What are the Differences Between Management and Leadership?

The differences between management and leadership are like the differences between an airplane and the pilot. Neither one is much good without the other but together they can accomplish a great deal provided both understand their roles.

The pilot in the above analogy represents the leader. The leader is the one that decides what direction they will go in and how fast they will travel. The airplane of course represents the manager and they are responsible for following the direction of the leader and getting them to where they need to be. Based on where the leader wants to go the manager determines what resources are necessary to get there. In either case if the leader or manager are flawed the mission may end in a disaster.

So one of the differences between management and leadership is that the leader is the person with a vision and the manager is the person that manages the resources in order to accomplish that vision. In some cases the leader and manager is the same person but they must put on different hats if they want to be successful.

If I am a small business owner and I want to expand my business the leadership portion of my position must have a vision of what I want to accomplish. Perhaps it’s to open up another product line in order to reach out to a greater customer base within the next two years. The leader within me must help my staff see that same vision and believe in it as much as I do. The leader within me must also be seen as someone that has the integrity to see the entire vision through, or make the appropriate adjustments along the way.

The differences between management and leadership in this case are that management is tasked with using the resources available to make the leaders vision a reality. Like the airplane and pilot analogy the leader and manager must be on the same page. The manager will identify the resources necessary and the leader will be responsible for providing them. That may mean securing more finances to approving to hire more staff.

A real good example of showing the differences between management and leadership is to use another example.

If I was a property investor and my vision was to buy properties that needed attention for less than the market value, make the necessary improvements, and then sell them for a profit I would be considered the leader. However, I would need a general manager (referred to as a General Contractor), if not myself, to manage that process. That process might include contracting or hiring plumbers, electricians, painters, cabinet installers, flooring installers, and any other necessary part of restoring the home to a condition whereby I can sell it for a profit. The better the leader and manager are the more successful the venture will be.

So that is the major differences between management and leadership!

Thank you and may God bless you!

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