Hi all,

Let me first explain my situation in a few lines.

Two years ago I got hired by a medium sized company as a developer/team leader. They asked me to be team leader because of my experiences in previous jobs and my technical knowledge.

I had never before functioned in a team lead role. From that day I listen to the manager-tools podcast to get as much insight in the roles and responsibilities that might be involved as a team leader.

These are the things I do in that role (apart of being developer)

  •  Weekly team meetings to discuss projects, tasks, introduce and discuss things that my improve quality and productivity 
  • 1 on 1 meetings every two weeks with all members of the team (team is 4 people me included)
  • Have weekly meetings with the general director to discuss priorities etc. (his initiative)

The problem is that many people mention me as a manager, not a team lead, including the general director. I’m afraid that this may generate wrong impressions and expectations, which I may or may not be able to fulfill.

My question now is, what should I do with this situation?

  • ignore this;
  • correct everyone and say that I’m not a manager but a team lead;
  • try to do as much as possible to perform as a manager

 What would be your advice? I’m a total dummy when it comes to being a manager. Even as a team lead I’m fairly new (2 years)

Thank you for your time and responses.


mmann's picture
Licensee Badge


I'm not sure if there's a definitive litmus test for determining if you're a 'manager' or not.  Will you be expected to write performance reviews?  Do your team members believe you could fire them?  These would be directional indicators and may not tell the complete story.

I'd recommend you stay the course and don't be over-anxious to expand the responsibilities.  If you've been doing O3s for a long time, I'd suggest you start adding positive feedback.  Depending upon the relationship with your boss, consider asking how much management you should apply within your team.

  Have fun!

jmort253's picture

It's quite possible that in the corporate culture you belong to, manger and leader are used interchangeably.  However, some people view leader as being more of a visionary person who may or may not have an official title, while a manager is typically viewed as someone who has been given an official title.

The question What Are the Differences Between Project Leader and Project Manager may also provide you with more information about what the differences are between a manager and a leader.

However, in your company, it just sounds like they are both the same.  If you're really not sure, you could approach your supervisor and ask for some clarification regarding what your role and responsibilities are in the company.