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Leadership vs. Management: What’s the Difference?

Leader Addressing Team During Business Meeting

  • 31 Oct 2019

The terms “leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably. While there is some overlap between the work that leaders and managers do, there are also significant differences.

In a keynote discussion at Harvard Business School Online’s annual conference, Connext , HBS Professors Nancy Koehn and Joe Fuller explored the interplay between leadership and management and shared how they define the two disciplines.

Koehn referenced the work of HBS Professor John Kotter, who she said aptly defined the “activity of leadership.”

Leadership vs Management: What's the difference?

“ 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,” Koehn said.

Fuller, who teaches the online course Management Essentials , relayed his thoughts on how management compares.

“ Management is getting the confused, misguided, unmotivated, and misdirected to accomplish a common purpose on a regular, recurring basis,” Fuller said. “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.”

Watch the full keynote discussion between Nancy Koehn and Joe Fuller below:

While these definitions draw parallels between the roles of leaders and managers, they also allude to some key contrasts. Here are three differences between leadership and management.

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How Is Leadership Different from Management?

1. process vs. vision.

Effective leadership is centered on a vision to guide change.

Whereas managers set out to achieve organizational goals through implementing processes, such as budgeting, organizational structuring, and staffing, leaders are more intent on thinking ahead and capitalizing on opportunities.

“I think of management as working with other people to make sure the goals an organization has articulated are executed,” says HBS Dean Nitin Nohria in an interview for the online course Management Essentials . “It’s the process of working with others to ensure the effective execution of a chosen set of goals. Leadership is about developing what the goals should be. It’s more about driving change.”

2. Organizing vs. Aligning

In the book, On Becoming a Leader , scholar Warren Bennis presents a list of key differences between managers and leaders , including:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people

Managers pursue goals through coordinated actions and tactical processes, or tasks and activities that unfold over stages to reach a certain outcome. For example, they may implement a decision-making process when leading a critical meeting , or when devising a plan for communicating organizational change .

Leaders, on the other hand, are less focused on how to organize people to get work done and more on finding ways to align and influence them.

“Your central function in a position of leadership is to mobilize others so they can execute a set of individual and collective tasks,” says HBS Professor Anthony Mayo in the online course Leadership Principles .

By developing a personal leadership style through self-reflection and honest feedback , leaders can learn how to empower their employees and inspire them to both believe in and pursue important organizational initiatives.

3. Position vs. Quality

The title “manager” often denotes a specific role within an organization’s hierarchy, while referring to someone as a “leader” has a more fluid meaning.

“Manager is a title. It’s a role and set of responsibilities,” says leadership coach Doc Norton in Forbes . “Having the position of manager does not make you a leader. The best managers are leaders, but the two are not synonymous. Leadership is the result of action. If you act in a way that inspires, encourages, or engages others, you are a leader. It doesn't matter your title or position.”

Leadership is a quality that needs to be shaped. Through developing emotional intelligence and learning how to influence others , professionals of all levels can build greater self-awareness and understand how to bring out the best in themselves and others.

For seasoned and aspiring managers alike, possessing strong leadership skills can not only lead to better job performance , but an improved knowledge of how to influence the context and environment in which decisions get made.

Related: How to Be an Effective Leader at Any Stage of Your Career

Which HBS Online Leadership and Management Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

Unleashing Your Leadership Potential

Leadership skills can be developed at any stage of your career. By understanding the characteristics of effective leaders and how leadership differs from management, you can develop techniques for coaching colleagues, delivering feedback, and overcoming specific organizational challenges.

Do you want to become a more effective leader and manager? Download our free leadership and management e-book to find out how. Also, explore our online leadership and management courses to learn how you can take charge of your professional development and accelerate your career. To find the right course for you, download the free flowchart .

leader vs manager essay

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Managers vs. Leaders: Different but Equally Important

Managers vs. Leaders: Different but Equally Important

The important roles of manager and leader are often thought of as being interchangeable. While interconnected, the two are slightly different. The purpose of this article is to discuss key differences between managers and leaders, as well as provide strategies and best practices to enhance manager and leadership capacity within an organization or community.

Managers and Leaders: What is the Difference?

Management is characterized by a focus on the process and the present. Simonet and Tett (2012) describe management as, " providing order and consistency and helping organizations run smoothly; planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, controlling and problem solving; having a reactive attitude toward problems and goals ." This definition suggests that managers are more focused on maintaining function within the organization than providing inspiration or vision for future innovation.

Leadership is characterized by the focus on innovation and the future. In the same article, Simonet and Tett (2012) describe leadership as, " producing change and movement by influencing others to attain goals; establishing direction, and aligning, motivating, and inspiring people; taking an active and visionary stance toward problems and goals; seeking risk and showing empathy toward others ." This definition suggests that leaders are more focused on creating change through bold vision, the development of strong interpersonal relationships, building capacity, and inspiring others.

General Characteristics of Managers and Leaders (adapted from Northouse, (2007), Lunenburg, (2011), and Simonet and Tett, (2012))

In our community or organization, we may be required to fill the role of manager or leader. Understanding key differences between the two roles is the first step toward the ability to effectively transition between them. The next step is developing and applying strategies to fulfill the responsibilities of each role. This step starts with improving our management and leadership toolkits.

Improving our Managing Toolkit

Andersen et al. (2009) outlined three important components of project managing: planning, organization, and control. Below are some strategies to make sure we address these three key components:

  • Use group planning and involve as many participants as possible in the design and development process.
  • Divide the planning process into two stages: the "what" stage and the "how" stage. The "what" stage is the goal planning stage, the determination of what the project's overall goal and objective will be. The "how" stage is the activity planning stage, the creation of the activities that will lead to achieving the project goals.
  • Identify multiple pathways to achieve the intended goal at the different stages of the project. This will help us adjust future project steps and timely address complications.
  • Divide large projects into parts and ensure that each activity ties to distinct milestones in the project plan.
  • Create responsibility descriptions for each team member in the project that outline that person's specific role within the activity and the specific tasks they are responsible for.
  • Create reporting schedules to keep track of individual and group progress for each activity. Make sure to schedule them at regular intervals so that you do not fall behind.

Improving our Leadership Toolkit

We have adapted some best practices from Coetzer et al. (2017) that may help you improve your leadership capacity.

  • Be authentic and consistent with your behavior . Do not be afraid to show your true feelings and motivations for the actions you take.
  • Practice humility . Be modest and aware of your own limitations. Try to act without ego and recognize the skills of your followers.
  • Show compassion for your followers . Be proactive in praising the work done by others. Take the time to develop personal relationships when possible with your followers and be attentive to challenges and difficulties they may face.
  • Be altruistic as much as possible . When possible, put the needs of your followers ahead of your own. Look to empower your followers by serving their needs.
  • Be an active listener . Ask questions to gain perspective and pay attention to both what is said and unsaid by followers. When conducting project meetings, make sure to provide time for followers to reflect on what was said and encourage feedback.

We hope that by using the strategies and best practices presented, you will feel more prepared and confident to serve in either a management or leadership role in your organization's next project.

Andersen, E. S., Grude, K., & Haug, T. (2009). Goal Directed Project Management: Effective techniques and strategies (4th ed.). Kogan Page.

Coetzer, M., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The Functions of a Servant Leader . Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 5. 

Lunenburg, F. C. (2011). Leadership versus Management: A Key Distinction—At Least in Theory . International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 14 (1), 1-4.

Northouse, P. (2007). Leadership: theory and practice . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Simonet, D. V. & Tett, R. P. (2012). Five Perspectives on the Leadership–Management Relationship . Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20 (2), 199-213.

Suzanna Windon, Ph.D.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Leader — Team Development: the Difference Between Leadership and Management

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Team Development: The Difference Between Leadership and Management

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Words: 911 |

Published: Dec 5, 2018

Words: 911 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

  • Managers set the objectives of the company. Leaders persuade the objectives developed by the managers.
  • Managers communicate the policies to the leaders. Leaders communicate and influence the employees to work as per the policies.
  • Managers give direction to the groups. Leaders provide directions in team.
  • Managers create the ideas for the betterment of the organization. Leaders play the role of implementing those ideas into reality.
  • Managers focus on things. Leaders focus on people. The major role of managers is planning in the organization. While the role of leaders is to inspire the employees to work.
  • Managers direct the work to the employees. Leaders motivate the employees to work.

Works Cited:

  • Graff, G. (2003). Hidden intellectualism. They say/I say: The moves that matter in academic writing (pp. 369-381). W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Burkun, S. (2012, August 28). Street smart vs. book smart. Scott Berkun. https://scottberkun.com/2012/street-smart-vs-book-smart/
  • Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Lapp, D. (2011). Creating literacy-rich schools for adolescents. ASCD.
  • Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: aka the remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 74-84.
  • Tatum, B. D. (2017). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?: And other conversations about race. Basic Books.
  • Wood, D. (2012). How Children Think and Learn: The Social Contexts of Cognitive Development. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Giroux, H. A. (2013). Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education. Haymarket Books.
  • Ravitch, D. (2013). Reign of error: The hoax of the privatization movement and the danger to America's public schools. Vintage.
  • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary ed.). Continuum.
  • Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. Macmillan.

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leader vs manager essay

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Leadership vs. Management: The Key Differences

by Nick Greenhalgh | Jun 13, 2023

Are you a leader or are you a manager? Maybe you’re both? That question is the business version of the chicken and egg dilemma. While the terms are often used to define the same role and both are equally important to business success, there are key differences between leadership and management.

Daniels College of Business associate professor and Griesemer Fellow Aimee Hamilton has done years of research and teaching on the key skills for leaders and managers, and finds a few important distinctions between each skillset.

She shares her definitions and characteristics of each, the difference between leaders and managers, and how they can work in concert in a business setting.

What is leadership?

Hamilton’s personal definition of leadership is someone that inspires others to work together to achieve a shared goal. She talked specifically about the importance of inspiration for leaders, the most effective of whom  need to be able to drive their followers toward a long-term goal, even if the finish line isn’t in sight.

leader vs manager essay

Aimee Hamilton

Characteristics of successful leaders

Hamilton’s overarching theme for successful leaders is the ability to cope with change and react quickly to an unpredictable business environment. Within that framework, there are a few important characteristics:

  • Persuade followers to make necessary changes to achieve goals
  • Formulate an inspiring mission or vision that other people can buy into
  • Recognize personal weaknesses and find others to handle those tasks
  • Communicate effectively across internal and external stakeholders

What is management?

Hamilton leans on Henri Fayol’s Five Functions of Management to help define the role of a manager. Those functions are:

  • Planning and the ability to create things like a budget
  • Organizing a workable company structure that includes chain of command and role definition
  • Commanding and getting the most from people
  • Coordinating departments so they know the responsibilities of their team
  • Controlling and measuring how a team is doing against a budget or performance goals

While it seems like a manager must handle a variety of responsibilities, Hamilton said each of these tasks can be handled by different managers and that an individual person doesn’t need to be excellent at all of them.

Characteristics of successful managers

“ It’s really important for managers to be detail-oriented,” Hamilton said.

Using Fayol’s functions as a guide, Hamilton said managers should be able to fill in the details for each of those five categories they oversee. She also said the top manager in a company is most often the chief operating officer, while the top leader title is often held by the chief executive officer.

What is the difference between leadership and management?

While the terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably, a well-run organization should be able to define key differences between each role. In the chicken or egg context, Hamilton has an easy differentiator.

“A good leader needs to be a good manager, but not all managers are good leaders,” she said.

Hamilton added that leaders need to be vision-oriented, while managers should be detail-oriented.

What are three key differences between managers and leaders?

Hamilton references John Paul Kotter’s leadership vs. management framework to differentiate the two roles. She says that the focus on the management side is setting up systems for success, while the focus on the leadership side is making sure people buy into those systems so they can be successful.

“Unless you have good, committed, motivated people in that system, then an organization is not going to be successful,” she said.

Within Kotter’s framework, Hamilton has three key differences between managers and leaders:

1. Management organizes and staffs; leaders align people to the vision and mission

Management must handle tasks like creating job descriptions and putting employees into the right positions. From there, it’s a leader’s job to get those people to buy into those positions and the organizational purpose.

2. Managers monitor performance and leaders monitor motivation

A manager must keep an eye on performance metrics, like a budget, and meet with people to ensure the original plan is being met, as well as how it can get back on track if it’s not. A leader is responsible for monitoring the level of inspiration and motivation among employees.

3. Leadership and management roles in direction-setting

A leader sets the direction for the company; the corresponding management function fleshes out the details of that direction. A manager takes a big goal and offers steps and strategy to take it into an execution and implementation plan.

What are the main conflicts between leadership and management?

Because leaders and managers have different defined roles, it’s natural for conflict to arise between them. Hamilton said problems most frequently arise when a company isn’t on track to meet its goals, as the next steps for managers and leaders can look very different.

“Leadership might want you to inspire and support people, whereas managers might say, ‘We don’t have the right people in their roles, or we need to cut expenses,’” she said. With its long-term focus, Hamilton said leaders might look for creative ways of course correction, whereas detail-oriented managers may look for quick ways to increase efficiency.

Regardless of the reason for the conflict, Hamilton said it’s important for leaders and managers to come to a shared superordinate goal. This is a goal that requires multiple groups to achieve.

“If they agree on an overarching goal for the company, then it becomes easier for them to find common ground for course corrections that need to be made,” she said. Hamilton adds that leaders and managers also must agree on company culture to move forward in conflict.

Become a more effective leader at Daniels

At Daniels, Hamilton teaches leadership classes to first- and second-year full-time MBA students and is on the teaching team for executive-level leadership courses.

“There are so many different ways in which our programs, our MBA programs in particular, help develop managers and leaders, and help develop good managers into good leaders,” she said. “There’s a lot of components of our leadership curricula that are unique to Daniels, and we emphasize a lot of different aspects of both management and leadership, including developing your own leadership persona.”

Whether you’re looking for an MBA program or a targeted leadership development course, Daniels offers many options to help you grow. Executive Education at Daniels offers coursework and experiences in High Performance Leadership , Accelerated Leadership and Denver Leadership , helping you reach your true leadership potential.

In all of these programs, Hamilton said it’s crucial to find your own leadership voice—not parrot lessons you’ve heard from others.

“You need to recognize your strengths and develop a leadership persona that builds on your strengths, so you can use your unique voice,” she said. “We’re giving people opportunities to develop strong skills around communication, particularly difficult communications.”

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Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?

  • Abraham Zaleznik

leader vs manager essay

Managers and leaders are two very different types of people. Managers’ goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at defusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organization’s day-to-day business gets done. Leaders, on the other hand, adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. They look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy. Their relationships with employees and coworkers are intense, and their working environment is often chaotic.

In this article, first published in 1977, the author argues that businesses need both managers and leaders to survive and succeed. But in the larger U.S. organizations of that time, a “managerial mystique” seemed to perpetuate the development of managerial personalities—people who rely on, and strive to maintain, orderly work patterns. The managerial power ethic favors collective leadership and seeks to avoid risk.

That same managerial mystique can stifle leaders’ development—How can an entrepreneurial spirit develop when it is submerged in a conservative environment and denied personal attention? Mentor relationships are crucial to the development of leadership personalities, but in large, bureaucratic organizations, such relationships are not encouraged.

Businesses must find ways to train good managers and develop leaders at the same time. Without a solid organizational framework, even leaders with the most brilliant ideas may spin their wheels, frustrating coworkers and accomplishing little. But without the entrepreneurial culture that develops when a leader is at the helm of an organization, a business will stagnate and rapidly lose competitive power.

Business leaders have much more in common with artists than they do with managers.

What is the ideal way to develop leadership? Every society provides its own answer to this question, and each, in groping for answers, defines its deepest concerns about the purposes, distributions, and uses of power. Business has contributed its answer to the leadership question by evolving a new breed called the manager. Simultaneously, business has established a new power ethic that favors collective over individual leadership, the cult of the group over that of personality. While ensuring the competence, control, and the balance of power among groups with the potential for rivalry, managerial leadership unfortunately does not necessarily ensure imagination, creativity, or ethical behavior in guiding the destinies of corporate enterprises.

  • AZ Abraham Zaleznik was the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership Emeritus at Harvard Business School in Boston.

leader vs manager essay

Partner Center

Difference between Leadership and Management Compare & Contrast Essay

Accepted wisdom today s that there is sufficient difference between leadership and management, between leader and a manager, that the two concepts or forms of influence should not be used interchangeably . In times of significant organizational change, both leadership and management are required.

This paper is going to focus more on the role leader’s role for initiating, implementing, and sustaining organizational change.Organizations progress through developmental stages. As organizations age, structures increase to provide greater control and coordination .

The young organization is characterized by high energy, movement, and virtually constant change and adaptation. Aged organizations have established “turf boundaries,” function in an orderly and predictable fashion, and are focused on rules and regulations. In essence, change is limited. However, it is clear that organizations must find a balance between stagnation and chaos, between birth and death.

In the process of maturing, workers within the organization can become prisoners of procedures, forget their original purposes, and allow means to become ends. Without change, the organization may stagnate and die. Organizations need to keep foremost what they are going to do not what they have done. This is what informs the role of organizational change.

It should be clear that leadership and management skills are necessary for successful planned change to occur. The manager must understand the planning process and planning standards and be able to apply both to the work situation.

The manager is also cognizant of the specific driving and restraining forces within a particular environment for change and is able to provide the tools or resources necessary to implement that change. The manager, then, is the mechanic who implements the planned change.

The leader however is the inventor or creator. Leaders today are forced to plan in a chaotic health care system that is changing at a frenetic pace. Out of this chaos, leaders must identify trends and changes that may affect their organizations and units and proactively prepare for these changes. Thus, the leader must retain a big picture focus while dealing with each part of the system.

In the inventor or creator role the leader displays such traits as flexibility, confidence, tenacity, and the ability to articulate vision through insights and versatile thinking. The leader also must constantly look for and attempt to adapt to the changing and unpredictable interactions between agents and environmental factors outlined by the complexity science theorists.

The leader and the manager is also cognizant of the specific driving and restraining forces within a particular environment for change and is able to provide the tools necessary to implement that change. The leader and the manager, then, are the mechanics who implement the planned changes.

The term ‘leadership’ often implies in its historic connotation someone who shows the way and guides the right direction. The modern understanding conveys a sense of a leader and his ability to know what is best or desirable in most situations, influence his subordinates, direct the effort, control the situation and take full responsibility.

It is commonplace observation that leadership plays an important role in the creation, survival, growth ad decay of organizations. Most of the leadership research to date has been conducted with the implicit assumption that leadership does make a difference in terms of organizational performance. This is the basically the question of the ability of human agency to for example bring about change in complex social systems.

Change is currently seen as a highly relevant phenomenon, which engages many people. Most writers and scientists seem to agree that the pace of the development of society is the fastest the human race has ever seen. This development appears to be accelerating and have a stronger thrust than ever before.

Essentially change can be defined as a deliberate effort which is characterized by changes which may seem physical to the operations of an organization which are geared towards a given end. It is marked by the loss of the familiar as the organization tries to accept the unfamiliar. However, it is worth noting that change often resistant.

Much of the literature on organizational management emphasizes the role of institutional leaders in organizational change and development, as well as the formulation and implementation of corporate policies and strategies.

Some scholars hold the view that within the organization, institutional leadership is critical in creating a cultural context that fosters innovation, and in establishing organizational strategy, structure and systems that facilitate innovation. It is apparent that process innovations and organizational changes can be implemented effectively when they are institutionalized and integrated into the current organizational practice.

These changes which are brought about by innovations must not only adapt to the existing organizational and structural environments, but they must also transform the structure and practices of these environments. The strategic problem that exists for institutional leaders is one of creating an infrastructure and a plat form which is conducive for this form of change.

The leadership patterns displayed by managers is said to determine the accomplishment of corporate goals and objectives. Leadership behaviours plays a central role in the cultural and political transformation processes of a firm by continuously changing the core values of employees, organizational structures, and contextual variables and the contents f the business strategies followed by the firm.

Values aspirations and preferences of top management are important factors that influence the choice of strategy that brings about change. in this case, process innovation as a strategic decision will be affected by the personal values of the leader as well as the organizational political process that shape the power exercised by the leader.

Organizational change may be defined as the adoption of a new idea or a behaviour by an organization. It is a way of altering an existing organization to increase organizational effectiveness for achieving its objectives. Organizational change is primarily structural in character and it is designed to bring about alterations in organizational structure, methods and processes.

Successful organizational change must continually focus on making organizations responsive to major developments like changing customer preferences, regulatory norms, economic shocks and technological innovations. Only those organizations those are able to undertake suitable change programs, can sustain and survive in a changing and demanding economic order in their bid to remain ahead of others in the race.

Many factors give rise to change processes in organizations. Organizations seek to be innovative; give in to pressures to follow the pack or an industry or sector leader; or are coerced by forces of public opinion, regulatory force, or marketplace mechanisms to attempt change.

The success of change in organizations can be measured by a variety of perspectives – those who seek the change; those who are asked to alter their practice; those whose stakes are most impacted by old and new ways of doing; and bystanders of the process among others. However we come to those assessments, the process of implementing change – of putting ideas into practice – is a major determinant of outcomes.

Organizational changes do not take place in a vacuum. These changes are usually based on a theoretical framework . Relating to the nature of the change process, most of the change theories could be grouped into four broad categories: evolutionary change, dialectics, life cycle and teleological theories.

The four are distinguished from each other either on the basis of unit of change or mode of change. The unit of change is either the single individual entity, interactions among people or relationships between organizations. The mode of change is either prescribed or constructive.

Evolutionary change is a continuous cycle of variation, retention and selection among several units regardless of the rate of change. Naturally, the outcome can be radical or gradual depending on the timely distribution of the variation, retention and selection of events throughout the organization.

The dialectic theory of change talks about the organizational existence in a pluralistic world of ambiguous and contradictory forces and values that compete with one another to get control over the others. When the status quo is confronted by the opposing force, which is with sufficient power, change takes place.

Life cycle theory proposes change process as a linear irreversible sequence of prescribed stages which facilitates organizations to move from the point of departure towards an end which is prefigured in the present state.

Teleological theory talks about the organization’s interaction with the external and internal construct and its effort to reach to the defined goals. This is a deliberate process of reaching t the predetermined goal as the ultimate objective.

Essentially, effective management of these changes requires the leader to be able to manage the following key phases; that is being aware of the requirements of change, generating willingness for participation and supporting the change initiatives, gathering information and knowledge about the method and process of change, ability to implement the change on a regular basis and reinforcement to keep the change process.

All these factors and phases are best delivered and managed by the leader whose role is to ensure that the organization achieves its core objectives in light of the prevailing circumstances. In conclusion, nothing is more prevalent in industry today than change. Some of these change initiatives happen as organizations evolve, and often require little intervention. Others are far more reaching.

They involve efforts specifically designed to improve organizational functions. Thus a leader should be aware of one’s role in the organization in ensuring that the stipulated objectives are realized. As an organization works towards realizing the role of change, the leader should take the lead role in ensuring that the subordinates understand the direction which the organization is taking.

In this case the role of the leader is to ensure that the organization works as a team and the challenges which are brought to the fore through these changes are dealt with. Finally, as the saying goes, there is nothing as constant as change. However, we need to realize that change cannot manage itself, it needs the coordinated efforts of all the stakeholders who are involved.

Bjønness, S. (2007). The notion of change in leadership cultures. Basel: Haupt Verlag AG.

Chowdhury, S. (2003). Organization 21C: someday all organizations will lead this way. New York: FT Press.

Ingols, C., Cawsey, T. F., & Deszca, G. (2011). Organizational Change: An Action-Oriented Toolkit. California: SAGE.

Lewis, L. K. (2011). Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2008). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: theory and application. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Rothwell, W. J. (2001 ). The manager and the change leader. New York: American Society for Training and Development.

Sengupta, N., & Bhattacharya, M. S. (2006). Managing Change In Organizations. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Sisaye, S. (2001). Organizational change and development in management control systems: process innovation for internal auditing and management accounting. Oxford: Emerald Group Publishing.

Thomas, S. J. (2001). Successfully managing change in organizations: a user’s guide. New York: Industrial Press Inc.

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What's the Difference Between Leadership and Management in the Workplace?

When to lead, and when to manage

LaKeisha Fleming is a prolific writer with over 20 years of experience writing for a variety of formats, from film and television scripts to magazines articles and digital content. She is passionate about parenting and family, as well as destigmatizing mental health issues. Her book, There Is No Heartbeat: From Miscarriage to Depression to Hope , is authentic, transparent, and provides hope to many.

leader vs manager essay

Understanding Leadership vs. Management

Applying management versus leadership.

For many people, the words management and leadership can be used interchangeably. After all, the manager is normally the one in charge of a group of employees, which makes that person their leader. You may even be thinking about advancing in your company to be a part of leadership in a position that requires you to manage people.

In a workplace context, it’s easy to confuse the two concepts and think that they mean the same thing. But experts say that’s not the case.

“Leaders are those people who create a vision of the future they want to see, figure out a direction to get there, decide on the specific steps to make it happen, and then get busy motivating and inspiring people to get behind their ideas and following through with them, explains Carl R. Nassar , PhD, LPC, CIIPTS.

He says leadership differs significantly from what a manager does.

“The role of a manager is to make sure people are staying on task, and staying focused, in honoring the leader’s vision . They’re likely to build structures to help people follow a plan and arrive at the leader’s destination. They’re likely to create organizational systems to get everyone to achieve the leader’s goals,” Dr. Nassar notes.

Let's take a look at the characteristics of both leadership and management, real-world examples of these concepts in action, and give you helpful insight on when to use leadership versus management approaches.

Hinterhaus Productions / Stone / Getty Images

Even with definitions of the terms, it can still be hard to tell leadership and management apart. Both are essential components of group success, whether it's in the workplace, on a sports team, or in a working group at school.

“Both management and leadership are responsible for guiding and influencing individuals or groups to achieve common goals. The primary objective of both management and leadership is to attain organizational goals. Managers and leaders are both involved in decision-making processes, and both roles require strong interpersonal skills,” explains Dan Freschi, President of EDGE Where Leadership Begins .

But understanding the specific roles and traits of people in leadership and management is what helps to set them apart.

Have a vision and strategy

Aren't afraid of risk

Motivate and inspire others

Initiate change

Solve problems

Coordinate resources

Guide team members

Monitor performance

Leadership in a Nutshell

Leaders set the direction and tone for the group. Experts note that leadership produces change and movement:

  • Leadership means not only having a vision, but making sure the vision is clear to the people that are following you.
  • Leaders are not afraid to take calculated risks, and think outside of the box, to achieve their goals. They have “visionary focus,” states Freschi. “For example, Steve Jobs demonstrated visionary leadership by driving innovation at Apple, particularly with the development of the iPhone.”
  • Influencing others is also a part of being a leader. “Leadership is about inspiring and motivating others through your actions and examples rather than relying on your authority. For example, Mahatma Gandhi led India's independence movement through nonviolent civil disobedience, inspiring millions,” states Freschi.
  • Leaders have a strategy and a plan to bring their vision to pass. Their clear-cut roadmap is what others can follow to help them achieve the vision end goal.
  • Leadership involves being flexible, and willing to adapt to changing circumstances. Sometimes, the ability to make a mid-course correction while implementing a plan can be the difference between barely surviving and achieving success.

People in leadership also have internal qualities that serve them well and benefit their company.

“Effective leaders are authentic and have a high sense of self-awareness. Teams appreciate leaders who are true to themselves and embrace their vulnerabilities. In doing so, they relate to their teams on a human level,” adds Ashley Rudolph Founder & Performance Coach at Work with Ashley R .

Management in a Nutshell

Managers are also strong leaders in their own right. What causes them to function more in a management capacity is their focus, their end goal, and the way that they implement their plan of success.

Effective managers understand their team’s work. They’ve mastered the task, projects, or work product that their team is responsible for and as a result, understand the most effective and efficient ways to do that work at scale.

Management personnel are more focused on executing their leader’s vision, as opposed to creating the vision.

While a person in leadership looks at the big picture of a company’s future, the manager works on the details and specifics of moving the group from point A to point B. Management produces order and consistency:

Someone in management is focused on the daily operations of a business. This person wants to make sure that the business is meeting its goals consistently on a day-to-day basis.

  • A manager makes sure tasks are completed properly and on time. “For example, project managers use tools and processes to coordinate tasks, allocate resources, and meet project timelines,” Freschi states.
  • Operating at the management level means being a problem-solver . How many times have you been unhappy with a business’ customer service representative, and asked to speak with the manager? This person has to be able to remain calm, address your concerns, and resolve your issue.
  • Managers monitor employees’ performance. When it’s time for your annual review, that comes from your manager. This is the person that often works most closely with you, and the person you report to directly.
  • Working in management means you put operational policies in place for your employees to follow. “For example, an operations manager is responsible for creating and executing standard operating procedures (SOPs) that can help to simplify and optimize various processes,” notes Freschi.

Having a better understanding of the differences between leadership and management is beneficial when trying to determine which concept you need to implement in various situations.

You apply leadership when you are in a situation where you need to lead people on a journey through change, when you create a vision for your group's future growth, and when you motivate others to help you make that vision happen. You clearly see the end goal and inspire others to help you attain it.

You apply management in situations where the vision for a business is laid out before you and you handle the responsibility of making sure tasks are done, monitoring the performance of employees, and solving problems to keep procedures running smoothly on a daily basis.

Both concepts are hugely valuable, and necessary for the success of the group. And yes, you can be both a leader and a manager, which is why it's so critical to understand when each is the most helpful and useful to the group.

“Leading others effectively requires both management and leadership skills, with leading being a critical component of effective management. . . When there is no leadership, management becomes a soulless routine,” Freschi concludes. “Both leadership and management are equally crucial for any organization to achieve its goals effectively.”

Northouse, P. G. (2007).  Leadership: Theory and Practice.  4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management (pp.3-8, by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.

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Leadership vs. management: Are they different?

Julia Martins contributor headshot

Are you a leader, or a manager? How do you decide? What’s the difference—and why does it matter?

We often conflate leadership and management. Most of us use the two terms interchangeably with little downside. When we talk about leaders, we usually mean managers, and when we address managers, we think of them as leaders. But while the same person can be both, they don’t necessarily have to be.

Leadership vs. management: The basics

Whether you’re a manager, a leader, or both, learning to differentiate between the two roles can help you develop skills for each. In this article, we’ll help you define leadership and management by objectives , outline some similarities between the roles, and highlight how they differ.

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Management is operational; it’s about setting priorities, evaluating priorities, hiring and firing decisions, compensation decisions, things like that. A leader is more of a coach, or even a spiritual guide. She is responsible for maintaining energy, keeping everyone on the team inspired and helping them grow, and for ensuring everyone is aligned in the same direction. A leader must be a point of strength and stability across changes.”

Leading through change: Creating clarity and building trust

In this webinar, Asana experts outline concrete tips to guide your team through uncertainty. Learn how to help employees focus on what matters.

Leading through change webinar thumbnail

Top leadership skills

Effective leaders help guide their company in the right direction—they know how to share goals and inspire people towards the bigger picture. Leaders don’t just dream of where they want to go, they also lead by example to motivate team members on the way there. If you think of a company as a ship, leaders are the ones who decide where to go—the people who have their eye on the horizon.

Key leadership qualities include:

Motivation.  Strong leaders motivate their team to achieve the impossible. They share their energy and enthusiasm with the group in order to achieve more than they would have otherwise been able to by themselves.

Creativity.  Good leaders think outside the box and challenge the status quo. Critically, leaders don’t just focus on their own creativity—they also support and nurture creativity in their team members.

Mentoring.  A key tenet of leadership is helping your team grow to their full potential. You can do this by coaching and guiding your team members—instead of prescribing or assigning work.

Problem-solving.   Problem-solving is an important skill at every level of the decision-making process. As a leader, you can help solve problems at the strategic and conceptual level—for example, highlighting key organizational goals and using problem-solving strategies to identify anything that might stand in the way of your team’s goals.

Risk taking.  Part of holding a leadership role is knowing when to take risks—and when to support your team members to take risks, too. The best leaders challenge the status quo in order to drive positive change in their organization.

To me, a leader is a visionary. They encourage and motivate those around them and see the potential in others. They challenge the status quo and strive to make positive change for the organization. It doesn't matter what your role or title is, anyone can be a leader—you just need to lean in and step up.”

How can someone be a leader without being a manager?

Leaders inspire and motivate people—no matter what their own status is on the org chart. You can find good non-manager leaders at any company, but especially at companies with distributed organizational structures. In a  distributed organizational model , there is a clear decision maker for every decision, but that decision maker isn’t always a manager. These types of organizations tend to benefit from high velocity and employee engagement, and as a byproduct of the way these teams are structured, they tend to foster more leaders at every level.

At Asana, we’ve created a distributed organizational model through the use of Areas of Responsibility (AoRs). AoRs allow us to delegate accountability for each area of the organization to ensure everything that needs to happen in the company does. Additionally, AoRs give team members who aren’t in direct management roles opportunities to grow as leaders.

To me, ‘manager’ is a title, and ‘leader’ is a state of mind or attitude. Being a manager isn't a prerequisite to being an effective leader, but effective leaders often are successful managers. In practice, the manager's title defines the scope of the role, but the impact on the team is driven by their leadership skills.”

Top management qualities

Not every manager is a leader—and that’s ok. Good managers provide clarity and direction to their team members. They are the backbone of the team, and function as the support system for  teamwork and collaboration . In the ship analogy, if leaders are the people with their eyes on the horizon, managers are the ones reading the map. As a manager, you are the one plotting the course and showing your team members how you’re going to get there.

Key management skills include:

Feedback.  Great managers are dedicated to helping team members develop their skill set, and a key way to do that is through  clear, constructive feedback . When you provide clear, relevant feedback, you can help team members identify growth opportunities. Then, through additional feedback sessions and coaching, you can guide your team members as they turn those opportunities into strengths.

Professional development.  In addition to helping team members get their best work done, great managers also support the professional and career development of each of their team members. This might mean helping team members identify where they want to be in five years or giving them advice on how to develop certain skill sets.

Delegation.  Good managers don’t always do the work themselves—rather, they delegate work to the best person for the job.  Being a manager  isn’t so much about saying, “I can do that” but saying, “I know the best person for the job.”

Organization and planning.  Being a good manager means developing  project management skills  like organization and planning. These skills can help you give your team clear insight into upcoming work, and support them if they need to readjust priorities or rethink deadlines.

Problem-solving.  Like leaders, managers should also be good at problem-solving. But managing people means problem-solving on a slightly different level than leaders. Usually, managers use problem-solving to help unblock tasks so team members can get their best work done. This might mean helping team members identify a dependency that’s getting in the way of their work, or rethinking quarterly priorities if a  project timeline  got moved around.

Team building.  Good managers recognize the value in a team, not just an individual. Part of the job description is creating  team building opportunities . Whenever you can, set up situations for connection and encourage team members to get to know one another. When team members know one another, they will be more comfortable collaborating and working together.

Leadership is about the future, while management is about dealing with the here and now. A great leader inspires others to achieve results they themselves didn't think possible. A great manager, on the other hand, brings clarity, provides feedback, and helps their team develop the competencies and skill sets necessary to navigate their day-to-day work.”

Why would somebody want to be a manager and not a leader?

Everyone is different—and leadership positions aren’t for everyone. There is a lot of value in focusing on being a manager first. Managers provide stability and guidance, and they may not be interested in creating the big picture vision.

Even more so than leaders, managers are selfless in the way they put the team first.  First-time managers  often remark about how much more work it is to manage. That’s because, instead of just focusing on putting their head down and getting good work done, managers are constantly thinking about how to best guide and mentor their team members.

If you just became a manager, it can be helpful to focus on providing the best experience for your team first and then developing your leadership skills later. After all, just because you’re focused on developing your management style now doesn’t mean you can’t dedicate yourself to building leadership qualities later.

I think of teamwork as a ship moving through an unlimited ice sheet. In this metaphor, the ship is the team, the ice represents possible problems to be solved, and the destination is always out of sight and unclear. It’s a manager’s job to figure out what to do with the ice we break—where to put it, how it impacts the plan and team, etc. It’s a leader’s job to clarify the ship’s direction and why it’s worth breaking all of this ice to get there.”

Where management and leadership overlap

Leaders and managers have one key thing in common: they both want what’s best for their team and their company. As a result, even though they sometimes approach things in different ways, both leaders and managers work with the same goal in mind.

Leaders and managers both:

Connect work to company objectives.  In order for a team member to do their best work, they need to understand how their daily work contributes to team and company objectives. Providing this clarity can help team members better prioritize to get their most high-impact work done.

Value two-way communication.  Whether you’re communicating a goal to the entire team or connecting with a team member during a  1:1 meeting , two-way communication is the best way to make sure your team feels heard and valued. To become a good two-way communicator, practice sourcing feedback, processing what you’re hearing, and then acting on it.

Invest in the development of their team.  Supporting and mentoring team members shows up in a lot of different ways. From mentoring and  coaching  to career development conversations and 1:1 meetings, leaders and managers are both invested in helping their team do their best work.

For me, a leader is someone who helps you understand the Big Picture. What's the vision for the team, and how does that vision connect to a broader set of organizational objectives and mission? A manager is the person who gives you the support and mentorship needed to make an impact in your role and help make that Big Picture a reality. Sometimes the same person will occupy both roles within a team. Sometimes it's multiple people. But both roles are important for the success of any team.”

3 differences between leaders and managers

Leaders and managers have a lot in common, but they frequently approach situations in different ways. Here are three ways leaders and managers might approach the same situation differently in order to best support their team.

While leaders and managers both aim to motivate people to drive impact and achieve results, managers are more concerned with the operational aspects of that journey, whereas leaders are focused on inspiring and empowering people to accomplish their goals. Another key differentiator is that leaders continuously strive to evolve and push for change, while managers are often looking to maintain the status quo.”

Building and communicating a strategic vision

Part of being a leader at any given company is helping to set and communicate your company’s strategic vision. A recent  survey of over 6,000 knowledge workers  found that only 16% of workers believe their company was very effective at setting and communicating goals. As a leader, you have the power to not only set but also communicate goals across the company.

Leaders think big picture, and then work to develop clear goals on how to achieve their company’s mission or  vision statement . This includes setting quarterly or yearly  company objectives  and communicating those objectives to your team. For example, you might set the objective to reduce monthly customer churn to <1% before the end of the year.

Managers take that strategic vision and connect it to their team’s day-to-day work. As a manager, you’re empowered to clarify how a team member’s daily work contributes to overall company goals. By making that connection, you can help support and motivate your team on the path towards achieving company goals.

For example, if your company has set the goal to reduce monthly customer churn to <1% before the end of the year, a manager can help connect team projects to that goal. Sometimes, this will be obvious—a team member might be working on improving your company’s churn flow. But it might not always be so clear-cut. For example, a team member who is improving the pricing and packaging page is indirectly contributing to this goal by helping customers better understand what they’re paying for.

Great managers are leaders, but not all leaders are managers. Managers who are also leaders inspire their team rather than direct them. Those teams achieve even better results and feel like they're co-creators in the solution rather than simply being executors of a strongly held, non-collaborative plan.”

Turning ideas into reality

Leaders don’t just focus on execution—they also focus on ideas. A leader’s priority is thinking big picture and communicating how that big picture is going to drive value across the business. As part of this process, you should practice developing ideas and solutions to big picture problems.

Leaders are also the ones who motivate their team to get great work done. Once your company has decided on a direction to move in—whether you were part of that decision or not—you can be a good leader by motivating team members to understand the value of that idea.

To me, being a leader is about the ability to influence, coach, mentor, and guide others toward an achievement. Leaders provide vision, and their success is defined by the team—not themselves.”

Conversely, it’s a manager’s job to focus on how to turn ideas into reality. This may mean staffing projects, allocating resources , and budgeting to hit goals. Managers support and guide their teams through their daily work. They are the ones directly reviewing documents and approving work. Ultimately, a good manager empowers team members to get their high-impact work done.

Creating and supporting company culture

Company culture is a great way to make your team members feel engaged, supported, and empowered to do their best work. Investing in company culture through team building games, learning and development opportunities, and robust employee onboarding workflows can make team members feel happier and more engaged at the company.

Where do leaders and managers come into play? It’s a leader’s job to help mold and create company culture. As Dustin Moskovitz, Asana co-founder and CEO,  writes , “As a leader, I know it’s my responsibility to set the tone for our company culture.” Leaders establish what the culture should look like, emulate it, and ultimately inspire people to want to participate and improve company culture.

“Adaptable leaders are able to effectively work with, coach, and inspire diverse groups of individuals. They adapt their leadership style to suit the person they are working with, instead of having a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

A manager, on the other hand, is the person who is actually implementing culture practices and policies. Additionally, managers are responsible for representing their team’s needs on an organizational level. Once they do share any feedback, it’s a leader’s job to fold the feedback into company processes in order to improve company culture. Listening to and solving team feedback is a critical part of healthy company culture—but according to the  Anatomy of Work Index , only 15% of knowledge workers currently feel completely heard by their organization.

Leadership vs. management: which is better?

Being a leader isn’t necessarily better than being a manager, or vice versa. You can be both—or you can focus on developing your skills in one area first. Deciding which qualities of a leader to focus on depends on what your team needs from you, and how you can best support them.

For me, a leader is someone who positively influences those around them into action, direction, and success. A leader does not have to hold a specific job title—they drive impact in any position they hold.”

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Checked : Suzanne S. , Greg B.

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Table of content

The manager is an organizer

The leader is a viewer., the leader and the manager: essential within a company, the unique vs. the existing, vision vs. objectives, change vs. improvement, risk-taking vs. risk control, regular learning vs. learning, building relationships vs. building processes, advice vs. lead, admirers’ vs. employees.

"Leadership is the art of getting someone to do something for you because they want to do it. »Dwight Eisenhower

Contrary to popular belief,   Leadership   and management are not synonymous. And if a person can be both a manager and a leader, he can also be a manager without being a leader and vice versa.

If you consult the dictionary online, here is what you find:

  • Leader: the person who, within a group, takes most of the initiatives, leads the other members of the group, holds the command.
  • Manager: a person who does management, who organizes, manages something, runs a business, a service, etc.

The manager derives his authority from the hierarchy, which designates him as such.

Its main power is linked to the company. Indeed, it has a formal team, over which it exercises its authority. Its main role is focused on the task. It is he who organizes and coordinates in a company. He also controls the activity of his teams, such as planning and reporting. What also differentiates him is that he has goals and must do everything possible to achieve them. The manager is important for a company to ensure a good overall organization.

The leader derives his authority from the members of the group, who recognize him as such. Above all, he has his powers due to the relationship he builds with the members of a group. It is, therefore, people-centered. The team of which he is the center generally recognizes him as an informal authority. It is, therefore, in a way, the driving force within a group. It is from him that proposals and initiatives come. Its role is to propose and influence. He has a vision and seeks to achieve it. Its negative side is that it can sometimes be perceived as a source of disorganization and dispersion. It is essential in a business. It is he who motivates the troops.

The leader is not necessarily better than a manager or a manager than a leader. A manager and a leader are both essential to the smooth running of the business. A good manager is necessary in order to obtain an efficient organization of the activity. But a good leader is also very useful for better training and motivating teams. If a manager can be a perfect leader within his team, you can be a leader without being a manager, and you can manage without necessarily being a leader yourself.

Within a company, leader and manager are both essential, but it is often difficult to distinguish them. The difference lies in the level of authority of each exercise. The manager is a function. His hierarchy appoints him as the leader of a team, and the people work for him. Conversely, the leader was not appointed. He is followed, respected, and admired, due to what he has accomplished, his vision and his ideas.

The eight differences between a leader and a manager

  • A vision vs. goals
  • Risk-taking Vs. risk control
  • Regular learning Vs. learning
  • Building relationships Vs. building processes
  • Advice Vs. lead
  • Admirers Vs. employees

Discover the 8 differences between a leader and a manager to understand their role and no longer confuse them.

A true leader is not afraid of being himself. He is authentic, honest, and transparent. It is often a charismatic person who naturally commands respect and commands admiration. A leader is good about himself and is not afraid to be noticed, in particular, by offering his ideas and his vision.

Generally, the manager adopts a management style and follows behaviors that he has observed in other managers or learned during studies or training. He does not (or rarely) create his own management style, but he applies what already exists.

The leader knows where he is and where he wants to go. He has a project, a long-term vision, and he effortlessly manages to inspire those around him to give their best to achieve this vision.

The manager focuses on achieving the objectives necessary to achieve a vision. He ensures that his team works effectively to achieve the objectives set within the time limits. To do this, he organizes, plans, and coordinates tasks, and he ensures that his team scrupulously follows the action plan previously defined.

The leader is not afraid of change. On the contrary, he is constantly looking for innovation because he knows there is always room for improvement. For this, he does not hesitate to shake up habits and revolutionize the system in place.

The manager is content to follow the processes that are already in place and working perfectly, making sure to make some adjustments and improvements if necessary.

In order to realize his vision, the leader does not hesitate to try new methods, to take still new paths. He does not fear failure because, for him, it is only a means of achieving success. Besides, Winston Churchill said: "Success is to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

For the manager, the best way to achieve his objectives is to avoid risks at all costs. It will make every effort to anticipate, minimize, control, and even eliminate them entirely.

If he does not learn new things every day, the leader has the impression of regressing. Curious, he is interested in everything and constantly seeks to develop his skills to stay in tune with today's world, which is constantly evolving.

The manager prefers to reproduce the behaviors that have already proven their effectiveness. He builds on his achievements and is content to perfect the skills and knowledge he has already acquired.

The leader knows that to achieve his vision, he needs to surround himself. He works hard to build relationships of trust by showing what he is capable of in order to influence the people who will help him accomplish his project.

The manager ensures that effective processes, standards, and working rules are in place to achieve his objectives. It focuses more on the means and methods to be implemented without neglecting the human aspect.

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The leader encourages those who follow him to give their best. He pushes them to develop their potential, to learn new skills, but he never tells them what to do or how to do it.

The manager's role is to lead his team. It gives the directives to be followed, defines the responsibilities, and assigns the tasks to be accomplished to achieve the objectives set. He makes sure to facilitate the work of his employees by listening to them and responding to their needs, their doubts, and their questions.

The leader is generally surrounded by people who can be described as admirers. In addition to following him, they support him, help him achieve his vision, and strengthen his visibility and credibility.

The manager is surrounded by employees who follow his directives, who want to meet his expectations and satisfy his requests in order to achieve the objectives set.

To conclude, these two quotes sum up the difference between a leader and a manager.

"It's best to steer from the back and put the others in front, especially when things are going well. However, you have to go to the front in case of danger. This is how people will appreciate your Leadership. "Nelson Mandela, South African statesman

"A leader knows what to do; a manager only knows how to do it- Kenneth Adelman, American diplomat

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Table of Contents

What is leadership , what is management, difference between leadership vs. management, what are the similarities between leadership and management, what do managers do, what do leaders do, how to measure effective leadership, how to measure effective management, how to develop leadership and management skills, what are the traits a manager possesses, what are the traits a leader possesses, the three important differences between a manager and a leader, the three tests, final deduction, leadership vs management: understanding the key difference.

What’s the Difference Between Leadership vs Management?

A few years ago, leaders , entrepreneurs , and innovators created companies, whereas managers were hired to run their operations. But, nowadays, you will notice that our educational system is mostly geared towards business management education . Also, there is a perceptual change that treats both management and leadership as the same, which is not a mere reality. So, in this leadership vs management article, we will dig deep into the differences between leadership and management.

Leadership is the creation of positive, non-incremental change through meticulous planning, vision, and strategy. Workforce empowerment and adaptive decision-making also add up to the crucial attributes of leadership. Most often, people relate leadership with one’s position in an organization. But leadership has nothing to do with titles, management, or one’s personal agendas. It’s also not restricted to personality traits such as better vision or charismatic personality.

Watch this video to understand the difference between leadership and management.

It is more like a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a common goal. It stems from social influence and requires human resources to achieve the intended outcomes. A leader is someone who always takes the initiative and invests a great effort to accomplish the company’s vision. That is the only reason why people around them start following them. 

Leadership

Next, in this leadership vs management article, we will discover what management is all about.

Management is all about performing pre-planned tasks on a regular basis with the help of subordinates. A manager is completely responsible for carrying out the four important functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers can only become leaders if they adequately carry out leadership responsibilities, including communication of good and bad, providing inspiration and guidance, and encouraging employees to rise to a higher level of productivity.

Management

But, unfortunately, not all managers can achieve that. Managerial responsibilities are often outlined in a job description, with subordinates following because of the professional title or classification. A manager's primary focus is on meeting organizational goals; they often do not take much else into consideration. With the title comes the authority and the privilege to promote, hire, or reward employees based on their performance and behavior.

The role of management is to control a group or group of individuals in order to achieve a specified objective. Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the organization's success. 

Management is responsible for controlling an organization, a group, or a set of entities to achieve a particular objective. Managing is about making sure the day-to-day operations are being performed as expected. A leader communicates in order to set direction, inspire, and motivate their team .

Leadership requires a vision to guide change. Whereas managers focus on achieving organizational goals through process implementation, such as budgeting, organizational structure, and staffing, leaders are more concerned with thinking ahead and seizing opportunities.

It is possible to be a manager and a leader at the same time. But keep in mind that just because someone is a great leader doesn't mean they'll be a great manager or the other way around. So, what factors distinguish these two roles? Moving ahead in this leadership vs management article, we explore those factors.

1. Differences in Vision

Leaders are considered as visionaries. They set the pathways to excel the organizational growth. They always examine where their organization stands, where they want to go, and how they can reach there by involving the team. 

In comparison, managers set out to achieve organizational goals by implementing processes, such as budgeting, organizational structuring, and staffing. Managers' vision is bound to the implementation strategies, planning, and organizing tasks to reach the objectives set out by leaders. However, both of these roles are equally important in the context of business environments and necessitate associative efforts.

2. Organizing vs Aligning

Managers achieve their goals by using coordinated activities and tactical processes. They break down long-time goals into tiny segments and organize available resources to reach the desired outcome.

On the other hand, leaders are more concerned with how to align and influence people than how to assign work to them. They achieve this by assisting individuals in envisioning their function in a wider context and the possibility for future growth that their efforts may give.

Also Read Future Of Work: What Job Roles Will Look Like In 10 Years

3. Differences in Queries

A leader asks what and why, whereas a manager focuses on the questions of how and when. To do justice to their duties as a leader, one might question and challenge the authority to reverse decisions that may not be in the better interests of the team. If a firm has a stumbling block, a leader will be the one to step up and ask, What did we learn from this? and Why has this happened?

On the other hand, managers are not required to assess and analyze failures. Their job description emphasizes asking How and When, which assists them in ensuring that plans are carried out correctly. They prefer to accept the status quo and make no attempt to change it.

4. Position vs. Quality

A manager is a role that frequently refers to a specific job within an organization's structure, whereas the term leader has a more ambiguous definition. Leadership emerges as a result of your actions. You are a leader if you act in a way that inspires others to do their best. It makes no difference what your title or position is. On the other hand, a manager is a job title that comes with a fixed set of responsibilities.

Difference between Management and Leadership

There are many ways in which management and leadership are comparable. Both require establishing objectives, coming up with strategies to get there, and tracking the development. Both demand collaboration with others, effective communication , decision-making , problem-solving , strategic thinking, and accountability in order to succeed. Managers and leaders are responsible for gathering data, weighing options, and making decisions that will benefit their team or company. Additionally, they must accept accountability for their deeds and be open and honest about them. In general, effective leadership and management require a combination of these skills because they share many essential qualities.

A manager is a member of an organization with the responsibility of carrying out the four important functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. But are all managers leaders?

Most managers also tend to be leaders, but only IF they also adequately carry out the leadership responsibilities of management, which include communication, motivation, providing inspiration and guidance, and encouraging employees to rise to a higher level of productivity.

Unfortunately, not all managers are leaders. Some managers have poor leadership qualities, and employees follow orders from their managers because they are obligated to do so—not necessarily because they are influenced or inspired by the leader.

Managerial duties are usually a formal part of a job description; subordinates follow as a result of the professional title or designation. A manager’s chief focus is to meet organizational goals and objectives; they typically do not take much else into consideration. Managers are held responsible for their actions, as well as for the actions of their subordinates. With the title comes the authority and the privilege to promote, hire, fire, discipline, or reward employees based on their performance and behavior.

The primary difference between management and leadership is that leaders don’t necessarily hold or occupy a management position. Simply put, a leader doesn’t have to be an authority figure in the organization; a leader can be anyone.

Unlike managers, leaders are followed because of their personality, behavior, and beliefs. A leader personally invests in tasks and projects and demonstrates a high level of passion for work. Leaders take a great deal of interest in the success of their followers, enabling them to reach their goals to satisfaction—these are not necessarily organizational goals.

There isn’t always tangible or formal power that a leader possesses over his followers. Temporary power is awarded to a leader and can be conditional based on the ability of the leader to continually inspire and motivate their followers. 

Leader Vs Manager - Note 1

Subordinates of a manager are required to obey orders while following is optional when it comes to leadership. Leadership works on inspiration and trust among employees; those who do wish to follow their leader may stop at any time. Generally, leaders are people who challenge the status quo. Leadership is change-savvy, visionary, agile, creative, and adaptive.

Considering this certain leadership is an individualized and multifaceted concept, measuring successful leadership can be challenging. Assessing employee engagement , turnover rates, and performance metrics are a few typical methods to gauge effective leadership. Effective leaders are adept at fostering a positive work atmosphere and building trusting relationships with their team, which results in high employee engagement levels and reduced turnover rates. A leader's capacity to hit performance benchmarks and realize organizational objectives can also be used to gauge their efficacy. The efficacy of a leader can also be evaluated through regular performance reviews, 360-degree assessments, and feedback from stakeholders and employees. 

A number of variables, such as employee satisfaction, productivity, efficiency, and financial performance, can be used to gauge efficient management. High-performing teams should be easy to create and manage, effective delegation of tasks, clear goals and expectations, and the adoption of efficient procedures are all skills that successful managers should possess. A manager's efficacy can be evaluated using key performance indicators (KPIs) like sales figures, customer satisfaction ratings, and production rates. Additionally helpful sources of information about a manager's success include employee feedback, 360-degree evaluations, and routine performance reviews. In the end, a manager should be able to drive outcomes while fostering a good workplace culture and supporting employee growth.

There are various methods for honing management and leading abilities. One method is to look for formal education and training programs, such as management development programs or business courses. Another method is to participate in volunteer work, internships, or projects as a leader to gain real-world experience. It can also be helpful to find areas for improvement by asking for feedback from mentors, peers, and colleagues. Developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence can also improve leadership and management abilities. Keeping up with industry trends and networking with other pros can also present chances to pick up new insights and learn from others. Practice, feedback, and continuous learning are essential to developing effective leadership and management skills.

Traits of a Manager

Below are four important traits of a manager:

The Ability to Execute a Vision

Managers build a strategic vision and break it down into a roadmap for their team to follow.

The Ability to Direct

Managers are responsible for day-to-day efforts while reviewing necessary resources, and anticipating the need to make changes along the way.

Process Management

Managers have the authority to establish work rules, processes, standards, and operating procedures.

People Focused

Managers are known to look after and cater to the needs of the people they are responsible for: listening to them, involving them in certain key decisions, and accommodating reasonable requests for change to contribute to increased productivity.

Traits of a Leader

Below are five important traits of a leader:

Honesty and Integrity

Inspiration, communication skills, ability to challenge, become a business and leadership professional.

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Being a manager and a leader at the same time is a viable concept. But remember, just because someone is a phenomenal leader, it does not necessarily guarantee that the person will be an exceptional manager as well, and vice versa. So, what are the standout differences between the two roles?

A Leader Invents or Innovates While a Manager Organizes

A manager relies on control, whereas a leader inspires trust:, a leader asks the questions “what” and “why”, whereas a manager leans more toward the questions “how” and “when”:.

Leader Vs Manger - Note 2

In the article Three Differences Between Managers And Leaders , Vineet Nayar discusses three tests he devised to help managers decide if they have successfully made the shift from managing people to leading them.

The Three Tests - Leader Vs Manager

Counting Value vs. Creating Value:

Managers are the only ones who count value, he says. There are some who cut down on the value by disabling or otherwise countering ideas and people who add value. Leaders, however, focus instead on working to generate a certain value that is over and above that which the team creates—and is as much a creator of value as their followers. Nayar goes on to say, “Leading by example and leading by enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership.”

Circles of Influence vs. Circles of Power:

Leading people vs. managing people:.

Leading and managing are two contrasting ways of making employees work together more efficiently. Leadership is a spearhead for the new vision and initiatives, whereas management controls the resources effectively to bring those visions into the realm of reality. With the passing of time, you can shape your leadership skills by developing emotional intelligence and learning how to influence others.

In this leadership vs management article, you learned what leadership and management are all about. You discovered how both work in the context of corporate setup. Later, you went through the differences between leadership vs management. And finally, you dived into the article's deduction.

Are you a seasoned professional aspiring to enhance your leadership skills and advance your career? Look no further than this Executive Certificate Program In General Management . This comprehensive course is designed to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel in a management role while maintaining your current career commitments. The program provides you with a deep understanding of general management principles, strategic decision-making, leadership, and effective communication. With a curriculum tailored to the demands of today's dynamic business landscape, you'll gain a competitive edge and the confidence to take on leadership challenges head-on.

1. What is the major difference between leadership and management? 

Leadership and management are different from each other in many ways, however, the major difference between them is that management is a group of entities that work to accomplish a goal. Whereas, the leadership takes care of motivating, influencing, and empowering employees. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control. 

2. What are the 6 differences between leadership and management?

  • Leaders create a vision, managers create goals.
  • Leaders are change agents, managers maintain their status.. 
  • Leaders and unique, managers are influenced 
  • Leaders take risks, managers evaluate risk 
  • It takes time to become a leader, but it is easier to become a manager 
  • Leaders create relationships, managers create systems. 

3. Which is more important, leadership or management? 

Both leaders and managers are important to run a successful business. Leadership ensures the overall values and ethics of the organization, whereas managers structure teams to achieve targets.

4. What is the difference between management and leadership?

Leadership focuses on motivating employees, making them believe in your vision and setting the right work culture at the company. On the other hand, management stresses day-to-day task progress and related issues.

5. Which is better, management or leadership?

Both management and leadership are naturally crucial for the smooth working of an organization. But, leadership is ahead of the management — a well-balanced organizational leadership in the core. Disciple process, vision and passion are essential to building a successful business. 

6. What are the two key differences between leadership and management?

The 2 key differences between leadership and management are - 

  • Leadership creates values, management counts those values. 
  • Leadership leads people, management manages the work people do.

7. What comes first, leadership or management?

Leadership comes first as they drive the organization with their vision. 

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Leadership vs. Management: What’s the Difference?

leader vs manager essay

As a professional, attaining leadership skills is important—and not just for management roles. People often mistakenly equate leadership with management, but there are fundamental differences between the two; they are separate and distinct skill sets. Management involves a focus on executing functions and a strategic vision for the organization, whereas leadership is about motivating people toward a common goal. In fact, you don’t have to have the title of manager or have direct reports to be a leader. You can demonstrate leadership skills in any role . 

Read on to learn more about the differences between leadership and management skills, and learn how you can improve your leadership skills to effect change.

Differences in Leadership Skills vs. Management Skills

“Managers support an organization by executing tasks, functions, and activities that align with the organizational strategy,” says  Mary Ludden , assistant teaching professor and Senior Vice President for Global Network and Strategic Initiatives at Northeastern University. 

Management Skills

Management skills are critical to the success of any enterprise, she adds. “Management skills allow an individual to become highly attuned to achieving an established set of targets while supporting their teams,” Ludden says. “Many time managers operate in highly complex environments, with significant responsibilities, and constantly motivate their teams to achieve outstanding performance results. That is no easy task.”

In contrast, Ludden says, “Leaders serve as the cheerleaders-in-chief for their teams, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Leadership establishes the mission, vision, and strategy of the organization. More importantly, leadership offers ongoing clarity to their teams to ensure that the objectives that align with the strategy are transparent.” Many professionals who possess strong leadership skills are also managers, but they don’t necessarily have to be, she adds. 

Difference Between Leadership and Management

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Leadership Skills

Leadership skills at any level allow an individual to stretch beyond their day-to-day focus and imagine the future. “Leaders are constantly scanning the internal and external environments to help inform the direction they take the organization in,” says Ludden. “Organizations are realizing that the leaders of the future need to embrace uncertainty, be a catalyst for change, and create a culture of innovation.”

“The distinction between leadership and management is on the area focus,” says Ludden. “Managers ensure that the day-to-day operations are executed at exceptional levels, and constantly evaluate their performance against a series of key performance indicators.

Leaders, rather than focusing on day-to-day activities, strive to be forward-looking across a horizon of time to seek out future opportunities. This ensures the sustainability of the organization. That forward-looking mindset crosses a myriad of activities, which may include seeking new markets, expanding product lines, and most importantly, ensuring they are laser-focused on developing and supporting their teams.”

What Makes A Good Leader

Ludden also says there are many myths as to what constitutes a good leader, and it’s important to dispel these misconceptions. “It’s common for people to think that leadership means being the boss and making all the decisions,” she says. “In reality, leadership is about identifying key talent and allowing your team to support which direction the organization takes.  Another misconception is that leadership is easy. It’s actually incredibly difficult and requires great resilience and fortitude. Strong leaders need to have the right combination of courage, integrity, and futuristic thinking.”

Examples of Leadership in Practice Author Susan Cain is one example of a less traditional, yet highly effective, leader. As a self-professed introvert, Cain is challenging businesses and schools to look beyond an extrovert-dominated culture and foster leaders with different temperaments . Rooted in academic research, her work encourages organizations to harness the creativity of all employees by rethinking hiring and office design practices. Similarly, she is inspiring educators to avoid constant collaboration and give introverted students opportunities for quiet reflection where they can do their best work.   Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun is another example of a thought leader who is reimagining education in the face of increasingly smart machines. He has a clear vision which recognizes the need to “ robot-proof ” students; that is, educating the next generation of university students to fill needs in society that even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence agent cannot.  “President Aoun is forcing a dialogue, not just in higher education, but across the world on the change needed for individuals to be successful in an age of artificial intelligence,” says Ludden. “He is a great example of a catalyst for change, who is passionate about his organization and our learners, but is out in front of the pack leading the charge for a reimagined form of learning.”

The Demand for Leaders

Nearly all organizations benefit from having team members with the ingenuity and initiative to spark change and positively influence those around them . This demand for effective leadership is why an increasing number of employers are seeking leadership skills in staff across the business. 

“In an era of accelerated disruptions, from economic to technology to globalization, leaders of today’s world need to succeed in a highly ambiguous environment, which requires critical thinking skills and bold decision making,” Ludden remarks.

Gaining leadership skills opens up a world of opportunities to drive change in powerful ways, aid in your professional development, and to advance your career. To hone these skills, Ludden encourages “anyone looking to gain leadership skills to engage in a program that consists of experiential learning. Learning concepts while applying them in an experiential learning environment helps students gain valuable skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace.” “To me, the greatest leaders have an insatiable curiosity, are passionate about their team, and constantly push their organizations to transform and evolve. I think any trait—including leadership—can be learned, honed, and elevated when you are a lifelong learner and have a passion for learning in an experiential environment.”

Ready to improve your leadership skills to accelerate your career? Take the first step by learning more about Northeastern’s Bachelor of Science in Management program .

Job Responsibilities of a Leader vs. Manager

Leadership and management are terms that most people often use interchangeably. Although both concepts are complementary, they are not the same. Indeed, there exists a significant difference between leading and managing. However, both play an integral role in the growth and productivity of a company. Recognizing the difference in these approaches to team management contributes significantly to enabling business organizations to take advantage of both styles while understanding the potential consequence. While leaders have followers and a group of people looking up to them, managers have people who perform the assigned tasks. A successful company requires strong and resilient leaders and managers to guide and inspire their teams toward attaining the firm’s vision. Leaders focus on helping employees understand, believe in their vision, and work to achieve the stipulated goals. Managers aim to administer tasks and ensure that a company’s daily operations run smoothly.

Definition for Leaders and Managers

A leader is someone who is driven by the right motivation to make a positive impact on the people around them. Hence, they focus on inspiring, managing, and supporting their teams to work creatively and confidently toward the stipulated organizational goals. Leaders empower their followers to embrace their unique leadership traits while motivating them to maintain lasting progress and zeal toward attaining their goals. These individuals can see how they can improve things and rally people toward a better vision. Leadership extends beyond motivation to other aspects, such as empathy and connecting with people to help them achieve success (Kock et al., 2018). Again, leaders work towards actualizing their vision while putting people first. Leaders take the initiative and invest great efforts in positively impacting the lives of those around them and accomplish the organization’s vision, influencing many people to start following them.

Managers are responsible for leading a team of workers to meet organizational goals and achieve performance metrics. Thus, management revolves around helping a team perform pre-planned tasks daily. Hence, these individual conducts a wide range of responsibilities such as scheduling, organizing, delegating, and monitoring. Managers portray leadership traits if they adequately perform various roles such as communication, inspiring, guiding, and motivating workers to improve their productivity and performance. Unfortunately, not every manager is a leader. Since this role focuses on attaining a company’s goals, they may only consider incorporating the leadership aspects if they are fulfilling the responsibilities outlined in their job description. The title also comes with authority to promote, reward, hire, or even fire workers depending on their performance and behavior.

Arguments For and Against Distinguishing Leaders from Managers

Arguments for differentiating these two roles rely on the notion that being endorsed into a role that involves supervising people does not automatically make them leaders. There exists a clear distinction between these two roles. Some differences are that leaders focus on creating a vision while managers create performance goals, meaning they are task-oriented (Azad et al., 2017). Leaders inspire and engage their followers to help turn their vision into a reality. Besides thinking beyond what ordinary people do, they activate their teams to be part of something bigger. Management entails setting, measuring, and attaining goals. Hence, managers strive to control situations to achieve or exceed these objectives. Besides, leaders serve as change agents while managers maintain the status quo. Leadership involves embracing change, understanding, and accepting that the phenomenon often creates waves. Managers work with what is present and focus on refining schemes and processes to better them. Overall, leaders help their followers improve personally and professionally and achieve their goals, but management primarily entails giving directions to help a team attain a given performance standard.

Some arguments against distinguishing leaders and managers are that both professionals focus on improving organizational outcomes. In other words, the two positions are pivotal in enhancing performance and productivity. Workers need managers to conduct daily operations, while leaders take on risks and build senior employees. Another view is that managers can assume leaders’ roles and vice versa, making their responsibilities similar. As a result, both may contribute significantly to unlocking the real potential of their subordinates and getting tasks done.

Comparing and Contrasting Leadership Traits

With change being a constant in the current corporate world, good leadership has evolved to integrate various traits that can help businesses adapt to the transformation. Specifically, the rise of technological advancement and remote working options, especially in the contemporary era, has played a crucial role in shaping the leadership style and the traits that leaders should have, altering their way of doing things globally. Just a few years ago, autocratic leadership was the norm. Remote working was an abstract idea, and leaders made critical decisions with little or no input from their employees. Some of the most effective leadership traits developed and evolved over the past few decades include empathy, flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to listen.

Empathy has evolved from being nice to have to an imperative trait for effective leadership. In other words, it has been a critical skill for leaders but is taking on a new level of meaning and priority recently. Empathetic leaders have become vital assets to organizations. Apart from effectively building and maintaining a relationship with the diverse workforce, they allow teams to thrive in turbulent times. Like empathy, flexibility has also become a vital skill that enables leaders to respond to volatile and erratic circumstances. Flexibility enables leaders to adapt to change by reviewing their plans to integrate innovations and conquer new challenges. Adaptability is also a requirement since the change has become constant and inevitable, creating a need for leaders to be flexible to succeed (Torre & Sarti, 2020). As mentioned earlier, an autocracy was one of the most common leadership styles a few decades ago. Hence, leaders did not value listening or considering the views or opinions of their subjects. However, things have changed over time, whereby collaboration has become essential for organizational success. The collaborative style has necessitated increased willingness to listen among leaders to empathize with their employees, show care, create a work environment of trust, and foster unity, motivation, and commitment.

The Influence of Level of Responsibility on Managerial or Leadership Activities and Behaviors

Depending on the size and nature of a company, business roles range from the executive position to the operational level. The phenomenon plays a central role in determining the behaviors and activities of each employee within an organization. For example, leaders who occupy executive positions perform supervisory and administrative tasks. The three common types of managers are top, middle, and low levels (Bäck et al., 2019). Their activities differ in their daily responsibilities, the broader functions of the organization, and the type of employees they manage. The administrative or the top level comprises the board of directors and the CEO. They are the ultimate source of power and authority’s source and fulfill various roles, including overseeing the goals and policies of an organization. In other words, they control the entire organization. The middle-level management executes these plans and policies, serving as intermediaries between the top and low-level managers. The entry or low-level managers direct tasks and ensure that employees perform the assigned duties. Hence, some of their primary activities include supervising, coordinating, and delegating tasks directly to the workers. They are also responsible for communicating with middle management.

Guideline for Leaders and Managers

The guideline that may help define job responsibilities and set performance goals for these professionals include character and integrity, creating a vision, and keeping everyone focused on achieving the vision. These individuals should also mentor new leaders, be accountable, avoid conflicts and disputes, plan, communicate effectively, and adapt. Indeed, leaders and managers should maintain good character and integrity (Choi et al., 2020). Their words should match their actions and strive to foster a safe environment for everyone in the organization. Besides, they should have a vision and ensure that they help others towards achieving it. Another measure of a leader’s performance goal is their ability to mentor new leaders. A vision will only be complete if more people can lead at every project level. Moreover, leaders and managers should be accountable, open to ideas, and honest. They should also avoid engaging in unhealthy fights and conflicts with their colleagues. Instead, leaders should have character and integrity to respect everyone in the organization. Other elements that help define the job responsibilities of leaders and managers include the ability to communicate effectively, planning, and adaptability. These roles entail interacting and directing workers, creating a need to articulate communications to enhance clarity and understanding of the message. Adaptability involves being flexible to change, including the willingness to integrate tools and technology in the execution of tasks.

Innate Nature of Leadership vs. Management

Some people believe that the innate nature of leadership is innate, implying that leaders are born, not made. The proponents of this viewpoint indicate that genetics contributes significantly to what a person becomes physically and in their personality when they grow up. Hence, genes and environmental factors influence one’s traits which are essential in determining leadership potential. According to the Great Man theory, leaders are born rather than made (Benmira & Agboola, 2021). A person’s leadership qualities rely on one’s personality traits, some inherited. This scenario implies that leadership is unique, but one can copy managing skills. While leaders are willing to be themselves by portraying their inherent traits and applying them in their role, managers mimic competencies and behaviors and may learn from others. Thus, leadership is considered innate since some people may have various innate traits that give them high leadership potential. On the other hand, one may become a better manager through training or mimicking others.

Overall, management entails a set of procedures that keep a company functioning. Leadership requires the ability to influence a team toward attaining organizational objectives. While managers focus on productivity, leaders are interested in their subjects, who perform tasks and processes that lead to productivity. Both roles are highly crucial for the success of any business organization. However, being a manager seems like a job, while leadership is a role. The reason is that leaders guide and inspire, intriguing a positive change. As a result, managers should consider incorporating leadership skills in their profession by putting the interest of their followers before measuring individual success. The practice will contribute significantly to helping employees and organizations grow, eventually enhancing overall outcomes.

Azad, N., Anderson, H. G., Brooks, A., Garza, O., O’Neil, C., Stutz, M. M., & Sobotka, J. L. (2017). Leadership and management are the same. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education ,  81 (6). https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe816102

Benmira, S., & Agboola, M. (2021). Evolution of leadership theory.  BMJ Leader . https://doi.org/10.1136/leader-2020-000296

Bäck, A., Schwarz, U. V., Hasson, H., & Richter, A. (2019). Aligning perspectives? —Comparison of top and middle-level managers’ views on how the organization influences the implementation of evidence-based practice. The British Journal of Social Work ,  50 (4), 1126-1145. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz085

Choi, Y., Yoon, D., & Kim, D. (2020). Leader behavioral integrity and employee in-role performance: The roles of coworker support and job autonomy.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ,  17 (12), 4303. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124303

Kock, N., Mayfield, M., Mayfield, J., Sexton, S., & De La Garza, L. M. (2018). Empathetic leadership: How leader emotional support and understanding influences follower performance.  Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies ,  26 (2), 217–236. https://doi.org/10.1177/1548051818806290

Torre, T., & Sarti, D. (2020). The “Way” toward E-leadership: Some evidence from the Field.  Frontiers in Psychology ,  11 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.554253

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Essay on Leader vs Manager

Introduction

Distinctions exist between leaders and managers in organizations. However, in an organization, performance of leadership and management need to complement each other. The functions of a manager are to plan activities as well as coordination. Leaders on the other hand, perform their functions by way of motivating individuals as well as providing inspiration. In respect to Wine Lovers Enterprises, Ted Baker inherited the presidency role from his father a decade ago. As the president of the organization, Ted provides the leadership role. The organization based at Finger Lakes, New York, specializes in the manufacture of Synthetic Corks, Wine bottles and labels.

Matters of Contention

Ted recognizes that there has been growing competition from other players in the wine market. It has become apparent that the organization faces competition from other producers flocking the market. The increase of competition for the company comes from other producers of the wine products from China. Ted recognizes that in order to remain relevant in the market he needs to change his manufacturing strategy. Ted considers introducing Chinese experts in the manufacturing of products.

The other important aspect of the organization structure transformation relates to a plan to encourage meetings. The organization’s teams have been meeting annually for decades. The other aspect concern to the organization relates to the financial health of the organization (Doh & Quigley, 2014). The organization faces challenges in the management of female employees who represent almost the entire population. There is brewing tension from female employees since none of them represents the top management staff. There is a consideration of including female in the top management level. The company has to consider between avoiding the influences of unions and the influence of the middle management.

Organizational Plan

Purpose and goals

Wine Lovers Enterprises under the leadership of Ted Baker concentrates in the manufacture of labels Synthetic Corks and wine bottles. The company is family owned currently under new management. For the last decades, the company, which operates in New York, meets customers’ needs. In business, the goal for any successful leader is to motivate employees towards attainment of profits. The purpose of Wine Lovers Enterprises is to make profits in the Wine business segment. The organization leadership utilizes employee’s influence to meet market demands. The other purpose of the organization is to increase; market shares (Doh & Quigley, 2014). The company provides distinct products for the wine market industry. The provision of these products concurs with human resource goals.

The human resource goal for the organization is to ensure efficient management of administrative tasks. The other goal in this category is to ensure that the organization maintains company policies, as well as national policies. Wine Lovers Enterprises goal is to promote diversity of workers, ensure training of employees and identification of employee needs (Neithercut, 2014). The other important goal for the organization is to improve its communication. Maintenance of clear communication channels with customers is another goal. Clear communication channels are important in the management of human resources (Doh & Quigley, 2014). Improvement of the marketing aspect for the organization is another important task for the organization.

Vision and Mission Statements

At Wine Lovers Enterprises, the vision is to be the best company in the world. The function of the company is to maintain a competitive edge over customers, communities, shareholders and people. The vision of the organization is to attain a global status (Neithercut, 2014). Part of the vision of the organization is to provide quality synthetic corks and wine bottles to consumers. The vision of Wine Lovers is to earn customer loyalty, trust and anticipate their current needs. The administration of the organization wishes to maintain flexibility, provide innovate products and maintain mutual respect.

The mission of the firm is to maintain long-term partnerships with customers. Part of the mission for the organization is to work honestly and with integrity (Neithercut, 2014). The company embraces change as well as innovation in the market. Further the mission of the organization to maintain excellence in all endeavors. It is the mission of Wine Lovers Enterprises to improve best practices, as well as meet employee needs.

Organizational Structure

Wine Lovers Enterprises utilizes a democratic organizational structure. Democratic organization structures are more adaptive and responsive to market needs. The other importance of utilizing democratic organization structures is to align the organization towards global trends. Democratic organizations are more humane, avoid wastage of resources and more sustainable. The utilization of democratic organization structure ensures responsible distribution of resources. Democratic leadership structure assists in the empowering of group members in organizations (Goswami & Goswami, 2010). Democratic organization structures assists in decision making in organizations.

The organization’s organization structure begins with Ted as the president. Ted activities involve facilitation of finance and other logistical support. The leader is instrumental in the building of collective identity in the organization. In the development of the organization plan, Ted provides basis for organizational cooperation and in the building of trust. Ted other function assists in maintaining relation with suppliers and customers (Goswami & Goswami, 2010). The president of the organization is also a change agent. Various important changes by Ted have had an implication in the performance of Wine Lovers Enterprises. The organization faces the challenge of the introduction of Unions. This threat comes as a response to poor representation of female employees in the management levels. Ted utilizes his influence in the organization by appointing two female employees to the management level.

The organization structure of the firm consists of two vice presidents. The two vice presidents represent the marketing and finance departments. The vice president responsible for marketing liaises with the president of the firm in the provision of marketing strategies. The individual responsible for the finance docket provide forecasts for financing activities at the firm. The other departments of the organization include the customer service department. Marketing and research department is another important aspect for the organization.

Market and research department provides constant market information. The department is instrument t instrumental in the provision of advice for manufacturing as marketing. The other departments on the organization structure include the position for the director of sales. The other departments to the organization structure are the position for the manager of accounting, planning, and information technology.

leader vs manager essay

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Wine Lovers Enterprise organization structure

Organization Culture

The organization culture for the firm integrates diversity in the performance of organization functions. The utilization of the perspective of diversity for the organization ensures the inclusion of female employees to the management positions. Ted recognizes the organization consists of 80% of white employees. The inclusion of the culture of diversity has seen the inclusion of people of color to the ranks of employees. The connection of diversity of workers to work perspective promotes respect and utilization of skills (Daya, 2014). The organization culture of Wine Lovers Enterprises values people talents and skills. In the management of the organization, Ted understands the different perspective employees have to the organization.

This therefore, ensures that the management expects high standards from employees irrespective of their racial class. Organization cultures that embraces diversity promotes the utilization of cultural skills in a creative manner (Daya, 2014). The Utilization of culture in the firm comes with the facilitation of programs by Ted. The program developed by the president ensures the interaction of employees after 3 months. The human resource team considers people of diverse backgrounds. It is a policy for the organization to reserve 30% of its vacancy for female employees. About 20 percent of the management positions represent female employees and people from diverse backgrounds (Daya, 2014). On the other hand, the organization utilizes the services of Chinese experts in the provision of new quality of products.

Environment for Change

The increase in competition in the market provides a favorable condition for change. The increase of competition from imports from China provides a reason for Wine Lovers Enterprise to change. This implication makes the organization sought for the services of experts from China. There is an increase of debate on the representation of female employees at the management positions. Female employees at the organization represent a huge percentage of employees. The possibility of this group of employees introducing union influence provides the basis for change. The provision of multiple positions at the organization provides basis for change. The provision of new management positions implies a change in employees’ culture (Daya, 2014).

Doh, J. P., & Quigley, N. R. (2014). Responsible Leadership and Stakeholder Management: Influence Pathways and Organizational Outcomes.  Academy Of Management Perspectives ,  28 (3), 255-274.

Goswami, C., & Goswami, S. (2010). Role of Organisation Structure in Facilitating Marketing.  Global Business & Management Research ,  2 (2/3), 162-183.

Neithercut, M. E. (2014). Have a Mission to Preserve a Vision.  Family Foundation Advisor ,  13 (6), 1.

Daya, P. (2014). Diversity and inclusion in an emerging market context.  Equality, Diversity & Inclusion ,  33 (3), 293-308.

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