leadership v management

The Difference Between Managers And Leaders

002 Clever Leadership Series (This Clever article)

001 Clever Leadership Series Introduction

Clever Content

  • What is leadership? (Recap)
  • Leadership V's Management
  • Who is a manager?
  • Who is a leader?
  • 3 Differences between managers and leaders.
  • Measuring Performance
  • Leadership overview.
  • Leadership / Management similarities.

What is Leadership?

Leadership is a process of influencing others to achieve a common goal.

Influence: The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour, opinions, etc., of others: ... https://www.dictionary.com/browse/influence.

Leadership V’s Management

Leadership is outward-looking. It is setting the long-term aim and direction of the company.

Management is inward-looking. It is ensuring that everything works together to reach the long term aim of the company.

'Management is about Arranging and Telling.

Leadership is about Nurturing and Enhancing'.

Tom Peters

Who is a manager?

A manager is any person who is in charge of certain tasks or a certain part of an organization. It is someone who breaks-down and coordinates the activities of others to achieve the organizational goal.

Who is a leader?

A leader is someone who sets the long term goal. They have the vision and give the direction for others to follow. They also provide the motivation and energy for others to trust and believe in them and their vision.


3 differences between leadership and management.

  1. Measuring performance
  2. Independence
  3. Duties and Responsibilities

Measuring A Leaders Performance

A leader’s performance is measured by:

  • Their ability to make a positive impact on their followers and the organization.
  • Their ability to get their team to work towards the common goal.
  • The progress made towards achieving the goal.

Measuring A Managers Performance

A manager’s performance is measured by:

  • Ability to plan the objectives which lead to the common goal.
  • Progress towards each objective and its completion.
  • Efficiency in achieving the objectives including budgeting and organizational skills.
  • Progress towards achieving the goal.


Leaders can have little formal authority. Followers often choose to follow leaders. They are not forced to follow.

Managers often have formal (written) authority that places the manager over employees. Employees often have to accept a manager’s order even if they don't want to.


Leaders are 'outward looking'. They deal with the future. They give long term direction.

Managers are 'inward looking'. They set objectives, direct teams and deal with, processes, budgets, equipment, and things.

Leadership Overview

  • Leaders are innovators.
  • They set the direction for the business.
  • They motivate others.
  • They are trustworthy.
  • They develop others to reach their full potential.
  • They have empathy.

Management Overview

  • Managers organize and make plans.
  • They control teams.
  • They solve problems.
  • They focus on resources and systems.
  • They administer control.

Leadership vs. Management - Similarities

Although there are differences between leadership and management roles, they also complement each other and sometimes overlap.

Check Your Cleverness

  • Think about leaders and managers you have met.
  • Describe the main differences between them.
  • Describe some of the similarities and differences between leadership and management roles.

Also see our Clever Article: The 4 sources of motivation.

Additional reading (external link): Understanding the differences: Leadership Vs. Management

Main image: Pixabay.com

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