1. Managers can micro-manage, leaders guide.

Managers can have a tendency to over-manage when it comes to small details. A leader instills trust in their team, and allows staff members to autonomously work, with encouragement and support.

2. Managers implement, leaders are the visionary

A manager can take what a leader has visualised and planned, and work with the team to execute in an effective manner. Leaders are amazing at seeing a clear picture of what the business needs and what the big picture end goal looks like and how to get there.

3. Managers maintain current plans & strategies, leaders create future plans.

Managers make sure things happening immediately in the business are overseen, and plans for the business are being rolled out. A leader will look 2 years, 5 years, 10 years into the future and gauge what strategic plan will serve the business in the best possible way.

4. Managers are reactive to what’s going on in the business in the now, leaders are proactive in solving long term problems and critical challenges the business faces.

A manager holds a particular skill set for dealing with immediate problems in a business, and guides team members to diligently solve small everyday matters. A leader takes a more proactive approach to problems, and works with the team and managers to create new solutions that can make greater impacts on business operations.

5. Managers report, Leaders problem solve. 

A manager’s role is to report back to leaders and other stakeholders what results are being achieved currently, and suggestions on what can be done to improve. Leaders come up with solutions to improve results and streamline processes in the business.

6. Managers are skill masters, Leaders are jacks of all trades.

Managers are specified in their field, and generally have specialist skills, including degrees and qualifications in a particular area. A leader has generalist knowledge across a range of fields and will consult with, or hire specialists where required in a business.

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Paulette Kolarz

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