Leadership v Management

It is vitally important for Clever leaders to understand the difference between these two business roles. It will guide their business to success preventing them from getting trapped in the engine room.

Leadership Versus 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 short-term objectives which lead to achieveing the long-term aim.

‘Management is about Arranging and Telling.

Leadership is about Nurturing and Enhancing’. Tom Peters

Who is a leader?

A leader is someone who sets a 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 their vision.

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.

The main differences between leadership and management.

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

Measuring A Leader’s Performance

A leader’s performance is measured by their:

  • Ability to make a positive impact on their followers and the organizational goals.
  • Ability to get their team to work towards a common goal.
  • Progress made towards achieving that goal.

Measuring A Manager’s Performance

A manager’s performance is measured by their:

  • 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 may have little formal authority whereas managers often have formal (written) authority that places the manager over employees. Employees often have to accept a manager’s order’s even if they don’t want to.


Leaders are outward-looking. They deal with the future and 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 v Management – Similarities

Although there are differences between leadership and management roles, they also complement each other and sometimes overlap. Leaders sometimes need to manage things themselves, budgets, personnel etc. Managers sometimes have to take on a leadership role setting the longer term aims for their teams, maintaining motivation, standards and timelines.

More Cleverness:

Clever Leaders need E.I. – 5 Clever Steps To Develop Yours.

Motivation – 4 Sources Of Motivation For Clever People

Motivation – Encouraging The Heart

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

Main image:Pixabay.com


Posted in Leadership.