The One Big Difference Between A Manager And A Leader

There's one big difference between the two roles, says LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

As countless working Americans can attest, most companies and organizations are structured around hierarchy. Those at the top are considered leaders, but, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, many aren’t leading. They’re managing.

As Weiner explains to Oprah during a conversation that aired on “SuperSoul Sunday,” he believes there is a fundamental difference between being a leader and being a manager.

“Management is telling somebody what to do. Leadership is inspiring them to do it,” he says.

In his experience, Weiner has seen this inspiration come from three distinct areas. “It’s the clarity of one’s vision, the courage of one’s conviction and the ability to effectively communicate both of those things,” he says.

Historically, this hasn’t been something that a majority of companies emphasize, Weiner adds, often to their own detriment. “I’m not sure that organizations took the time to cultivate and develop those practices. It was more about, ‘This is the objective. You’re going to get this done,’” he says. “That’s not the way to get the most out of somebody.”

“SuperSoul Sunday” airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN. You can also watch full episodes for a limited time on or catch up on full episodes on demand via the Watch OWN app.

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