The Difference Between Leadership And Management



High-quality team members know the difference between leadership and management, and they know how to use each skill set at the appropriate time. Organizations need both leaders and managers in order to function effectively. A leader focuses on vision, while a manager focuses on logistics.















How Leadership and Management Differ


One difference between leadership and management is that a leader provides the "what" and the "why", while a manager focuses on the "how" the "who" the "when" and the "where". Leaders set the direction for a team, and managers execute the vision step-by-step, day-by-day, by directing the details of personnel and workflow.

Another difference between leadership and management is that a leader motivates group members, while a manager provides immediate feedback on performance. Leadership involves inspiring the best work from everyone, either by using words that galvanize or setting an example that invigorates. Management, on the other hand, requires knowledge of specific competencies expected from colleagues and the ability to monitor and coach to those competencies on-the-spot.

A final difference between leadership and management is that a leader is proactive, but a manager is reactive. Leaders anticipate both the victories and the challenges in the arc of a project ahead of time and communicates those to the group. Managers tune into the unexpected on the ground and communicates those events upward.


When to be a Leader and When to be a Manager


At the beginning of a project, it is crucial to know the difference between leadership and management. Articulating the vision to the group and letting them know the purpose behind it creates unity and dedication to a common purpose. Relying on only management skills in the beginning of a project, focusing only on the logistics, can have one of two effects. One effect could be that team members feel dictated to rather than included because they do not know the reason behind the project. The other effect could be that the group has no unity because each member sees his or her tasks but does not see how the work of each individual fits into the whole.

During the execution of a project, management skills become more essential. The difference between leadership and management is that a leader provides inspiration from a distance, while a manager rolls up his or her sleeves and works on the details. If a supervisor does not show the willingness to problem-solve alongside others during work, associates may assume that the supervisor is inattentive and may question his or her competence.


Without their moment to shine, team members may feel that their work is not valued.


At the end of a project, leadership again becomes important. The team deserves praise for their accomplishments. Executing this difference between leadership and management motivates the team for the beginning of the next step in the vision or for the next project. Without their moment to shine, team members may feel that their work is not valued.

A leader is not just a leader or a manager; he or she has to develop both qualities to a high level of proficiency. The most successful leaders know the difference between leadership and management, and they know right times to call upon both skill sets for the benefit of the team.

May God Bless You!

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