Manager vs. Leader Group Coaching


The Manager vs. Leader Group Coaching is based on the work of Abraham Zaleznik. Specifically, the Group Coaching brings to life the concepts discussed in his article entitled, “Managers and Leaders: Are they different?” Zaleznik‘s research found that Managers and Leaders have distinct and often contradictory attributes. “Leaders, like artists, tolerate chaos and lack of structure. They keep answers in suspense, preventing premature closure on important issues. Managers seek order, control, and rapid resolution of problems.”

Business Problem

Strong performers that quickly find themselves in positions of high responsibility are often unsure about the difference between Management and Leadership attributes.  They want to control their risk and make their day-to-day work more predictable. Simultaneously, they want to inspire their team and encourage innovation. This results in a series of mixed messages sent by Leaders/Managers to their teams.

Learning Opportunity

Most people fall somewhere within the spectrum of Manager and Leader. It is crucial to understand where on the spectrum one is positioned in relation to the business goals that must be accomplished.  The Group Coaching session provokes participants to strengthen their awareness of their work context through the lens of Manager and Leader. Participants will learn how to use  Manager or Leader attributes in the right context to get the right results.


The Manager vs. Leader Group Coaching Session is ideal for Managers that want to:

  • Enhance their impact upon their team
  • Align their Management and Leadership style with their business goals


There is an important distinction between Training and Group Coaching. Training involves the delivery of instruction from the teacher to the students. The teacher shares tips, strategies and other pertinent information with the students. In Group Coaching, the coach enables the participant to take on personal responsibility for changes in perspective. The coach is a “thought partner” in helping the participant test his or her assumptions, answer relevant questions and come up with an action plan to make the necessary adjustments to enhance work performance.


The Session will start out with a forty five minute explanation and discussion of Zaleznik’s article, “Managers and Leaders: Are they different?” After the discussion, the participants will work on a Management vs. Leadership Inventory so that they can explore where on the spectrum they are in their day-to-day work.

Learning through action is achieved through coaching conversations based on participants’ “real life” issues related to Management and Leadership. The group will consist of up to six participants to insure that each person can receive adequate coaching on his or her issue. The following techniques are used to bring out the nuances of issues that participants are facing:

  • White Boarding
    • Each participant visually depicts his or her issue on the whiteboard
    • The coach engages in a coaching conversation about the issue with the presenter
  • Role Playing
    • Each participant engages in a role play with the coach or a participant based on what the presenting issue requires.
    • The participants ask questions (as opposed to making comments) of the person who has shared the issue for which the role play is performed