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The Important Difference Between Managers and Leaders

The Primary Colors Personality Tests and Insight Tools distinguish between leaders and managers. There are two colors designated to understand what is frequently consolidated under the single term leadership. These two new designations separate out leaders (People with strong RED personality tendencies) from Management leaders (People with strong PURPLE personality tendencies). I explain this critical distinction in the graph below:

Management, as you can see from the above graph focuses on the governing of things: the planning, the budgeting, the organizing, the problem-solving, controlling tasks, maintaining order, developing strategies, and a host of other maintenance and growth responsibilities. Management takes planning, organization and follow-through. Management is more like a fine King or Queen. Their job is to reign and maintain in a way that supports the continued growth of a kingdom. These are the personality strengths of an individual with strong purple personality tendencies.

Leadership, on the other hand, is an innate drive, combined with courage, to win a goal or vision while establishing the kind of respect and admiration that causes others to want to join in the fight. Leadership is about the conquest of lands not yet under reign. Leadership is about taking that first step to overcome and overtake obstacles that hinder dreams. Leadership is about motivation, inspiration and vision. These are the personality strengths of an individual with strong red personality tendencies.

Leaders often make terrible managers/governors. That is why entrepreneurs most frequently need to hire managers once the have established their hold on the kingdom (new business).

Governing most often bores a great leader. While conquest is the floor upon which a great manager stands.

There are occasions that an individual can have both strong RED and PURPLE personality tendencies, but even then, depending on which personality tendency is innately stronger, they prefer the conquest more than the governing, or the governing more than the conquest.


Dawn L. Billings is the founder of OverJOYed Life and author of the Happiness Curriculum. Dawn has written over twenty books and hundreds of articles.

Dawn is the Executive Director of the Relationship Help Resort and creator of the 26 week relationship help course entitled Relationship Help At Home.

Dawn is the inventor of the parenting tool called CAPABLES and is the CEO and founder of the Heart Link Women's Network with chapters in US, Canada, and Australia.

Dawn is the architect of the Primary Colors Personality Tests and Insight Tools used throughout churches, schools, military and corporations. And is the founder of

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