Learning Objective: Integrate knowledge from other disciplines when assessing the role of the nurse as a leader.

All discussion questions should be in APA format with proper in-text citations.  Students are required to answer each discussion question with a minimum of 300 words and respond to at least two classmates or instructor feedback.

Discussion Prompt(s)

  • Explain the difference between a leader and a manager.
  • Can a leader be a good manager, and can a manager be a good leader?
  • Characterize the traits that are important in being a good leader.
  • What characteristics of leaders and managers do you feel are your personal strengths and weaknesses?

Response One: Chris

Explain the difference between a leader and a manager.

Both managers and leaders play important roles in the function of a successful team.  Managers and leaders focus on different aspects within a team.  A leader tends to focus on the people, whereas the manager focuses on systems and structures that help the team operate.  This can be broken down to show that leaders tend to focus on human relationships and a manger is focused on tasks. Leaders work to bring teams together, encourage positive communication, spark innovation and work toward group goals.  Managers work to navigate the resources within an organization and getting them to function efficiently. Managers and leaders can be very different, but some of their roles do overlap (Huber, 2014)


Can a leader be a good manager, and can a manager be a good leader?

In short, yes, a leader can be a good manager and a manager can be a good leader.  Both of these require different skillsets and approaches but having multiple skillsets can be an asset when working in just about any role.  A good leader needs to be able to create a positive work environment and bring a team together, whereas a manager needs to be able to figure out how the resources of a department fit together to work as efficiently as possible.  Many times, to be a good manager or good leader, a person needs to be able to lead and manage.  If a charge nurse is leading a unit and they notice that one of the floor nurses is swamped with three busy patients, they need to talk with that floor nurse to open up the communication (leading) and discuss how they can help remedy the situation.  Let’s say that same charge nurse finds that they have a brief window of free time and sees that one of the busy nurse’s patient needs some schedule medications, she can manage the situation by volunteering her own time to help relieve the load on the busy nurse.  In this situation, it’s clear to see that the charge nurse was both a good leader and good manager.


Characterize the traits that are important in being a good leader.

Traits that are important to being a good leader include being motivated by challenge, autonomy, commitment, ability to adjust on a moment’s notice and vision. Leaders are going to be put in challenging situation every day, so it is important for a leader to be able to stay motivated while being challenged. A leader is also a person who controls work, which makes it important that a person show personal autonomy and the ability to work without being told what needs to be done.  If they see a problem arise, they will head straight for it and try to correct it. A good leader will also be willing to visualize and execute plans to increase morale, communication, motivation and cooperation within a team.  (Huber, 2014)


What characteristics of leaders and managers do you feel are your personal strengths and weaknesses?

My own characteristics that are strengths of leaders and managers include my self-motivation, problem solving ability, ability to adapt to situations as they present and an openness to have a conversation to open the lines of communication.  I come from an engineering background, which has allowed me to develop an analytical mindset that helps analyze situations and respond efficiently and accordingly as issues present.  Some personal weaknesses include struggling with communication, not setting clear expectations or not delegating enough.  Communication is something I am constantly working on and I can struggle to get my own personal thoughts into words.  I can also struggle at times to remember that people are as analytical as I am, so they may not see the solution that I am seeing.  This wouldn’t necessarily mean I get mad at the person the work is getting delegated to, but I would get mad at myself for not setting clearer expectations.  I can also have too much concern to delegate things at time.



Huber, D. L. (2014). Leadership and nursing care management (5th ed.). Elsevier Saunders.

Response Two: Laoly

Explain the difference between a leader and a manager

Leaders and managers have different focuses. Leaders are more people-focused and vision-focused. Mangers are more focused on the operational side of things and tend to focus on completing day-to-day tasks. Solomon et al. (2016) also mention that the difference between leadership and management is “how they manage to convey their ideas to people they work with” (p. 146). Leaders tend to influence, motivate, and empower others to work together and see the bigger picture and how they make a difference with their work. Managers take on an authoritarian style where they make all the decisions and give orders and instructions. They help team members understand what is expected of them.

Can a leader be a good manager, and can a manager be a good leader?

Yes, as a leader, you can be a good manager, and as a manager, you can be a good leader. But I also believe that not all managers will have good leadership skills, and not all leaders will have good management skills. Having both of these qualities will help a leader or manager make a more powerful impact on their team. If managers can lead and influence their team members, they can meet their end goal without resistance. If leaders can manage, they can run a team smoothly.

Characterize the traits that are important in being a good leader

To become a good leader, one needs to have excellent communication skills, compassion, integrity, trust, adaptability, accountability, creativity, innovation, and courage. There are many more traits, but these are just some that stood out to me or what I would look for in a leader. With these traits, the leader can successfully make progress in everything that they do.

What characteristics of leaders and managers do you feel are your personal strengths and weaknesses?

I feel that my strengths as a leader are my ability to adapt to any situation, my resilience, and my integrity. I adapt quickly to any situation that arises, and I tend to work with what I got. I like challenges and am not afraid to jump into a problem unfamiliar to me. As I tell myself, with every scary situation I run into or a different situation I am not used to, it is a learning opportunity that will benefit me. And last but not least, I like to own up to my own mistakes. If I make a mistake, I will take accountability for it and learn from it to not make the same mistake again. I also see this as an opportunity to learn and better myself. I think that my weaknesses are communication and delegation, and sometimes confidence. Communication is constantly learning and work in progress, and there are ways that I could always do this better. Sometimes it is hard to communicate exactly what I want because it is sometimes easier to show it. Delegation is a significant weakness for me because it is hard to transition into letting others take responsibility at times when the responsibility started in the first place to be mine. I also feel that sometimes I do not have enough confidence in myself. In every situation, you need to be confident but sometimes I tend to second guess myself.


Solomon, I. G., Costea, C., & Nita, A. M. (2016). LEADERSHIP VERSUS MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS. Economics, Management and Financial Markets, 11(1), 143-151. https://prx-herzing.lirn.net/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/leadership-versus-management-public-organizations/docview/1782998705/se-2?accountid=167104