What is the difference between management and leadership?

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The world is full of leaders and managers. You can find them anywhere, from a big business to your home. That being said, it is not uncommon for the two to be interchanged or confused with one another. Let's talk about the two and distinguish them from each other. We also discuss their key qualities and even help you find out: Are you a leader or manager?

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Feb 21, 23 · 7 min read
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What leadership is about?

Leadership is both an interpersonal process and a skill.

The world needs leaders; that's exactly why it has been practised from the beginning of early education.

Do you remember being in school and students leading groups to accomplish class tasks and attain high grades? You'll take the qualities and vision you've gained through these experiences once you enter the corporate world.

And although not everyone is born to be a great leader, the act of leadership flows all throughout life.

This is a skill that inspires a set of people to accomplish a task. The leader's job is to direct them into a path of motivation, enthusiasm, and diligence.

But it does not come out of anywhere. To be an effective leader, your circle must trust and respect you, be inspired by you, and, most importantly, willingly follow you.

That's exactly why leaders do not have members or subordinates but followers instead.

What management is about?

Now, when it comes to management, we are looking into a person in control of an organization or business.

To break it down for you, management is a process of controlling a group of people into accomplishing tasks for you. It is an intricate process of producing a great output by commanding people into a direction of quality.

Management is commonly learned from the business world.

To be a manager, you must possess a set of skills that make people, such as a specific team, act in accordance with your direction. And to manage the accomplishment of a task, you need to constantly and closely curate your group's progress and make changes along the way.

Management requires a vision that the manager will break down for his subordinates. All of these while following rules, processes, standards, and procedures.

Managers are responsible for their entire team and every output they produce.

Differences between leadership and management

Have you ever wondered if a manager is a leader, and is a leader a manager? Even though both managers and leaders need a vision to perform, there still is a great difference between the said vision that they hold on to.

Leaders often act as visionaries because of the pathway to growth that they lead their followers into. They are considerate of the processes and only lead people in directions they are confident of.

On the other hand, managers commit to the vision they have. They plan out their processes with the use of strategies and critical planning.

Plus, managers coordinate activities and break down long-term goals into tiny achievable tasks for progress. The reason managers do this is that it allows them to change or alter the direction at any time if need be.

But leaders achieve their goals by leading their followers through tasks that will influence their growth into them.

Leaders are more concerned with what and why their outputs are such. For example, if the team output does not follow the set vision, leaders would ask what is causing this and why it is happening.

While managers question how and when output can be done. They ensure an effective process and an attainable deadline. This prevents their circles from being burnt out or losing momentum.

And lastly, how do you attain the position?

When you hear the word leadership, what often comes to mind is the result of multiple actions. Earlier, we mentioned that leaders need to be respected, trusted, and looked up to in order to be effective. And that is exactly why it is a quality, not a lesson.

But, the word management often comes from a job title or a responsibility. Unlike a leader, a manager is appointed into the position and does not require any positive qualities to be effective.

How to know if you are a leader or manager?

Being responsible for a group of people, as you know, is challenging. Figuring out whether you're a leader or a manager should help.
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1. Counting Value vs. Creating Value

When it comes to value, only managers do the counting and maintain it by either cutting or adding people. Leaders, on the other hand, generate value with their teams.

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