what is the difference between leadership and management?

By Fort Hays State University on October, 18 2022

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Management vs. Leadership: Why They Are Two Different Entities 

Management and leadership are worlds apart. Managers may be leaders, but not every leader can wear the cloak of a manager. Leadership is more fellowship-based, while management is more of a CEO. Leaders empower and encourage workers to understand a company’s vision and fuel it toward the success of its goals.  

On the other hand, managers administer and manage the operations of the employees to ensure they meet their daily work quotas. Although leaders and managers aren’t the same, their efforts are highly appreciated in every company's growth. 


Differences Between Leadership and Management 

Managers administer and coordinate the completion of pre-planned company tasks. They keep workers in check and share company projects to different subordinates. Essentially, a manager is the subordinate of a CEO. They’re responsible for ensuring the four fundamental functions of management are carried out proficiently and seamlessly. In short, a manager has to plan, organize, lead, and control the functions and operations of the company. 

Not every manager qualifies as a leader. However, a manager who is a good communicator, an inspirer, and a guide has the potential to lead and fuel a company’s progress toward increased productivity and higher heights of success. Sadly, a larger percentage of managers are categorically authoritative leaders. They’re not directly involved in ensuring each employee is comfortable and contented. 


Examples of Leadership Qualities 

Leaders are creators and innovators directed by a growth vision, meticulous planning and strategizing. Leaders empower workers and brainstorm leadership decisions and ideas to push a company to the envisioned growth. Leadership has never been about someone’s titles, agendas, or management, but their unique personality traits. 

There are many examples of leadership qualities, including influencing and motivating people. Leaders are more like influencers. They inform, educate and motivate their followers to maximally work to attain a set goal. Likewise, leaders are human resource managers with extensive knowledge of a company's vision, ethics, and target market. Leaders take the initiative and invest heavily creative-wise and resource-wise to help companies achieve their vision. 


What Differentiates Leadership From Management? 

 One person can take the roles of a manager and a leader. However, never assume that someone with great leadership skills has great management skills or vice versa. Stay tuned to learn the difference between leadership and management. 


Visionary Differences 

Leaders are creative visionaries who cultivate and water the pathways through which organizations can grow. A leader is directed by creativity and thought-leadership to gauge a company’s stand, its expected growth and how far they want to go. In contrast, managers innovate and implement company processes such as staffing, budgeting, and structuring.  


Aligning and Organization Differences 

Leaders align and influence staff. They work by helping people to envision and approach their operations from a practical growth point. Contrariwise, managers coordinate tactical procedures and activities to help companies achieve their goals. Managers are similarly creators capable of intentionally segmenting long-term goals into short-term and manageable semi-goals to realize the initial company goal. 


Differences in Quality and Position 

Management is a role in a company, just like the workforce. They are part of the team that pushes an organization towards the expected growth by implementing tactical processes and visionary operations. Leadership is not an entity in a business structure but the action or behavioral exclusivity of an individual. A worker can turn out to be a great leader but cannot be a manager unless they are pushed up the company leadership ranks. In other words, to be a leader, you don’t need to hold a top position or rank in your office. You don’t even need to be an expert in what you do but have unique traits that set you from the crowd. 

It's been said that only about 10% of people are born leaders, but it is a quality that can be developed. Know what leadership and management stand for, and take the initiative to make yourself a better leader or manager. In some cases, a degree in management can help make you a better manager but may not make you a true leader. 

Fort Hays State University


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