Do you believe there is a difference between managers and leaders? Explain your position and provide examples.
There is a distinct difference between managers and leaders. Managers are good at managing people, schedules, duties, and finances. They do their jobs well and are often effective and efficient. Managers are great for an organizations bottom line, but often neglect to understand how treatment of workers, relationships and communication in the workplace, and team work contribute to a successful work environment and worker job satisfaction.
An example of this was in the school I worked in last year. The teacher I worked directly with would delegate work to myself and my co-workers, but would regularly check -in with her assistants and get our opinions or look for our input and ideas about care and education of students. Other assistants working with other teachers would often report feeling unseen or unheard in their concerns about students, risks with our work, or ideas and input about students or certain situations.
I think that being seen and heard is an excellent point of being a good leader. Most of us have worked with managers but a good leader is a lot more rare. I am glad that you were able to have that experience!!
I believe there is a difference between managers and leaders. “Manager” is a defined role that exists within an organization which serves a specific function. They organize, strive to achieve organizationally-set goals, and make plans and rules for employees to operate in.
Managers encourage day-to-day operations to occur as smoothly as possible by mitigating risk, providing structure, and rules.
“Leader” is any individual within any level of an organization who exhibits specific traits and skills that has an overall positive effect on the team and culture of their environment.
The two are not mutually exclusive, as the managers are excellent leaders and inspire the people around them, bringing out the best in their team. The executive director that I work under comes to mind, she is a manager who has wonderful leadership skills and inspires confidence in everyone who works for her.
I agree that some of the skills and traits are not mutually exclusive and can cross between the two.
I really like your comment about your current ED enlisting confidence in those under them as well as yourself.
If confidence is instilled from the top down, it has a very positive overall affect on the teams/groups within an organization/branch and brings together and focuses on collaborative team work where every person brings something different to the table to meet the overall goals/objectives.
You all have some great points. Thank you for all your points of view. I do find that leaders do have a position of authority also as they are the ones who are perceived as having a general overall view of what is happening on the floor at any given time. My perceptions of course are from the view of a staff nurse in a small hospital in a rural area. Looking forward to learning from you all!
My understanding from the readings is that managers are different than leaders but a manager can be a leader and vise versa. Managers think more in the short term and are more focused on what needs to be done now and the right way. Leaders typically think more long term, at the bigger picture and doing what is right. Managers are also more likely to be influenced by other peoples opinions where as leaders tend to think more independently and are less swayed by others opinions (although they welcome others input). A manager of a long term care might be concerned with making sure that the care provided is properly and thoroughly charted, but a leader might be more concerned that making sure residents receive high quality care takes priority over the charting.
There is most definitely some differences in roles and responsibilities in most workplaces. A leader represents the organization, they inspire and influence their team members and get them involved in the companies visions and goals. The leader also leads by example to ensure the employees perform well. They work closer with the employees so they have more of a connection/relationship with them and develops employees trust. Leaders should be motivating, approachable, informative, ambitious, supportive and dependable with a positive attitude.
Management has a bigger responsibility than the leader. They are in charge of the staffing and retention, decision making and they normally oversee a supervisor an their team. They make the plans that the leader enforces to achieve organizational goals.
Both the positions are essential for a larger business to thrive.
From my experience, the manager is someone you rarely see. Our manager performs employee reviews and sometimes gets involved during rounds, they obviously have more responsibilities in the background most employees aren’t aware exist. Where our team lead always ensures she makes frequent appearances on the floor to ensure things are operating smoothly and jumps in to assist where she can during the week. We can always go to her for any problems that arise. The team lead plays a large role in creating a positive environment.
There are many difference between a Leader and Manager. I have worked with both in my years of Nursing and previous jobs prior to beginning my Nursing Career. Managers tend to “work in the Box” Leaders “see outside the box”
Managers often see problems, without thinking about a solution only thinking how they can fix the problem quickly. A Leader will take the problem and look at it as an opportunity to improve, they are visionary. Managers take a direct approach to staff . A Leaders will coach staff, they are empathetic, they will work towards solutions and resolutions focusing on the vision, thinking “outside the Box”
I worked with a Leader at my current position who would always approach our meetings together as an opportunity to look at what we can do to meet out strategic goals within the organization. We would discuss plans and options and he would listen and support my ideas. I made a change to the current structure with the team that I Lead to increase the client centered care, involving clients in the change as well (co-design) This allowed for not only the staff but the clients to have input in how they services were being provided.
I agree that leaders will dissect a problem and find ways to improve upon it while keeping staff morale up. Meanwhile there are many managers who will keep their eyes on the bottom line, react to a problem and attempt to fix it quickly. Also, that’s awesome your ideas are heard and supported during meetings.
I like reading everyone’s perspectives on leaders vs managers.
A “manager” to me is a person who focuses on organization, tasks and structure. Managers give direction, sets rules, assigns tasks and seen as an authority figure. They set the goals or deadlines.
A “leader” is more of a personality trait. Anyone can be a leader. They are the person motivating, guiding and encouraging.
There is a difference between the two as a person can be a manager who follow process or policies but when it comes to leading a team, they lack the traits to motivate or guide others. One of the best managers I’ve had in my career has kept a balance of both managing the working environment but leading the team to success and checking in with everyone to see growth in the team. They’d reach out when you needed support or motivation.
There are people on my current project that although they are not in positions of authority have great motivating and leadership skills. They are knowledgeable, confident and improve the workflow.
I like that comment Christianna – “A “leader” is more of a personality trait” vs “A “manager” who is a person that focuses on organization, tasks and structure .
Though “leadership” can be learned, I believe leadership and understanding how to be an effective leaders seems harder to grasp then managing. With managing – there are set goals and visions that you are required to meet, as a mangers you are able to use hard skills such as time management, KPIs, one on one check in to see the progress of a project. Bit with leadership, I feel like this is a trait that comes hand in hand with so many other underlying traits such as empathy, accountability, cooperation, positivity, creativity etc
I think that there are many differences between a manager and a leader and also believe that some of the positive skills and traits are used by both.
A manager’s main focus is on the whole picture, department and/or division and relies upon the supervisors/leaders under them in their areas of expertise, to ensure goals and objectives are met.
They may focus more on the bottom line, policy and procedure and data and/or budgeting.
They may bring forward issues/concerns and expectations to resolve; yet not bring solutions to the table, or participate in the discussion re: resolution, leaving that to those under them.
A leader may be in a more focused role/area of expertise and is reliant upon others in similar roles to make up the whole.
A leader is more focused on the smaller picture and/or individual employee and/or client and how to bring all together for a positive result.
A leader looks for others input, involves active parties in brain storming ideas for resolution of concerns or goal setting, willing to dig in and roll up their sleeves when required
They lead by example
I am fortunate to currently work under a Manager who is also a Leader.
She knows and understands our role as she had worked in this role for many years and recently moved up within our branch.
She is able to bring into her new role of Manager, the practicality of the day to day realities.
When discussing the data and numbers; she is able to explain rationale in a manner that we can apply to our individual employees and/or clients
She is open to our ideas and we end every monthly meeting reviewing any new ideas/projects/wish lists and then setting an action plan to work together to make it happen
She encourages us to bring forward concerns and will use examples within our group as learning opportunities for ourselves and those employees/clients under our supervision
She advocates on our behalf with our Funder and escalates and participates in any follow up required, including those very difficult conversations.
I have always felt supported, understood and appreciated with her as both my colleague and now my manager
While I do believe managers and leaders have their own roles within an organization, I also believe managers are leaders. In the organization where I work, there are some obvious differences between the two roles where managers have a greater scope regarding the day to day operations and the leaders are more involved on the floor and within the team collaborating, striving for success. There are two notable managers within our team that are both leaders. They are both inspiring, encouraging and very knowledgeable. They are always communicating with the team and supporting when they can. They are not the typical managers that I am used to and I am thankful to be working alongside them.
You are each great supporters here! You’ve offered some great insights and I appreciate the support you’re also offering your fellow leaders. I found that this particular exercise made me really look at some of my past managers with a different lens. Possibly some of them may have had the potential to be great leaders, but the confines of the management position may have limited or impacted their opportunities to lead. It is wonderfully motivating when you find yourself alongside a great leader though, isn’t it?
I do feel there is a difference between Managers and Leaders.
In my experience managers hold a position of authority. They are very task driven and organization focused. We know they are there but may not see them very often. Leaders on the other hand, work close to the team. They create a work environment that motivates staff, builds relationships and develops trust, loyalty and confidence. Confident “followers” have the best nurse-patient relationships.
I have been a leader in my nursing career before I took the position of “Lead” Nurse and I’m sure the rest of you have been to. From promoting positive attitudes, team building, teaching nursing students, orientating new staff, speaking on behalf of others (nurses and patients). The list could go on and on.
In my experience, managers and leaders are sometimes different. Good managers can be good leaders. Managers deal with coordinating, organizing and planning. A leader should help people day to day through education, encouragement and positive role modeling, sharing skills and knowledge.
I have had managers who were definitely not good leaders. Nursing has changed so much and is continuing to change. Our workplaces (or maybe just mine) seem to be in flux or crisis almost daily. Leaders need to be able to keep up with the changes and help staff grow and learn. A leader needs to be supportive and try to grow the staff into a team.
As a nursing resource team nurse for 14 years I have had the opportunity to grow as a nurse and learn so many valuable skills that I am able to share. I am currently in a team lead role, which I enjoy as it is challenging.
Absolutely! Though they can be mutually inclusive, it does not mean that all managers are great leaders and even great leaders don’t all become managers
For example, I am lucky enough to work with an amazing manager who is also happens to be a good leader. Not only does she make sure we complete what needs to be done but she is tacful and and inspires trust. However I have a colleague who does the same role as me and in my opinion she demonstrates leadership skills that excels that of my manager. She excels at building relationships with all of us – she is very knowledgeable, she is proactive, she leads by example, and knows how to encourage us when we start to get overwhelmed, at times she is not afraid to challenge the status quo.