3 Major Differences Between Leadership and Management

The age old question of if a person can be a manager but not a leader has causes great debates. But if the question is flipped, then the answers are clearer. So, can a person be a leader without being a manager? The answer to both questions is yes. You can be in a management position without possessing leadership qualities. On the flipside, you can have leadership qualities without being in a management position. This is why there is a difference between leadership and management.

What is Leadership?

Leadership is the ability to motivate and lead other people. A leader is a person who can envision the direction a group should take and then takes the necessary actions to ensure that the group also sees that vision. The leader will set goals and guide the group toward meeting those goals. Some people are natural born leaders and some are able to take classes to cultivate and learn how to be an effective leader.

What is Management?

A person in management is the one who makes decisions in a business or a department. They are the ones who oversee their employees and ensure that the proper work is being completed. They are not necessarily visionaries or willing to set innovative goals for their business or department.

project management and leadership

Leadership vs. Management – The Differences

  • A manager is more involved in counting value instead of adding value. Managers count their employees as adding value to the company. If they cut an employee that adds value, then they are technically decreasing value.
    A leader is more focused on creating value, not just counting it. They will generally lead by example and be willing to step in and roll up their sleeves to ensure that goals are being met.
  • Managers have subordinates and they create circles of power. The employees do not have a say in how things are done or how goals are to be met. The manager is the final say in business matters.
    Leaders have followers and they create circles of influence. People feel comfortable coming to a leader to give suggestions on how to meet the goals. Leaders work side-by-side with their employees or followers to get things accomplished.
  • Management controls a group of employees to accomplish a goal. Employees are drones expected to create the tasks set by management. The employees must adhere to the structures set by upper management. Managers have power and control over others.

Leadership can be found in some managers. Leaders however, have the ability to influence and motivate others for the success of the company or organization. Leaders influence and inspire others.

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