• ICSL

Difference Between Being a School Manager and a School Leader is Simple.


G. Balasubramanian | Chairperson, Board of Advisors, ICSL | Editor-in-Chief, The Progressive School

One wonders often – what leadership really means? The root of the word ‘leader’ is from the Anglo-Saxon noun “lead” meaning –a path, road, way or the course of a ship at sea. It is a word that relates to a journey.


A leader therefore is pathfinder. He designs the course of a journey or blazes the trail for his followers. Therefore, anyone who heads a team of people is not necessarily a leader.


A leader is characterized by certain basic characteristics such as:

  • Personal Mastery

  • Self-confidence

  • Imagination

  • Initiative

  • Enterprise

  • Enthusiasm

  • Charisma

  • Team spirit

  • Decision making skills

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Honesty

  • Tolerance

  • Ability to guide others

  • High ethical standards


A leader is expected to add value to the work he does. In most cases, we do not distinguish between -Leaders and Managers.


John Adair, Professor on Leadership, observes:

  • Leaders differ from managers. One can be a leader without managing and one can be a manager without leading

  • Leadership and management are qualitatively different and mutually exclusive


Bennis and Nanus in their book on Management and Leadership (1995) observe:


Managers are people who get things right and leaders are people who do the right thing.”

The leader has both a role and an attribute. Let us examine and find out which of the above attributes of leadership we possess with us. What are the strong attributes of our leadership profile? What steps we can take to strengthen that profile?

  • ICSL YouTube Channel
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • ICSL Facebook Page
  • ICSL Twitter Account
  • ICSL LinkedIn Page

International Council for School Leadership

(c) 2020 ICSL

Website developed and maintained by Reachout Services, Delhi, India