Leadership or Management

You Choose  

It is said that Leaders are born to be Leaders. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  

Moreover, the reality is that a person grows from management into an effective leader.  In other words, effective leaders have evolved from great managers. However not all managers can become effective leaders.    

As we all know the terms leaders and managers have been used synonymously and interchangeably in the business world to depict someone who controls a department or company.  However they are two very different things.  Let’s explore this hypothesis buy comparing some of the characteristics of a Manager vs. a Leader.  

Let’s begin by breaking down the key characteristics of a good manager, while simultaneously, contrasting that with key characteristics of a good leader. A manager believes they need to be controlling with their people and their business in order to reach profitability. Whereas a leader understands that, after establishing guidelines, freeing their people to make decisions is one of the answers to long lasting success of a business.  Also, among other things, managers feel that they need to mold people (staff) into the ideal employee by being restrictive, forcing and autocratic. While, on the other hand, a leader understands that instead of being restrictive, enable your staff (using guidelines) to make decisions about their work.  In other words, let them participate in making the plan; and by doing so you will get better performance from them in everyway. Furthermore, consider encouraging a subordinate towards making the correct decision instead of forcing a decision on them. What’s more, novice managers, tend to be autocratic (domineering) in their behavior towards the operation / direction of their business and staff instead of practicing democratic diplomacy like that of a leader. Remember the goal is to always get to the win-win situation.   

Having examined the differences of a manager vs. a leader. We now need to discuss their similarities and by so doing it will become evident that the statement: Leaders   evolve from good managers; does have some credibility.  Before offering a short laundry list of the similarities of a manager to a leader: First, it is important to note that a great manager, like a leader is totally committed to building a strong team that shares the goals of the company. Second, a great manager, like a leader, leads by example; they walk the talk. Third, great mangers, like a leader, not only sees the big picture (vision), they share that vision with others. Also, great managers, like leaders, look at positive change as healthy and motivational and are eager to share it with there team.  

In order to summarize the many similarities between a great manager and an effective leader; please look at the following laundry list: Great managers, like leaders know the importance of:  

Effective Communications
Training v   Retention (Customers/Employees)
Team Building
Importance of follow-up  

Bottom line; being a great manager is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together in-order to see the big picture; just like a leader.   So, as you can see, effective leaders do evolve from great mangers.   When you have been put in a position of authority and you do things right because it is the right thing to do; then you are on your way to becoming a leader.


William P. Hill
General Manager (Motel 6)


William P. Hill
General Manager (Motel 6) 1027 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, Florida-32301
Ph: 850-877-6171
Cell: 850-339-2542

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