Difference Between A Manager And A Leader Essay

What Is the Difference between Leadership and Management?

The definition of management we can find in literature: management is the ability to identify, develop and support people so that individual contributions and contributions as a group promote organizational prosperity.

Leadership is defined as an activity or set of attributes which is capable of producing a change and releasing innovation and development.

Although the definition of the leadership may seem much the same as that of the management, these two notions differ. Usually, management is meant to plan, forecast, budget, and control. Leadership has very little to do with planning, budgeting and controlling. A leader and a manager are playing quite different roles. 


Leaders Are Special, Aren’t They?

Those who hold a leadership role know that leadership based on human trust is a profitable way to run a company. If there’s no one to lead a team the employees will hardly care about the mission that may be the reason in a further fracturing of the team and losing its steam.

Managers are considered to be a part of the machine. The manager’s job is to run a machine, a company etc. while that of the leader is to give an energy to his or her team to achieve the mission.

Here are the main differences between a leader and a manager:

1. Managers create aims - leaders create visions.

Leaders activate people to work together in order to accomplish the tasks set. Managers set and measure the goals.

2. Leaders deal with changes, managers are a part of a system.

Even if things are working well, leaders aim at changing them in such a way to make them work better, sometimes making waves. Managers try to make processes and structures work better. 

3. Leaders take risks, managers control them.

Leaders are not afraid of failures as they know that any failure may lead to success. Managers work to control and minimize the risks.

4. Leaders are constantly learning something new, managers rely on their skills and experience.

Leaders know that it’s rather important to learn something new to succeed, they seek for people that will expand their mind and thinking. Managers mostly improve their existing skills.

Managers are considered “rational”, “analytical”, “structured”, “persistent”, and “tough-minded”. Good leaders inspire creativity and are good motivators. Good managers inspire competence and discipline.

Leadership as a Matter of Perception

The difference between leadership and management is a contrived one, and we could perhaps dismiss the problem with that except for one troubling little fact: in real-life organizations, there are clearly people who are more effective in positions of authority than others – who are actually better leaders than other people in exactly the same clearly-defined organizational roles.

The position of authority is perceived – by both the person having it and by his subordinates – as conferring some special qualities on the leader so that even very ordinary activities are considered somehow special. For example, small talk among coworkers is just small talk; small talk between the “leader” and “follower”, however, is “inspiring” or “motivating”.

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Leadership is a quality of influencing people, so that the objectives are attained willingly and enthusiastically. It is not exactly same as management, as leadership is one of the major element of management. Management is a discipline of managing things in the best possible manner. It is the art or skill of getting the work done through and with others. It can be found in all the fields, like education, hospitality, sports, offices etc.

One of the major difference between leadership and management, is management is for formal and organized group of people only, whereas leadership is for both formal and informal groups. To further comprehend the two concepts, take a read of the given article.

Content: Leadership Vs Management

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Key Differences
  4. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonLeadershipManagement
MeaningLeadership is a skill of leading others by examples.Management is an art of systematically organizing and coordinating things in an efficient way.
Emphasis onInspiring PeopleManaging activities
Focus onEncouraging changeBringing stability
Formulation of Principles and guidelinesPolicies and Procedures
PerspectiveLeadership requires good foresightedness.Management has a short range perspective.

Definition of Leadership

The skill of leading a group of people and inspiring them towards a direction is known as Leadership. It is an interpersonal process which involves influencing a person or a group, so as to ensure achievement of objectives, willingly and enthusiastically.

It is not a lesson to be taught, but a quality which is possessed by only a few number of people. The person who owns this quality is known as a leader. A leader is someone who has a large number of people following him, as their inspiration. Some examples of leaders, which are born in India are Mahatma Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan, Kiran Bedi,  Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, etc.

Leadership is an activity of guiding and directing people to work together in achieving the objectives. It requires a good vision of thinking across the boundaries.

In an enterprise, you can see a number of leaders who are responsible for the work of their team members. For the achievement of a single objective, the employees of the organisation are divided into teams and each team is assigned a task which they have to complete within the specified time. Each team comprises of a leader who is appointed on the basis of merit cum seniority.

In the business environment, leadership is not only limited to persons, but an organisation can also attain leadership in the market by defeating its competitors. Leadership can be in terms of product, market share, brand, cost, etc.

Definition of Management

The word management is a combination of four terms, i.e. man+age+men+t (technique). In this way, management refers to a technique used by a man for dealing and managing persons (men) of different age group, to work together for achieving a common objective.

Although management is not confined to men only, it incorporates a complete balance of 5M i.e. Men, Money, Material, Machine, and Methods. The person who is in charge of the activities of management in an organisation is known as Manager.

Management Process

Now, let’s discuss what management is? And from where it starts? The answer is management starts from your home. All of us have seen our mother taking care of our needs whether they are small or big, maintaining the budget of the household, takes decisions regarding investment or finance, makes plans for our future, keeps a check on our activity, organizes the schedule, guides and motivates us for achieving our career objective etc. that’s all management. These are the functions of Management, i.e. Planning, Controlling, Organizing, Leading & Motivating and Decision Making.

Key Differences Between Leadership and Management

The major difference between leadership and management are as under:

  1. Leadership is a virtue of leading people through encouraging them. Management is a process of managing the activities of the organisation.
  2. Leadership requires trust of followers on his leader. Unlike Management, which needs control of manager over its subordinates.
  3. Leadership is a skill of influencing others while Management is the quality of the ruling.
  4. Leadership demands foresightedness of leader, but Management has a short range vision.
  5. In leadership, principles and guidelines are established, whereas, in the case of management, policies and procedures are implemented.
  6. Leadership is Proactive. Conversely, management is reactive in nature.
  7. Leadership brings change. On the other hand, Management brings stability.


Leadership and Management are inseparable in nature, if there is management, there is leadership. In fact, the qualities of a manager require leadership skills to inspire his subordinate. In an organisation, you can see both management and leadership. There is a manager in a department and a number of leaders who work with their teams in assisting the organisation in the accomplishment of their goals. Many times managers play the role of a leader too, at the demand of the organisation. So they both go side by side as a complement to each other. An organisation needs both for its growth and survival.

Management is all about the arrangement and maintenance of the 5M while leadership is about persuading people in a positive direction for digging out talent in them.

Filed Under: Business

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