Leadership vs Management

Leadership vs Management

Do you have a great manager? If so, you’re probably aware that it’s not just about having someone who is capable of leading a team—it’s also about having someone who can inspire others to achieve their best.

If you want your business to go from good to great, then you need managers who can lead their teams to greatness as well. In order for managers to be leaders though, they need some help. That's where this guide comes in!

People who manage well do not necessarily lead well.

While there are some similarities between management and leadership, the two roles share very different objectives. While managers are focused on getting things done, leaders are focused on people and the future. Managers are more concerned with rules and processes; leaders are more concerned with the big picture and the future.

By thinking about your managers as leaders in training, you can help them develop into effective leaders who will be well prepared to step up when it’s time for them to lead a project or department.

A good manager isn’t the same as a good leader.

You probably think of your great managers as leaders, but they’re not. Why? Because a good manager is focused on results while a great leader is focused on people.

A great manager will give you the tools and resources you need to be successful and then hold you accountable for getting the job done. But a great leader goes further: they have an impact on each person’s performance by helping them understand their roles in achieving results—and how their work matters to the company. That means that as a leader, it’s your responsibility to connect every person with every other person at some point during the day—even if it's just for five minutes!

There are key differences between a manager and a leader.

There are key differences between a manager and a leader. As you might imagine, these differences can profoundly affect how employees perceive their leaders' actions—and how those actions impact their performance.

Take the following example: You're managing an important project for your company, and you want to make sure that it's completed on time and with high quality standards in place. So, you assign some of your best employees to work on it with you; they're all responsible for specific parts of the project. When things start going poorly for one reason or another—whether it's because one of your team members is experiencing personal issues at home or because someone else has run out of time before being able to complete his part of the project—you begin feeling overwhelmed by having too much responsibility on your plate; after all, not only do you need to manage this group of people but also keep tabs on other projects as well (which means more meetings!). This causes stress both at work and at home; however, if there were only one person assigned instead (or even no one), then there would be less pressure overall—and therefore less likelihood that problems would arise due to stress-related issues like illness or lackadaisical behavior caused by burnout towards completing tasks efficiently."

Managers make sure things get done while leaders set direction.

It's important to remember the difference between a manager and a leader: they're two different things. Managers focus on the tasks; leaders focus on the people. Managers set goals and objectives; leaders set direction. Managers make sure things get done; leaders make sure people are doing the right things in order to achieve their shared vision for success.

If you find yourself having difficulty with this concept, try thinking about your personal life for a moment—if you were going through something stressful or challenging at home, who would be more likely to help you? Your husband, who focuses on making sure everyone has enough food and water (and paying bills)? Or your best friend, who helps guide you through tough times by talking about what could go wrong if you don't change something in your life?

Managers focus on responsibilities while leaders focus on people.

As a manager, you may be more focused on the tasks, responsibilities, and expectations that are part of your job description. You put your head down and get things done—and you’re good at it.

But as a leader? You’re focused on the whole person: their needs and wants; how they feel about what they do; what makes them happy or sad; how they can grow into something greater than themselves.

Managers tend to be transactional while leaders tend to be transformational.

What do you think of when you hear the word “manager?” What comes to mind when you hear the word “leader?” Managers focus on tasks, while leaders focus on people. The difference between transactional and transformational leadership is similar to the difference between what we get from someone versus what we can give to them. Transactional leaders tend to be transactional because they are focused on what they can get from others, whereas transformational leaders tend to be transformational because they are focused on what they can give to others.

Managers often micro-manage while leaders coach and empower their people.

Managers often micro-manage while leaders coach and empower their people. Leaders provide vision, set direction and inspire others to follow. They help employees grow by challenging them with new responsibilities. In contrast, managers typically focus on the details of execution — they make sure that things get done as planned or expected. They may micromanage employees in order to make sure that process or procedure is followed exactly as prescribed (which often leads to frustration for both employees and managers).

Managers tend to follow the rules while leaders tend to break them when necessary.

Leadership is about the organization's purpose, not rules.

Rules are there to protect people, not hinder them. The best leaders look at the way their people work and then make changes to help them be successful. This means they will often cut through the red tape that gets in their way and break some rules along the way. It's no wonder so many managers have trouble becoming great leaders; they spend so much time following rules!

It’s important to understand the differences between leadership and management so you can help your employees build both competencies and adopt a leadership orientation to work.

Leadership and management are two different things. Management is the process of executing tasks; leadership is about having a vision, strategy, and guiding employees towards that vision.

Leadership involves people: managing involves tasks. Leadership is about being a role model; management is about being a mentor (or coach).


Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the differences between management and leadership. While it may seem like a small distinction, understanding these two concepts will help you be more effective in managing and mentoring your employees. It also gives them the freedom to take on more responsibilities without fear of failing or being reprimanded as long as they are able to demonstrate good leadership skills in other areas such as problem solving and setting goals for others and working on projects together with them.


If you have managers who are good at getting stuff done but would like to become great at influencing inspiring others to be their best, enroll them in the Awareness Advantage leadership program for aspiring and seasoned managers. Learn More.


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