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Leadership And Management: The 5 Main Differences

Leadership and management are not the same! Management is about getting things done, where leadership is about pushing the boundaries and inspiring others. The two differ in skills and attributes, which we’ll explore in this article.

Now, let’s focus on the main differences between leadership and management.

How Leadership and Management are Different


Leadership and management are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different things. Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire those around you. Management is the art of getting things done by overcoming obstacles and setting goals. The two overlaps in some ways, but they have some important differences too.

All managers practice leadership, but not all managers have a managerial role. For example, some executives don’t have a management role, while others may lead without being an executive.

A manager is someone who manages an area of responsibility within an organization. In most cases, the person is selected based on certain technical skills and knowledge, which they use to manage employees. The greatest skill in leadership, however, is the ability to inspire and motivate people.

Organizations need both great leaders and managers. They need good leaders to achieve their vision and create a mission statement. However, they also need managers to do anything that needs doing and make sure their team is on the same page with the company’s goals.

Next, we’re going to explore the 5 key differences between leadership and management.

As the pandemic continues, the role of leaders and managers in an organization has become even more important than before. Remote work, as well as hybrid work, can make it tough to influence employees or improve their experience with your company.

1.     Leaders Set the Vision, Managers Follow It

Managers and leaders have different roles when it comes to setting and executing the vision of a company.

A leader is a visionary. Most of them have a clear vision for where their organization will be in the future. However, they can’t be the only ones responsible for making that happen.

Managers are an integral part of the business team. Leaders might be responsible for transferring company goals and vision to the whole organization, but managers are also responsible for keeping employees on target with company values and goals. However, 71% of employees believe that leaders don’t spend enough time communicating those goals and plans.

Many employees agree that their company doesn’t do a good job of telling them what they’re trying to achieve or how they want to get there. Furthermore, employees want to be informed on the progress of their company, as well as where it is headed. Managers need to communicate with the people who report directly to them if anything changes- so leaders should consider improving this aspect of their communication for better results.

One of the best ways to build trust in a company is to be honest about your challenges, goals, and opportunities. Leaders who can share their own ideas while fostering a productive work environment are more likely to have employees feel empowered to share their own needs and suggestions. That transparency helps foster a healthy work environment.

Also Read – How to Get Project Management Experience for PMP® Certification?

2.     Leaders Think Ideas, Managers Think Execution

In contrast to a managerial culture, leadership is much more about opportunity. Leaders scan the organization looking for new ideas and ways to improve things. They accomplish this by coming up with new strategies and driving the need to progress. In other words, managers are always looking for answers to “how and when” while leaders are looking for answers to “what and why”.

Based on this vision, managers are responsible for fulfilling their tasks and ensuring that the people on different teams with different responsibilities operate efficiently and productively. The managers’ main job is to ensure that all employees feel like they can share their voice.

To ensure that employees can do their best work and keep the company profitable, managers should carefully control employee operations and create workflow processes. They should also provide necessary tools to help employees be successful within the company.

Managers and leaders may share a role in decision-making, but their approaches are very different. A manager is focused on getting things done; a leader has a broader focus and is more concerned with the ideas that will help achieve what is most important for the team. Their approaches are similar, but a leader’s attention to broader concepts sets them apart.

Employees look to their leaders for guidance and inspiration. As a leader, you’re responsible for driving change within your organization – something that can’t be done without excellent communication skills. That’s why it’s important to create a culture of trust and transparency. Your most powerful tool for doing so may be good communication.

Communication messages should include changes that get people to do things differently for a reason. Leaders should be the ones making these announcements, and managers should help reinforce these messages. However, many managers aren’t even aware of why a change is happening.

3.     Leaders Inspire People; Managers Drive Their Success

Managers are responsible for driving their employees to success and ensuring that they have a positive work experience throughout their entire career. This includes leaders, who have the power to inspire people.

As a manager, you’re responsible for 70% of your team’s engagement and productivity. To be successful, you’ll need to build a close working relationship with your employees and actively help them succeed.

When a leader doesn’t inspire their people, nothing a manager can do will help. To empower workers, get their attention and inspire them to follow an organizational initiative, leadership must exercise self-reflection, authentic communication, and continuous feedback.

In a recent study, employees who felt like they were able to engage with their leaders on a regular basis felt less stressed and under pressure. It’s also hugely influential for how engaged an employee is in the company.

It’s important to have a workplace where employees can work effectively and feel like they’re valued members of the team. That is, honesty, openness and transparency are all essential. But many companies still neglect this aspect of communication–information flows one way, and employees don’t have the opportunity to get involved in company-wide conversations.

4.     Leaders Look in the Future, Managers Work in the Present

Leaders are more visionary, while managers are focused on the current situation.

Given that managing a company requires the implementation of processes and procedures, the manager’s most important goal is to achieve organizational goals. They do this by budgeting, structuring, and staffing their organization. Leaders, on the other hand, think ahead to capitalize on future opportunities.

The leadership’s vision for the future means nothing if it can’t be clearly communicated to both managers and employees.

What is one of the biggest drivers of employee engagement? The feeling that employees have a sense of purpose and are aligned with their professional values. Creating this sense of purpose in your office will go a long way to improving morale and increasing productivity among your staff.

Also Read – Career Opportunities in Different Industries for PMP® Certified Professionals

5.     Leaders Shape the Culture, Managers Endorse It

When comparing leaders and managers, it’s important to think about the organization’s corporate culture.

Company culture is a system of values, beliefs and behaviours that determine how the business operates. When company culture is aligned with the overall business strategy, employees and other stakeholders act and behave in ways that support and enable the achievement of business goals.

There is a difference between leadership and management in that leaders shape the culture. While managers lead their employees to adhere to it.

The goal of a leader should be to uphold and reflect the values and beliefs of the company’s culture. They can do this through their actions, their words, and their decisions. An inspiring leader has a lot of power to communicate the company culture company-wide and effect behaviour among employees.

The skills and leadership styles of managers have a big impact on how employees take and live that culture. The manager’s role is to continuously support the company’s culture and build a healthy, sustainable environment for their teams.

For leadership to connect their employees to the company’s culture, they must collaborate with management to foster a safe, supportive environment.

The Areas Where Leadership and Management Overlap

Although the roles of leadership and management in an organization might vary, there are a few areas where their duties and responsibilities overlap. The three main areas include:

  • Communication is crucial for the success of any organization – both leadership and management communication. Employees expect to be informed and educated about where their company stands, and how it’s headed. Leadership communication should inspire people, while continuous and clear management communication strengthens relationships among teams.
  • Problem-solving: effective decision-making and problem-solving is both a manager’s and a leader’s responsibility. Managers are held accountable for decision making on the team or departmental level, while leaders are typically responsible for company-level decisions.
  • Change and crisis management are both extremely important skills for leaders and managers to have. When change is necessary, the best way to get employees on board is by collaborating with them. The current world situation has reminded us of the importance of agile workplace transformation and the need to adapt quickly to change. Leaders may have a better understanding of what needs to be changed, while managers understand how to make it easier for their team.

Top 10 Leadership and Management Skills

Leadership is all about leading people to a common goal while management is all about the process of dealing with or controlling things and people.

The Top 10 Management Include: 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Organization
  • Delegation
  • Forward planning
  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Commercial awareness
  • Mentoring

The Top 10 Leadership skills Includes

  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Delegation
  • Positivity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Creativity
  • Feedback
  • Responsibility
  • Commitment
  • Flexibility

Empower Your Managers and Leaders with the Right Technology

As more and more people work remotely, technology enables profound levels of communication that are mitigated only by the restraining factors of distance and time. These new challenges in the workplace have managers and leaders alike scrambling to keep up. Today, most organizations have a primary focus of keeping their employees connected with the right information. They need to be able to reach all their employees in a timely manner, no matter what device they’re using or where they are located – this is known as “location-independent work

  • Drive two-way workplace communications
  • Create and share all the essential information in one place
  • Bring their respective teams to one digital home
  • Segment internal audiences to deliver information based on employee’s needs, preferences, job functions, locations, and many more
  • Enable mobile-first workplace communication
  • Reach all employees in a timely manner, even those without a designated working space
  • Enable employees to share their voice
  • Encourage employees to become brand ambassadors
  • Measure the impact of workplace communication on the overall business success

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