Leadership Versus Management. Is There a Difference Between the Two?

Let’s put it this way, they are more like siblings than twins. While leadership and management might have some similarities, they are more different than they are similar and the biggest difference between leaders and managers is that leaders provide inspiration, support, and motivation, while managers have people who work for them. However, leadership and management also need to go hand in hand, particularly if you are running a small company because apart from managing a small group of employees, there will also be a need to inspire and uplift them, not to mention raise more leaders.

“The ultimate intersection between leadership & management is an appreciation for what motivates individuals to behave the way they do”

The role of a manager is often to get the task completed and provide other tasks, focus on the goals at hand, most of them being short-term goals, on the other hand, the role of a leader is to think of the long-term goals and to provide people with direction, to create change and focus on the vision. Nancy Koehn and Joe Fuller, professors at  Harvard Business School Professor have shed more light on this. “Leadership, he wrote, is the creation of positive, non-incremental change, including the creation of a vision to guide that change—a strategy—the empowerment of people to make the vision happen despite obstacles, and the creation of a coalition of energy and momentum that can move that change forward,” writes Koehn. “Management is getting them confused, misguided, unmotivated, and misdirected to accomplish a common purpose on a regular, recurring basis. I think the ultimate intersection between leadership and management is an appreciation for what motivates and causes individuals to behave the way they do, and the ability to draw out the best of them with a purpose in mind,” adds Fuller.

Do people seek you out for advice outside of work? Are you demanding respect or earning it?

Another way to look at this is to think is to ask yourself, are you trying to be a hero? Or are you creating more heroes? The measure of a leader is bringing out the best in people they work with, no matter when they are in the hierarchy. Another way to find out if you are a leader or a manager is if people seek you out for advice outside of work, even in your personal life. A leader is a leader wherever they are. Moreover, leaders want to see more than just numbers and output from their team, they believe in others and others trust them. Managers have subordinates and often are too caught up with numbers and have a tendency to exercise control. So, are your leading people, or are you managing them? Are you demanding respect, or respecting others? 

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