Directors, Managers, Supervisors, and Team Leaders-Who Does What?

Director:  This is a person who decides where the company is going, not how they are going to get there. Directors plan the strategy; they have a sense of mission and vision and are guided by these. Someone without whom the organization couldn’t move forward. They set organizational goals, either themselves, or collaboratively with the Managers They define the direction of change, and effect change. They supervise Managers.  Focused on goals, resources, direction, logjams. Directors report to VP’s or Presidents.

Manager: Deals with groups and priorities. Allocating resources to the most important projects and initiatives. Mostly a tactical perspective — takes things that Directors & VPs have defined as important and makes them happen. Key element among managers is finding a way to get done what the organization (read Directors and VPs) has defined as important, done. They should be measured on results expected. They make hire/fire decisions, and make them quickly. Focused on priorities, planning, options, clarity. Managers report to Directors.

Supervisors: Supervisors typically head a department of employees. They deal with individuals and tasks. These individuals are involved with overseeing the quality of employee performance, resolving conflicts within the workplace and completing mostly administrative tasks. A supervisor hires and fires or at the very least, has recommendation authority over who gets hired, or fired, or gets a raise. They train employees to do their jobs (or delegate the training). They tell employees what they must do. Supervisors do employee reviews and are held accountable for their subordinates’ performance.  -Focused on compliance, accuracy, day-to-day implementation.  Supervisors report to Managers.

Team Leaders: Team leaders may head up projects or work as a member of a group of employees. Team leaders delegate and assign duties to employees, train new employees, serve as the “go to” person for routine questions and may serve as a go-between for the team and the supervisor. Team leaders are not accountable for the performance of other employees. They do not do employee reviews, although they may provide input. They may perform duties such as scheduling, ordering parts or materials, or other routine tasks. They may hold team meetings. Team leaders update the supervisor on progress with tasks. Team Leaders report to Supervisors.