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5 Key Differences between Leadership & Management

Jan 19, 2022Editorial Team

On the surface, it is hard to differentiate between leadership and management when in reality, there are many key differences between the two. To understand the differences, it is important that we first understand what each term means.

What Is Management?

Management is a technique used by organizations to carry out their operations smoothly. In this technique, people work in a hierarchy where they have to report to their managers and these managers assign them projects to work on. This involves the act of hiring and hiring people, planning their tasks and then giving directions to ensure that the planned work is completed according to expectations.

The most important person in management is a manager who is responsible for all the people who report to him. They are not just responsible to get the work done but they are also responsible for the well being of their employees and the work environment. The manager is required by their job description to communicate the expectations and rules of the companies to the employees.

What Is Leadership?

While management is a technique, leadership is a skill owned by few. It can also be thought of as a quality that urges other people to give their best in whatever they do. Leadership involves using the right tips and tricks to not only motivate but direct and empower employees to work towards a unitary goal.

A leader's main focus is to enable their team members with the right tools and training so they can carry out their jobs in the best way possible. Using techniques like good interpersonal relationships, a leader polishes and hones the skills of their team members so they produce good outcomes. A leader is someone who does not let limitations and fear of failing come in the way of their employee's growth and the success of the company.

You might already start seeing the differences between the two; let's take a look at the 5 key differences between them.

5 Key Differences between Leadership vs. Management

Despite being interdependent, there are a lot of differences between the two concepts, let's evaluate the differences:

1. Innovation vs. Administration

Leaders are the biggest supporters of innovation and push their employees to come up with their own ideas. Leaders pave the way for employees to take charge and innovate new concepts. They favor experimenting and coming up with actionable ideas that can not only improve the way they work but are also a learning experience. A leader does not believe in doing things the old way and would rather try their hand at something new and innovative.

 On the other hand, managers believe in doing everything according to the book. They believe their age-old systems to be the best as there is less risk and the results are more or less guaranteed. Managers spend several years coming up with an administration that their employees should follow. They work in a very controlled environment to ensure that everything works out perfectly.

2. Trust Driven Work vs. Control Driven Work

Leaders trust their employees and their judgment; this is what gives them the liberty to give some degree of control to the employees themselves. Trust driven work ensures that the employees are empowered enough to make their decisions themselves. Leaders understand the capabilities of each of their employees and know whether or not a certain employee is capable enough to perform a task assigned to them or not. Leaders set the pace for their team, knowing that it will be the best.

Managers give exclusive directions as to what employees need to do and how they should do them. This is a more directive approach where most of the control is in the hands of the manager rather than the employees. This means that new ideas or innovations are unwelcome by a manager as they do not believe in trusting their employees to take charge of different tasks.

Managers are inclined to assure that all the rules and regulations are followed to the T. This leaves the employees in a position where they have to follow orders even if they don't agree with them.

3. Shows How vs. Tells What

A leader is someone in authority who believes in leading their team by example. A leader when awarding tasks to their team also ensure that the team knows exactly how they need to do it. Over the years, a leader teaches their team how to perform their tasks so that when the time comes, they can easily do it on their own. A leader has interpersonal relationships with their employees and this leads them to be more concerned about the learning of their team.

On the contrary, managers do not establish interpersonal relationships with their subordinates. They award tasks and let their employees complete them on their own. Managers think from the mindset that if you are in such a position, you must be able to do the task. Many people working under managers rather than leaders have to fend for themselves and learn how to do different things without any help from the manager.

4. Teamwork vs. Individual Tasks

Leaders believe in taking their complete forward with them rather than just one or two employees. They think of every task as a collaborative effort that allows all team members to give their opinions and work together to achieve a goal. Collaborative efforts allow a great deal of learning and exposure. Teammates can learn from the strengths and weaknesses of their colleagues. When multiple minds come together to work on a single task, it makes it easier to complete the task and submit it.

Managers, however, believe that employees should cater to individual tasks awarded to them so that they can give their attention to the task and avoid any mistakes or problems. According to managers, everyone should work according to their job description. This way an employee specializes in a particular domain rather than being all over the place.

5. Future vs. Present

Leaders, in most cases, think about the future with the way they deal with their teams. They empower their team members and train them so that they can do a good job in the future. Leaders think beyond the task and of the future of not just the company but the employees too. Leadership means building a future together rather than being hyper-focused on the present.

Looking at the other picture, managers are more concerned about the present and work to make sure that the task at hand is performed in the best way. They do not give much importance to learning and want to achieve results however way it is possible.


In conclusion, when we think about leadership vs. management, it is important that we keep all the factors in mind such as the company in question and furthermore. However, leadership is a much better alternative to management as it gives a lot of room to employees so that they can grow professionally and the company is able to reap the benefits of the collaborative efforts of leaders and employees together. If you are looking to establish a healthy workplace, you must have the concept of leadership in mind and work with the same principles.

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