The Key Difference Between Leadership and Management

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.”

  • Steve Jobs

The above quote describes the primary difference between a leader and a manager. Both terms are used interchangeably in the corporate world, as they are mistakenly thought of as playing similar roles.

But in the real sense of terms, not all managers can become leaders, though a good leader can definitely become a good manager!

In an organization, it is crucial to have both good managers and good leaders. Organizations require great leaders so that they can lead them to achieve the desired goal and vision. Also, they need great managers to make sure that things are moving in the right direction with the right people aligned towards achieving the desired mission.

Today, we will discuss leadership and management, their basic definition, and leadership vs. management.

What is Leadership?

According to Wikipedia, ‘leadership is both a research area, and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organization to “lead”, influence, or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.’

What does a Leader Do?

People often think that leaders are senior members of an organization. But they don’t essentially hold a management position. So, a leader can be anyone and doesn’t necessarily need an authority position.

People follow leaders, and the credit goes to their behavior, personality, and beliefs. Leaders usually represent a high level of dedication and passion for work by investing in tasks and projects thereby influencing people around them. Leaders are interested in the success of their followers, guiding them in attaining their goals which are not essentially their organizational goals.

Leaders lead by creating examples and get immersed in tasks and projects so willingly that they impress people with their dedication.

Leadership is visionary, change-savvy, creative, agile, and adaptive.

What is Management?

According to Wikipedia, ‘management is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a non-profit organization, or a government body.’

The dictionary meaning of management says, ‘the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.’

What Does a Manager Do?

Managers are responsible for executing crucial tasks in an organization, such as planning, organizing, and controlling. The question here arises that can every manager become a leader?

Yes! It is possible only if managers make for leadership responsibilities of management, which may include motivation, communication, providing guidance and inspiration, and stimulating people to rise to a better level of productivity.

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Sad to say, not all managers can become good leaders. Some of them have insufficient leadership qualities, and employees follow them just because they are supposed to do so and are not certainly inspired or influenced by them.

The duties of a manager are a formal part of their job description, and junior members follow them because of their professional designation. The primary focus of a manager is to meet the goals and objectives of their organization and do not usually focus on anything else. Managers are responsible for their actions as well as the actions of their team members. The designation/title of managers brings with it the authority and privilege to promote, discipline, reward, hire, or fire on the basis of their behavior and performance.

So, to become a leader, a manager has to think about why their subordinates are following them. Is it just because they are obliged to do so, or they are so influenced and inspired by you that they are happy to follow you.

Qualities of a Good Manager

  • Managers need to develop a strategic vision for the organization and the team. This vision provides a roadmap for team members as they go ahead in their tasks.
  • Managers make sure that the activities are carried out smoothly on a daily basis. They are often responsible for solving the issues that employees face.
  • Managers have the power to establish standards, rules, and operating procedures.
  • Managers look after the needs of their team members. Communication here serves as the key to achieving goals. Good managers listen carefully to their team members and involve them significantly to reach the business goal.

Traits of a Good Leader

  • A good leader has a clear view of where they are and the way they need to move ahead. A good leader always involves team members in chalking the plan to the future.
  • Leaders are known for winning the trust of their followers by their actions and by being true to themselves as well as others. Authenticity is the best quality of a good leader.
  • Leaders show a better picture to their team. They make people know how their contribution adds value to their organization.
  • Leaders challenge the status quo. They do not do things that every other person does but think out-of-the-box to build a unique style of solving problems.

Leadership vs. Management

  • To become a good leader, you are required to win the trust of your followers. On the other hand, as a manager, you are tasked with authority over your juniors.
  • A leader motivates people to do their level best, while a manager monitors the organizational activities to make sure that the activities are carried out on time.
  • Leadership is proactive; on the other hand, management is reactive.
  • Leaders are able to inspire people, while managers don’t necessarily inspire people. There are some managers with leadership qualities who can inspire people.
  • Due to the organization’s formal hierarchical structure, managers can earn respect from their subordinates.
  • Management is based on short-term vision, while leadership is based on foresightedness.
  • Management brings stability to an organization, while leadership involves bringing about changes.
  • Leaders often build guidelines and principles while managers implement procedures and policies.Find Out the most significant news news360webs. By the way, this site newszone360 also help you top get latest information.


As listed above, managers bring stability to an organization while leadership brings about changes.

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For an organization to achieve success, good leaders and good managers are both crucial because change and stability are crucial to every organization.

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