Leadership vs Management – what’s the difference?

Leadership and management skills are often grouped together, but there’s a very big difference between them. Here’s a brief description of some of the key differences between them.

Leadership vs Management - what's the difference?

Leadership vs Management – what’s the difference?

Management is a set of processes that can keep a complicated system of people and technology running smoothly. The most important aspects of management include planning, budgeting, organising, staffing, controlling and problem solving.

Leadership is a set of processes that creates organisations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances. Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles.

Management Leadership
Planning and Budgeting:

Establishing detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, and then allocating the resources necessary to make it happen.

Establishing direction:

Developing a vision of the future, in line with company objectives, for your team, and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.

Organising and Staffing:

Establishing some structure for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing that structure with individuals, delegating responsibility and authority for carrying out the plan, providing policies and procedures to help guide people, and creating methods or systems to monitor implementation.

Aligning People:

Communicating direction in words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies, and that accept their validity.

Controlling and Problem Solving:

Monitoring results, identifying deviations from the plan, then planning and organising to solve these problems.

Motivating and Inspiring:

Energising people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource-based barriers to change by satisfying basic, but often unfulfilled human needs.

Management produces a degree of predictability and order and has the potential to consistently produce the short term results expected by the various stakeholders (e.g. for customers, always being on time; for stockholders, being on budget).

Leadership produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential to produce extremely useful change (e.g. new products that customers want, new approaches to labour relations that help make an organisation more competitive).

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