Leadership is known to be the oldest preoccupation in the world. Leadership has long been an important debate topic as well as a driver of innovation for centuries. Leadership is said to be an important quality of a manager but not every manager is a leader. Both a leader and a manager are crucial for the success of an organization. However, organizations usually do not clearly differentiate between the two.It is very important to differentiate between a leader and a manager to know what can make the workplace successful. The main difference between leaders and managers is how they motivate the people.

[adsense1]A proper understanding of the definition of leadership can help to differentiate between a leader and a manager. The smallest definition of the leadership can be: an influence relationship between the leaders and their followers who intend to bring real changes that serve their mutual purposes. (Rost. Pp 103. 1993). Now this definition tells us that leaders have followers not subordinates. It’s the managers that have subordinates and have a more authoritarian control. Following a manager is something one has to do to keep the job going but in case of the leader it is totally voluntary and one is inspired to follow the leader.

A famous quotation and definition of leadership given by Edwin H. Friedman is “Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future”. From this we can infer that leaders use charisma, they assure the followers of transformational benefits.

Leaders can motivate and lead to the change. Leaders are often achievement-focused and they try to motivate the people/followers towards the vision and mission.

Another difference is that leaders are often risk-seekers not thrill-seekers where as managers are often risk-averse. Whenever a leader sees a potential opportunity they take the risk and break the rules. However managers seek comfort; they try to avoid or resolve conflicts. They therefore try to minimize the risks by making the workplace a smoothly running stable place. This also explains that why leaders are the drivers of innovation.

The leaders focus on doing the right things and taking the right decisions and steps to achieve it. Leaders try to be effective by defining their own[linkunit] direction and paths. On the other hand a manager is work focused. They achieve the goals and tasks assigned to them. they try to manage people, time, money or any other resources. The work of a manager is more focused towards efficiency than towards effectiveness. A manger tries to get the work done through his or her subordinates within the given money and time constraints.

The long time misinterpretation of leadership is that it is the good management. However a manager and a leader are different in several fundamental ways. It is true that people are sometimes both, a leader and a manager and it is only when managers start acting as leaders. According to different styles of leadership the definition vary but the true essence of leadership remains the same.

Rost, Joseph Clarence. (1993). Leadership for the twenty-first century. Greenwood Publishing Group