AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:To explore how managers describe leading towards person-centred care in Swedish nursing homes. BACKGROUND:Although a growing body of research knowledge exists highlighting the importance of leadership to promote person-centred care, studies focused on nursing home managers' own descriptions of leading their staff towards providing person-centred care is lacking. DESIGN:Descriptive interview study. COREQ guidelines have been applied. METHODS:The study consisted of semi-structured interviews with 12 nursing home managers within 11 highly person-centred nursing homes purposively selected from a nationwide survey of nursing homes in Sweden. Data collection was performed in April 2017, and the data were analysed using content analysis. RESULTS:Leading towards person-centred care involved a main category; embodying person-centred being and doing, with four related categories: operationalising person-centred objectives; promoting a person-centred atmosphere; maximising person-centred team potential; and optimising person-centred support structures. CONCLUSIONS:The findings revealed that leading towards person-centred care was described as having a personal understanding of the PCC concept and how to translate it into practice, and maximising the potential of and providing support to care staff, within a trustful and innovative work place. The findings also describe how managers co-ordinate several aspects of care simultaneously, such as facilitating, evaluating and refining the translation of person-centred philosophy into synchronised care actions. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:The findings can be used to inspire nursing home leaders' practices and may serve as a framework for implementing person-centred care within facilities. A reasonable implication of these findings is that if organisations are committed to person-centred care provision, care may need to be organised in a way that enables managers to be present on the units, to enact these strategies and lead person-centred care.