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Difference Between Leadership and Management

Leadership vs Management


Leadership and management are not two mutually exclusive terms and have many similarities. However, they differ in a number of respects though they are desirable qualities that go hand in hand. Mangers are often mistakenly talked about as leaders whereas in reality there is a great difference between leadership and management which will be discussed in this article.

The biggest difference between leadership and management arises from the way they motivate people who work around them as this sets the tone for all other aspects of an organization. By definition, management has an aura or authority vested in it by the company. Subordinates work under it, and largely do as they are told. This is transactional style in that managers tell workers what to do and workers do because they are promised a reward (salary or bonus). Management is normally paid to get things done within the constraints of time and money. Management tends to come from stable backgrounds and lead relatively comfortable lives. This makes them averse to taking risks and they seek to avoid conflict as far as possible. In terms of people, they like to run a happy ship.

Leaders on the other hand do not have subordinates. They tend to have followers, and following is more of a voluntary activity than a forced one as in the case of subordinates. Leadership is a charismatic, transformational style. Leaders do not tell people what to do as this does not inspire them. Leadership appeals to workers and they desire to follow leaders. Leadership can make workers walk into dangers and situations that they normally would not consider risking. Leadership requires giving credit to people and motivating them by praising for good work. Leadership requires taking all the blame and shielding the followers in sharp contrast to management which is always happy to pass the buck on to the subordinates and is first to take credit for good performance.

Though both leadership and management are work focused and strive for better results, leadership motivates and encourages workers whereas management treats them as mere resources. While management is averse to risk, leadership is risk seeking. Leadership happily breaks rules to get things done whereas management sticks to rules and follows rules and regulations.

Differences between Leadership and Management

• While the essence of leadership is change, that of management is stability

• While leadership focuses on leading people, management focuses on work management.

• Leadership requires followers, while management requires subordinates

• Management seeks objectives while leadership seeks vision

• Management plans in detail while leadership sets direction

• Leadership facilitates decision making whereas management makes decisions

• Power in leadership comes from personal charisma while in management it is vested.

• Leadership appeals to hear whereas management appeals to head

• Leadership is proactive while management is reactive

• Leadership is transformational style while management is transactional style

• Leadership wants achievement while management wants results

• Management makes rules whereas leadership breaks rules

• Management charters existing routes while leadership takes new directions

• While leadership is all about what is right, management is concerned with being right

• Leadership gives credit while management takes credit

• Leadership takes blame while management passes on the buck


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