A descriptive explorative mixed method approach was used to explore the perception and preferred leadership behaviour of nurse managers among nurses and nurse managers in the unit. The manager’s style can be fundamental for subordinates’ acceptance of change and in motivating them to achieve stated visions and goals and high quality of care. Nurse managers exhibit variable leadership behaviour but more inclined towards transformational leadership behaviour. Intimidation although present, its usage is not popular as relationship between nurses and nurse managers was that of a mother-daughter or father-son relationship. Creating a stimulating environment generates both staff and client satisfaction. There was contradictory evaluation of leadership instincts by the two groups whereas, nurse managers believed themselves to be assertive, proactive, etc., the nurses perceived nurse managers to be timid and lacked confidence in dealing with other professional groups. Nurses would prefer their leaders to be proactive, assertive, knowledgeable, insightful, tolerant, good listener and respected by all. Essential to the nurses is also mentoring by nurse managers. It is therefore significant that nurse managers are adequately prepared for this challenging and dynamic position of a nurse manager.