8 Differences between Leadership & Management & Why both are important


People often mistake leadership and management as same, but actually these two are very different. The main point of difference is that a leader is a person who has a quality of influencing people whereas a manager has attributes of making people work under him by administering them in the best possible manner.  

Though these two are different, yet they should go hand in hand. They are inter-linked and complementary to each other. By separating these, an organization might face problems rather than providing solutions. For any organization to be successful, it should have a well management to plan and organise its employees along with providing them a source of motivation to perform their tasks well.

So, below are some key points that will help in understanding the differences between leadership and management. We will also learn why these two are important for a successful organisation.

1.Leadership is about inspiring, management is about planning

Leaders have a propensity to encourage and inspire their staff whereas managers tend to find faults. Leaders know how to encourage their staff in working together and accomplishing the goals. Managers, on the other hand, focus on achieving goals by controlling the situations or exceeding the objectives. They make plans and work accordingly.

“All time management begins with planning.” This quote by Tom Greening is so apt as management requires planning before anything else.

2.Leadership is all about uniqueness, management is about method


Leaders always tend to be themselves. They work hard and actively to create their own unique brand name. Leadership believes in authenticity and transparency. Managers, try to be methodical about what they have learnt from others. They just adopt the behaviour rather than defining it.

3.Leadership have followers, management have subordinates

Leaders have people who follow them. They have a great influencing power that attracts people towards them. Managers do not influence anyone. They only have people who work for them and are known as subordinates.

4.Leadership take risks, management controls it


Leaders are never afraid of failures. Leaders are willing to try new things and take risks. “If you’re not failing, then it’s a sign that you are not doing anything innovative”- Woody Allen. Leaders know that failure is a stepping stone to success.

Managers do not take huge risks. They either try to control or avoid them by taking preventive actions before hand.

5.Leadership requires trust, management needs control

Leadership is based wholly on the trust provided to a leader by his followers. Peter F Drucker rightly quoted, “Leadership is an achievement of trust.” Without trust, a leadership cannot sustain.

Management, on the other hand is based on the manager’s control over his subordinates. He tried to control and organise his employees in a positive way which in turn helps in achieving success.

6.Leadership is futuristic, management is about the present


Leaders have a foresight vision. They are likely to remain in long run and have futuristic approach towards their work. This keeps them motivated towards their goal, unlike managers who tend to have a short range vision. They focus on their routine work which help them seek regular kudos. The regular praise is what keeps manager motivated and encouraged.

7.Leadership brings change, management brings stability

Leaders remain curious throughout their work and seek to incorporate new changes, either in the organisation or in their work pattern. Leaders create changes whereas managers react to the changes so constructed.

Managers just follow the practices and principles that has been continuing since ages. These people work as per the set guidelines, rather than thinking big and out of the box. This brings stability in the work environment.

8.Leadership create relations, management creates systems


Leaders know how to build relations with their stakeholders. They spend most of their time in creating sincerity and fidelity by delivering their promises on time. They need to influence these people in order to know their vision.

Managers focus on the necessary structures that might help an organisation grow and succeed. They make sure that all the systems are working properly to attain the desired results.

At the end, leadership and management are inseparable in nature. In an organisation, we can see both management and leadership skills. Management is all about maintaining the 5Ms whereas leadership is about persuading people in a right direction and discovering talent in them. For an organisation to be successful, there has to be a mixture of both.


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