What Are the Essential Differences Between Being an Effective Manager & an Effective Leader?

Managers and leaders are terms often used interchangeably in business, but can mean different things within an organization. The exact roles of managers and leaders depend on an organization's structure. Companies depend on effective managers and leaders to develop and maintain a successful organization. A company’s executive team must understand the difference between managers and leaders to know how to effectively use them within an organization.

Effective Manager

  1. A primary difference between managers and leaders is that managers depend primarily on their skill, and leaders depend primarily on their characteristics. Effective managers possess three essential skills – technical, human and conceptual skills. Managers must understand the technical aspects surrounding the duties of their employees. Effective managers need advanced human interactive skills to oversee subordinates. In some cases, they may need to motivate employees and implement exercises that encourage teamwork. Conceptual skills allow managers to effectively communicate their concepts and ideas to other managers and their employees.

Effective Management Styles

  1. According to a Dun & Bradstreet article, three management styles exist to effectively manage subordinates and maximize productivity. Managers using the participatory style may assign tasks to each employee, and that employee is required to complete the task from start to finish. The task assigned to each employee may act as one part of an entire group project. Employees who understand the importance of their role to the success of the group are motivated to complete their task. The directing management style calls for managers to establish specific goals and deadlines for employees. This style is effective when there are tight deadlines to meet. The teamwork management style pulls employees together to develop ideas and processes to meet goals. Working in a team environment motivates employees to contribute their best work.

Effective Leader

  1. An effective leader influences groups or an entire organization to accomplish organizational goals. A leader is responsible for establishing overall direction and vision within a company. An effective leader knows how to get employees and managers to commit to her vision. She possesses a certain level of creativity that allows her to develop effective strategies that benefit the organization. An effective leader has excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Much of her success stems from the ability to inspire others around her. An effective leader is confident, focused, consistent and understands the importance of prioritizing.

Leadership Styles

  1. According to Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal, effective leaders use six primary leadership styles to effectively influence an organization. The visionary leadership style is primarily used in organizations needing new direction. Visionary leaders explain the organization’s ultimate goals, and allow subordinates to develop innovative processes to reach those goals. The coaching leadership style requires leaders to work with an individual in a solitary setting to help align his goals with the company’s goals. Affiliative leaders place an importance on teamwork and cohesion to increase motivation and build employee morale. The democratic leadership style allows leaders to solicit the ideas, knowledge and skills of peers and subordinates to make important organizational decisions. A leader using the pace-setting style establishes goals that require employees to perform at high levels. Commanding leaders, similar to military leaders, give orders that they expect employees to carry out.