Management vs. Leadership And Other Terms

Management vs. Leadership


There exists in the business world a certain maze of terminology and vernacular that can sometimes be confusing to someone who is new to management. Some of these terms have subtle shades of difference and some are interchangeable. My advice for new managers is to know and understand these terms and decide where they fit in. Let’s take a look at a few of these terms.

Manager vs. Leader

There is certainly a difference between manager vs leaders. My belief is that a great manager must, at the very least, be a strong leader. The best managers I’ve ever seen led by example, worked hard, were dedicated… and expected the same from their team. A manager without these leadership traits is not much of a manager.

A leader, on the other hand, has a vision of where they see the company (or their team) going. A great leader is a wonderful thing for a company to have. But many of the best leaders are not very good managers. They often have their heads in the clouds and don’t focus on the day to day grunt work that makes companies go.

Manager vs. Coordinator

This is nearly the same as coordinator vs. supervisor. A manager (or supervisor), almost by definition, is a coordinator. Making all the different parts of the team work smoothly, managing conflict, solving problems, working internal and external customers – these are all manager duties and responsibilities. A coordinator may or may not be a manager. Some companies require coordinators to keep complex operations running optimally with lots of communication between departments.

Manager vs. Supervisor

Many think that Supervisor is just another manager synonym, but it isn’t exactly the same. Somehow the term ‘manager’ speaks of a higher level of management. Supervisors tend to be front line, and on the lowest rung of management. That’s not to say it is bad, just the very beginning of management. Many managers start out as supervisors.

Manager vs. Employee

This is strange. Managers are also employees. They must balance the relationships between those they manage and those they report to. This is often a complicated dichotomy. Depending on your management style, this can be mitigated. Those with an autocratic management style may experience difficulty turning it off when meeting with superiors. Those with a more democratic management style are generally more casual with their employees, and can shift to meetings with the boss more easily.

Whatever your title is, remember that it is only a title. The duties you perform each day, your dedication, the quality of your work… these are the things that matter. If you are doing everything right, chances are you’re being appreciated by someone – and good things are likely to happen.