How to Distinguish between Management and Leadership
Often, people confuse the term leader with the term manager. But there’s a big difference between them. A manager manages process, programs, and data. Leaders, on the other hand, guide people, build fellowship, and steer organizations to success (read: make money and grow). Leaders set the direction; managers follow the plan to get there. Yes, managers are indispensible when it comes to creating and monitoring policy. But leaders define and uphold an organization’s principles. And leaders — more specifically, engaged leaders — really drive engagement in an organization.
Management plays an essential role in the stability of a company. In fact, it’s critical for leaders to be effective managers as well as effective leaders. But because employee engagement entails a pervasive change in corporate culture, it unfortunately cannot be simply assigned to just any manager or management team.
Before you can get a handle on how leadership drives engagement, it’s important to understand the difference between a leader and a manager. For help, see the following table.
Management versus Leadership
|Management is about control.||Leadership is about trust and empowerment.|
|Management is about authority and hierarchy.||Leadership is about alignment and expertise.|
|Management involves discrete tasks.||Leadership’s focus is on vision.|
|Management involves one-way communication.||Leadership involves two-way communication.|
|Management is characterized by following the plan.||Leadership is characterized by experimentation.|
|Management assumes a dominating perspective.||Leadership invites multiple perspectives.|
|With management, there is often one decision-maker.||With leadership, team input is emphasized.|
|Management is about measurement.||Leadership is about personal accountability.|
|Management focuses on quick decision-making.||Leadership focuses on wise decision-making.|
|Management sticks with the tried and true.||Leadership seeks innovation.|
|Management assumes the role of director.||Leadership assumes the role of coach and counselor.|
|Management seeks to satisfy employees.||Leadership seeks to engage employees.|
The next table offers another way of looking at the difference between managers and leaders.
Managers versus Leaders
|Take care of where you are||Take you to a new place|
|Deal with complexity||Deal with uncertainty|
|Are efficient||Are effective|
|Create policies||Establish principles|