Leaders vs. Managers in your Performance Management Software

Posted by Taylor • May 31, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 2 min read

Representing leaders and managers in your performance management software can be a tedious task, especially if you are in the beginning stages of identifying the qualities of each. You’re probably thinking, “Hmm, well managers and leaders are the same, aren’t they? Why do I need a distinction?” And, potentially yes, managers can be leaders (and vice versa) but more often than not there is a distinction in what managers versus leaders do for the workplace.

It’s important to identify the distinction between the two, because when identified correctly, both positions work cohesively to keep companies thriving.


Read More on Managers vs. Leaders in the Workplace Here

So what are some of the distinctions between managers and leaders? Let’s take a look below and see.

Managers have subordinates, while leaders have followers.

Managers have subordinates to share instructions and tasks with, while leaders have followers to excite and influence.

Managers are reactive, while leaders are proactive.

Managers must be reactive to situations in the workplace, while leaders are proactive to continue improving the internal systems.

Managers work for stability, while leaders work for change.

Managers want their subordinates to be successful and know their day-to-day tasks, while leaders push for change to keep the company thriving and competitive.

Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing.

Managers complete tasks and responsibilities correctly, while leaders work to make sure employees are happy and company morale is high.


Although the descriptions are similar, you can see just a slight tweak in vocabulary makes all the difference when talking about a manager versus a leader. Making sure you have the correct vocabulary reflected in your performance management software will most accurately reflect managers and leaders.

Read More on Why Words Matter in Employee Evaluation Systems Here


As mentioned above, leaders need managers, and managers need leaders; both are required to have a successful organization. Having one without the other would be like having an airplane with only one wing – you can probably get off the ground, but you’re not going to fly very far.

If you want to start measuring your managers and your leaders, but don’t have a place to start, check out Trakstar’s employee evaluation software, which has a “Leadership Self- Assessment” included to help get you started.

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