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While almost anyone can become a manager in a business, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re also a leader. Many distinct differences exist between the two phrases, and in order to be good at either role, you must understand those differences. Here are a few of the major differences commonly found between managers and leaders. 

Vision vs Goal

Leaders are all about vision. They look at their team while engaging and inspiring them to turn a vision into reality. Leaders understand that when providing a vision to a group of people, that group can come together to achieve great things. Managers, on the other hand, focus more on individuals. Managers are all about setting goals with each member of their team, doing their best to control situations that allow individuals to reach or exceed their objectives.

Long Term vs Short Term

This relates to the difference between a vision and a goal. Managers think more in the short term. They focus on what they can do to accomplish different tasks within their organization. A leader, on the other hand, is in it for the long haul. They understand that what they’re working towards isn’t something that will be accomplished in a month, or 6 months, or even a year. They have to stay motivated, likely without any compensation, for long periods of time.

Relationships vs Structure

People and the relationships they form with them is a core aspect of being a leader. In order for a leader’s vision to be reached, they understand that they have to focus on the people involved in making that vision a reality. By doing this they end up building a sense of loyalty and trust with their team. On the other hand, managers focus more on the structures they need in order to set and achieve goals, making sure systems exist to attain desired outcomes.

Coaching vs Directing

Leaders have the utmost faith in their team. They understand that the people they work with are confident and are able to find the answers they seek if they don’t already have them. Leaders do everything they can to avoid telling their team what to do. On the flip side, managers tend to assign their team with tasks, giving each individual guidance on how to get the best results.