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I think this subject is familiar to you. I am quite sure many times you have been thinking about the answer. You were probably few times asked, who do you think you are. We are living in times where rather team leader gets more, but only when they act in manager’s way. Let me present few facts that I have gathered about this issue over the years.

Generally in my opinion team leader can be a good manager. Opposite – well, not really. Some skills are too tough to learn or some behaviors to build. But I will not say that this is mission impossible.

Leader, as the definition says, is a leader. People are following him, feel the same vibes, are ready to go, to act, to do. He sees people as the individuals and strong personalities. He underlines and promotes his team-mates. Manager is an official authority. He is following the rules and requires their acquaintances. Manager treats employees as the machines that can be one day replaced. This is because of responsibilities, roles, staying in the box. Strong words? I realize that, but it is necessary. To open your mind, to look at your teammate’s site and to make your role in the team more efficient.


Team Leader takes a risk, Manager manages it.

Leader is waiting for new challenges and is ready to take them even if they finish without success. Failure is a step to precious knowledge. He promotes employees ideas and their creativity. There is no bad things or problems. Looking for solutions and asking why questions are always good seen. Manager is looking for a way of decreasing a risk and circulating targets. This follows to stagnancy and makes the company not developing.


Team Leader creates a supervision, Manager creates goals.

Goals are not so bad. As always, I encourage to set them. The difference is much deeper. Leader creates a vision and possibilities that are waiting for employees in the future. He motivates the team to the action, creates the identity with the company and involvement in the projects. Teammates hear ’Yes, you have real influence on this company, of things that just happen’. Manager expects results of planned goals right now, up to date. For him, goals are just steps for realization of the bigger plan.


Team Leader offers challenges, Manager assigns tasks.

Leader is for the team and knows his workers the best. Every offered task, even ordinary one, is a challenge for the employee. Because of his knowledge, skills, interesting with the subject, something new or something well known. Even if it is too hard, he encourages to accept it, as a possibility of personal development. Manager focuses on the realization of the task. Employee’s abilities are less important than the deadline. For him, there is no time for experiments. He asks for an action without explanations and suggestions.


Team Leader motivates, Manager uses fears 

Leader says to his team that everything is possible, that they can together reach Everest. He encourages to achieve the success. He is the biggest fan of the team. He is a good motivation speaker so people trust him and are confidence. They believe that their job or task are easy and that they are the best and the smartest team ever! Manager uses fear, deadline, the vision of hell or losing a job if a plan will be not realized at the time. His control and supervision are for him important all the time.


Team leader is a part of the team, Manager just controls

Being a part of the team means that leader can support his people at any time. He knows procedures, quality criteria, and processes. At any time can do team’s work. In a smart way pushes team’s possibilities to the higher level. Manager controls work, accepts or not the results, accuses a team of defeats. It takes no responsibility for areas which don’t function in a good way.


In the end, I would summarize the article in this way. Team leader treats his team as a group of people that together can achieve a success, in which every member of the team has own participation. Manager will the whole glory take into own account. So employees are ready to leave team quicker. Teammates just feel demotivated and frustrated. They think they are not needed in this company, this department can perfect work without them.


And what is your answer? Who are you: team leader or manager? Do you think we should create a new word ’team manager’? Share below with me with your opinion. Good luck!

Follow Agnieszka Orczyk:

By friends I am called Agnes. Currently, I live in the Netherlands, but I feel like I am a citizen of the world. My life is a big change. This is why I show how to turn the change into the success. Leaving the comfort zone might be painful, but useful. After hours I am reading a lot. I also collect fountain pens and watch novelty on Netflix. I am running the blog to release my thoughts and emotions.

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