Leaders vs Managers

Josh Dix’s Blog “Thousand Year Stare” is a great blog filled with great leadership lessons, below is a chart that outlines the differences between managers and leaders.


  • maintain the status quo
  • Make sure staff understands the organization’s vision
  • can be peacekeepers
  • can often be less knowledgeable than the people they manage
  • support staff
  • make safe decisions
  • manage resources well by making decisions for others
  • have healthy working relationships with the people they manage

  On the other hand, leaders…

  • cast vision for future and get staff to buy-in
  • unite the organization around a common vision/mission and allow members of the organization to speak into what the vision might be
  • are willing to make the best decisions for the organization, even when that brings about conflict
  • support professional growth by being knowledgeable, or even experts, in the areas where they want to see others grow professionally
  • motivate and inspire staff
  • know the big picture because it is always in the forefront of his/her mind – doesn’t have to “look for it.”
  • are able to step back and see the big picture – look through a helicopter lens
  • lead by example; take risks
  • listen; seek out feedback from the people they lead
  • not only have healthy working relationships with the staff, but creates a team atmosphere where the staff have healthy working relationships with each other

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