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How to Become a Leader vs. Manager by Effectively Using Influence vs. Power

In the world of business🌎, the roles of leaders and managers are significant. A leader sets the goals and looks at the bigger picture. A manager runs the day-to-day operations to help reach these objectives 🎯. While both roles work towards a common goal, the difference between a leader and a manager is how they guide their team towards success.🤝

According to Indeed, “Leaders are people who inspire their teams to achieve their goals, while managers are people who strategize ways to meet those goals.”🥅

In the competitive world of business, the ability to lead with influence is a respectable and effective way to help a business succeed. In this article, we’ll look at how to become a leader vs a manager and how to use influence over power.🤩


Understanding Leadership vs Management

In any organization, the distinction between a leader and a manager is often unclear. However, these two roles can determine the success and effectiveness of a company📈. To navigate the path between leadership and management, understanding the differences is essential. 


Source: Zippia 

Understanding Leadership

Leadership is the process of guiding a team or organization to success by outlining clear goals and using a set of essential qualities to influence and inspire others. Leaders are in a position of power, as they can effectively use their role to oversee the success of a company. 

Great leaders have a crucial skill set. Here are some examples:

  • A clear vision 👀: For an organization to succeed, a leader should have a clear vision. Once a clear vision is established, a team can work towards a shared goal to achieve success for the company. 
  • Clear direction 🗺: Effective leadership requires having a clear direction of what an organization can achieve. They provide a sense of direction for their team, giving them a goal to work towards. 
  • Effective communication 🗣: Leaders must have practical communication skills in order to articulate their vision and goals. By effectively communicating with your team, you can seamlessly provide information and guidance if necessary. 
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy 🧠:  Good leaders consider their team members, especially when making decisions. By using this leadership skill, better relationships and connections can form. 
  • Good decision-making 🤔: Being a good leader requires the ability to make decisions. Being decisive is highly necessary, especially in stressful or challenging circumstances. Leaders must consider many factors and make influential choices based on the happiness and success of the company. 
  • Accountability 🙋‍♀️: Good leaders take responsibility for their actions and hold themselves accountable for the choices they make. They also hold their team members responsible for any success they’ve contributed to the company. 

Influential leaders tend to display these qualities, working to contribute to the success of an organization. Having a good leadership style is vital for a company to grow and thrive. By encapsulating all of these traits, leaders can effectively inspire and influence a team. 🤩

Understanding Management

A manager is someone responsible for the planning, organizing, and running of a company. Based on the precise direction of leaders, managers work to help a team achieve objectives and company goals. According to statistics, 70% of employees in the US are unhappy in their jobs due to negative management. Managers play a vital role in a company, ensuring efficiency and the successful execution of tasks. 


Source: GoRemotely 

Great managers have a key set of skills. Here are some examples:

  • Efficiency ⏰. Managers are responsible for ensuring the workflow is efficient and successful. They must ensure the best outcomes are achieved with the resources available and the specific skills of a team. 
  • Organisation 👍. Managers must be organized and ensure tasks are completed on time and up to a good standard. They must keep on top of the workflow and organize tasks. 
  • Task delegation 📑. Managers must assign tasks and resources to the right people to ensure all operations run smoothly. An effective management style means assessing individuals’s strengths and ensuring they can handle a specific task or supporting them if not. 
  • Communication 💬. A good manager must have good communication skills in order to discuss ideas, challenges, and goals for a company. This will ensure everyone on a team is on the same page and up to date with everything. Statistics show that 79% of employees will quit their jobs due to a lack of appreciation from leaders, so communicating praise is important. 
  • Good oversight of operations👀. Managers must ensure the day-to-day operations of a business are completed on time and up to standard while keeping the overall goal in mind. 
  • Good team coordination🤝. Effective managers make sure all members of a team contribute, collaborate well, and use their strengths to achieve goals. 

These management skills are essential as a successful business requires strong guidance and organization when it comes to the day-to-day operations. A successful organization utilizes the skills of leaders and managers to create a streamlined, productive company🏆. 


 Source: GoRemotely

Using Power vs Influence

By using influence to inspire others, you can motivate coworkers and staff to push beyond their limitations, create groundbreaking products, reach groundbreaking sales figures and provide exceptional customer service. If you can make them better at what they do, it will lead to respect. 👍

So, what is the difference between power and influence, and how can we use them effectively? 

  •     Power: the capacity to get others to act based on a position of authority exercised over others. Power can often lead to resentment.
  •     Influence: the ability to modify how a person develops, behaves, or thinks based on relationships and persuasion. This will often lead to respect.

If you want to motivate and inspire your team in the best way possible, understanding the difference between power and influence is essential. 🤩

The Perils of Using Power to Motivate

Leveraging power means understanding the types of power and the benefits/costs of using it as a source for motivating staff.

You can only use power and threats (such as you will “lose your job”) so many times before it doesn’t hold power anymore. A threat also will, more often than not, come with some level of resentment💔. This is because you’re using fear to motivate someone to do what you want, and it will most likely have the opposite effect. Staff will start making mistakes, caring less about their job, and start making work harder for their managers and team in retaliation.


Source:  TeamStage

If used repeatedly without consideration, using power with threats might end up causing staff to:

  • Worry about losing their jobs and start making mistakes, losing confidence/trust in their ability to do their jobs properly, as a result. 😐
  • Start coming in late⌚️
  • Start leaving earlier with jobs unfinished👩‍💼
  • Not want to cover shift👨‍💼
  • Quit and find another job🔍
  • Inspire staff to start cutting corners👍
  • Make staff no longer feel respected or appreciated, which can lead to them caring less about their jobs or the team😕

Using power and threats to motivate your staff will also ruin the synergy of the team and most likely suck the enjoyment out of work. Their work turns into a “job that has to be done right” instead of them being inspired to do their best work and do it right because they love it. This can cause many problems down the line. 

Why Using Influence Is More Powerful Than Power

Influence can be leveraged to make everyone’s jobs more accessible and more enjoyable, saving you time and stress😖. According to Indeed, influence means using personal skills like persuasion and inspiration to change behavior.

If you’re a manager or an owner who is using power to motivate staff, this can be a dangerous play. It may cast you as a micro-manager telling them what to do versus a leader inspiring them to do their best work. 


Source: Indeed 

Using influence, empowerment, and respect to inspire teams versus using power, seniority, and authority to motivate them has been shown to: 

  • Transform how teams operate due to changes in what they think and feel about their work and surroundings🙇‍♀️
  • Drastically changes how businesses perform (not just in sales, but also in lowering costs)💰
  • Changes the workplace from just struggling and surviving into a celebrated & thriving business📈
  • Upgrade average companies into world-class teams👍
  • Create a competitive advantage🤩

Here are some of the benefits of using influence over power to inspire staff at work: 

  • When we feel respected and safe, our fight or flight response turns off
  • We do our best work in calm, elevated states and moods
  • In a calm state, we can hit flow states and can efficiently deal with challenging circumstances.

When you use influence instead of power, staff feel appreciated and at work and they value their work and their team. Many times, this can reduce absenteeism as people enjoy coming to work, increasing employee morale, motivation, and job satisfaction. 

How to Use Influence to Inspire Greatness

To inspire greatness in a workplace, using influence is essential. Leaders can use this to their advantage and connect, communicate, and build trust amongst a team🤝.


Source: Harvard Business Review 

Let’s explore how to use influence effectively:

  1. Persuasion (Rational/Logical): Present facts; lay out an argument phasing positive benefits related to a course of action
  2. Inspiration: Link team values/ideals and model behavior to the desired outcome. This will set a great example for people to follow 
  3. Consultation: Seek advice/input from others; encourage them to be involved, committed, & motivated to take action 
  4. Collaboration: Offer assistance/support or provide resources so they are committed to helping you complete the desired task

If you want to inspire greatness, using influence to your advantage is vital. In a business, you can utilize your position of power in a positive and useful way. A team that feels inspired is more likely to respect, appreciate, and value its leaders and managers.🙌 



In the world of leadership and management, mastering influence over power is essential🙌.  By effectively influencing your team or organization and inspiring them to achieve great things, they’ll feel happier and more motivated. 

If you can differentiate between the best time to lead and the best time to manage, you can increase team morale and improve your workforce’s determination to achieve🏆. By demonstrating the traits of a leader and using them to your advantage, you can lead your business to success by influencing them effectively and inspiring them to succeed.