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The Similarities and Difference Between Leaders and Managers

Posted by HRDQ on 07/11/2018 to Leadership

Why Management Training Works

Management training is an important tool for people-focused leaders in a company. Those in leadership departments or human resources need to be able to be effective managers and leaders first, in order to assist the rest of the organization. Management training can also help HR personnel become better at their job.

If an organization has great leaders at the top, the rest will follow. Strong leaders hire strong employees and build a better workplace for everyone. Today's business environment demands that all senior team members have both leadership and management skills. However, it’s often unclear on what distinguishes these competencies, and managers find it hard to balance these two different — yet complementary — skill sets.


Leaders demonstrate their purposeful actions for others and motivate people to act based on the mission of the organization. Leadership requires action based on the company’s future needs and they must focus on goals and long-term growth.

Leadership demands an emphasis on a set of competencies based on guidance. The leader needs the skills to: 

  • Communicate Organization Direction. The leader should understand the landscape of the organization and drive the organization to achieve overarching objective.
  • Develop Key Relationships. The leader should determine all individuals who have a critical role in the business success of the organization and they should clearly acknowledge their roles.
  • Inspire Others. The leader should establish immediate credibility with the key parties identified above and inspire them to have a commitment to their peers, the organization, and its clients.


Managers have the skills needed to manage and motivate people to act based on the performance of the organization. Managers work effectively in an environment of some certainty — personal, financial, marketplace, and organizational.

Management demands an emphasis on a set of competencies based on administration. The manager needs the skills to:

  • Direct Operations. The manager should implement the support mechanisms that allow the organization and its staff to move forward in fulfilling growth targets.
  • Develop the Organization. The manager should set in motion all the people skills required of the staff, including their competencies, roles, responsibilities, and task definitions.
  • Reinforce Performance. The manager should provide personal feedback that employees need to understand their performance in the wider context of the team and company.

Why it Works

Management and leader training works because it established clear roles and demonstrates key skills that they need in order to succeed. When leaders and managers work on their own skills, they can help develop the skills of their reports and serve as an example of an efficient employee of the organization.

How to Develop These Skills

You can develop your leadership and management skills with HRDQ’s ‘Leader-Manager Profile.’ This 36-item assessment shows supervisors how their competence as both a manager and a leader can contribute to meeting the demands of the marketplace. Upon completing the course, you will be able to clarify the differences between leading and managing, pinpoint the skills needed to be effective in each role, and understand how to balance and improve both skills sets.

Learn more about ‘Leader-Manager Profile’ here: