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Describe The Difference In Roles Between Leadership And Management

Describe The Difference In Roles Between Leadership And Management

Understanding the Key Difference Between Leadership and Management
Nikita Duggal wrote this.
Last modified on January 25, 202332842139.

What Is the Distinction Between Leadership and Management?
Section I: Table of Contents
What exactly is leadership? What exactly is management? What Is the Difference Between Leadership and Management? What Role Do Managers Play? What Role Do Leaders Play? View More
A few years ago, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators created companies, whereas managers were hired to run their operations. But, nowadays, you will notice that our educational system is geared chiefly towards management education. Also, there is a perceptual change that treats management and leadership as the same, which is not a mere reality. So, in this leadership vs management article, we will dig deep into the differences between leadership and management.
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What exactly is leadership?
Leadership creates positive, non-incremental change through meticulous planning, vision, and strategy. Workforce empowerment and adaptive decision-making also add up to the crucial attributes of leadership. People frequently associate leadership with one’s position in an organization. However, titles, management, or personal agendas have nothing to do with leadership. It is also not limited to personality traits like improved vision or a charismatic personality.


It is more of a social influence process that maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a common goal. It results from social influence and necessitates using human resources to achieve the desired results. A leader always takes the initiative and works hard to achieve the company’s vision. That is the only reason why others begin to follow them.

Following that, in this leadership vs management article, we will learn what management entails.

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What exactly is management?
Management entails carrying out pre-planned tasks regularly with the assistance of subordinates. A manager is solely responsible for carrying out the four essential management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers can only become leaders if they carry out their leadership responsibilities effectively, which include communicating both good and bad news, providing inspiration and guidance, and encouraging employees to achieve higher productivity levels.
Describe The Difference In Roles Between Leadership And Management

Unfortunately, not all managers are capable of doing so. Managerial responsibilities are frequently outlined in a job description, with subordinates trailing behind due to their professional title or classification. A manager’s primary focus is on meeting organizational goals; they rarely consider anything else. The authority and privilege to promote, hire, or reward employees based on their performance and behaviour come with the title.

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What Is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?
Management’s role is to control a group or group of individuals to achieve a specific goal. Leadership is defined as an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the success of an organization.

Management directs an organization, a group, or a collection of entities to achieve a specific goal. Managing entails ensuring that day-to-day operations are carried out as planned. Leaders communicate with their team to set direction, inspire, and motivate them.

To guide change, leadership necessitates a vision. Managers are concerned with achieving organizational goals through process implementation, such as budgeting, organizational structure, and staffing, whereas leaders are concerned with thinking ahead and seizing opportunities.

It is possible to be both a manager and a leader. However, just because someone is a great leader doesn’t mean they’ll be a great manager or vice versa. So, what distinguishes these two roles? We will now look at those factors in this leadership vs management article.

1. Distinctions in Vision
Visionaries are regarded as leaders. They chart the course for the organization’s expansion. They are constantly assessing where their organization is, where they want to go, and how they can get there by involving the team.

Managers, on the other hand, set out to achieve organizational goals by implementing processes like budgeting, corporate structuring, and staffing. Managers’ vision is linked to implementation strategies, planning, and organizing tasks to achieve leaders’ goals. However, in the context of business environments, both of these roles are equally important and necessitate collaborative efforts.

2. Aligning vs. Organizing
Managers achieve their objectives through the use of coordinated activities and tactical processes. They break down long-term goals into small chunks and organize available resources to achieve the desired result.

Leaders, on the other hand, are more concerned with how to align and influence people than they are with how to assign work to them. They accomplish this by assisting individuals in envisioning their role in a larger context and the potential for future growth that their efforts may provide.

Also, see The Future of Work: What Job Roles Will Look Like in Ten Years.

3. Distinctions in Queries
A leader inquires about what and why, whereas a manager inquires about how and when. To do their duties as a leader justice, one may question and challenge authority to reverse decisions that are not in the team’s best interests. If a firm has a stumbling block, a leader will be the one to step up and ask, What did we learn from this? And why has this occurred?

On the other hand, managers are not required to assess and analyze failures. Their job description emphasizes the importance of asking How and When which helps them ensure that plans are carried out correctly. They would rather accept the status quo than trying to change it.

4. Quality vs. Position
A manager is a role that frequently refers to a specific job within the structure of an organization, whereas the term leader is more ambiguous. Your actions determine your level of leadership. You are a leader if your activities motivate others to do their best. It doesn’t matter what your title or position is. A manager, on the other hand, is a job title that comes with a set of responsibilities.

The distinction between management and leadership

What Role Do Managers Play?
A manager is a member of an organization who carries out the four essential management functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Are all managers, however, leaders?

Most managers are also leaders, but only IF they adequately carry out management’s leadership responsibilities, which include communication, motivation, providing inspiration and guidance, and encouraging employees to increase their productivity.

Regrettably, not all managers are leaders. Some managers need better leadership qualities, and employees obey their managers out of obligation rather than because they are influenced or inspired by the leader.

Managerial responsibilities are typically outlined in a job description, with subordinates following as a result of the professional title or designation. A manager’s primary focus is meeting organizational goals and objectives; they typically only consider a little else. Managers are held accountable for their actions and those of their subordinates. The authority and privilege to promote, hire, fire, discipline, or reward employees based on their performance and behaviour come with the title.

What Role Do Leaders Play?
The main distinction between management and leadership is that leaders only sometimes hold or occupy a management position. Simply put, a leader does not have to be someone in a position of authority within the organization; a leader can be anyone.

Leaders, as opposed to managers, are followed because of their personality, behaviour, and beliefs. A leader personally invests in tasks and projects and demonstrates a strong work ethic. Leaders are vested in their followers’ success, enabling them to achieve their objectives—which are not always organizational objectives.

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A leader’s authority over his followers is only sometimes tangible or formal. Temporary power is granted to a leader and can be conditional on their ability to inspire and motivate their followers consistently.

Note 1: Leader vs. Manager

Regarding leadership, subordinates are required to obey orders, whereas following is optional. Leadership relies on employee inspiration and trust; those who wish to pursue their leader may do so at any time. Leaders, in general, are those who challenge the status quo. Leadership is flexible, visionary, agile, creative, and adaptable.

What Qualities Does a Manager Have?
Manager Qualities

The following are four critical managerial characteristics:

The ability to carry out a plan Vision
Managers create a strategic vision and then translate it into a roadmap for their team.

Managers are responsible for day-to-day efforts while reviewing necessary resources and anticipating the need for changes along the way.

Process Management Managers are responsible for developing work rules, processes, standards, and operating procedures.

People Focused Managers are known for looking after and catering to the needs of the people they are responsible for, including listening to them, involving them in critical decisions, and accommodating reasonable requests for change to contribute to increased productivity.

What Characteristics Does a Leader Possess?
Characteristics of a Leader

The following are five essential characteristics of a leader:

Leaders understand where they are and where they want to go, and they usually involve their team in charting a future path and direction.
Integrity and honesty
Leaders have followers who believe in them and follow them down the path the leader has chosen.
Leaders are typically inspirational and assist their teams in understanding their roles within a larger context.
Communication Abilities
Leaders keep their teams updated on what’s happening now and in the future and any roadblocks that may arise.
Capability to Face Difficulties
Leaders are those who question the status quo. They have their way of doing things and solving problems, and they are usually the ones who think outside the box.
Three Significant Differences in Choosing Between a Manager and a Leader
Being both a manager and a leader is a viable option. But remember that just because someone is an exceptional leader does not mean they will also be a fantastic manager and vice versa. So, what are the key distinctions between the two roles?

A leader creates or invents, whereas a manager organizes.
The team leader generates new ideas and initiates the organization’s shift or transition to a forward-thinking phase. A leader is always looking ahead, developing new organisational techniques and strategies. A leader is well-versed in all current trends, advancements, and skill sets and has a clear purpose and vision. On the other hand, a manager generally only maintains what has already been established. A manager must keep an eye on the bottom line while controlling employees and workflow in the organization and avoiding chaos.

Alan Murray defines a manager as someone who “establishes appropriate targets and yardsticks, and analyzes, appraises, and interprets performance” in his book, The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management: Lasting Lessons from the Best Leadership Minds of Our Time. Managers understand the people they work with and can determine who is the best fit for a given task.
A manager seeks to control, whereas a leader aims to inspire trust:
A leader motivates employees to do their best and understands how to set an appropriate pace and tempo for the rest of the group. On the other hand, managers are required by their job description to establish control over employees, allowing them to develop their assets to bring out the best in them. To do their jobs effectively, managers must first understand their subordinates.
A leader asks the questions “what” and “why,” whereas a manager focuses on “how” and “when”:
To be true to their role as a leader, some may question and challenge authority to modify or even reverse decisions that are not in the team’s best interests. Good leadership necessitates a high level of judgment, especially when standing up to senior management over a point of concern or an aspect that needs improvement. If a company goes through a difficult period, a leader will be the one to stand up and ask, “What did we learn from this?” On the other hand, managers are not required to evaluate and analyze failures. Their job description emphasizes asking “how” and “when,” which usually helps them ensure that plans are carried out properly. They tend to accept the status quo and do not attempt to change it.
Note 2: Leader vs. Manager

The Three Examinations
Vineet Nayar discusses three tests he devised to help managers determine if they have successfully transitioned from managing to leading people in his article Three Differences Between Managers And Leaders.

The Three Examinations – Leader vs. Manager

Counting Value vs. Creating Value: He claims that only managers rely on value. Some people reduce weight by disabling or otherwise opposing ideas and people who add value.
On the other hand, leaders work to create value in addition to what the team makes—and are as much a creator of importance as their followers. “Leading by example and enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership,” Nayar continues.

Circles of Power vs. Circles of Influence: As previously stated, managers have subordinates, and leaders gain followers, implying that managers form a circle of power while leaders form a circle of influence. Nayar advises on how to determine which ring surrounds you. “The quickest way to figure out which of the two you’re doing is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who seek advice from you,” he says. The more you do, the more likely you will be perceived as a leader.”
People Management vs. People Leadership:
One of a manager’s responsibilities is to control a group to achieve a specific goal. On the other hand, leadership is an individual’s ability to motivate, influence, and enable other employees to contribute to an organization’s success. Not control and power, but inspiration and influence distinguish leaders from managers.
Deduction at the End
Leading and managing are two opposing approaches to improving employee collaboration. Leadership is the driving force behind new visions and initiatives, while management effectively works resources to make those visions a reality. You can develop your leadership skills by developing emotional intelligence and learning how to influence others.

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You learned about leadership and management in this leadership vs management article. You discovered how both work in a corporate setting. You later discussed the distinctions between leadership and management. Finally, you deviated from the article’s conclusion.

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If you have any questions or need clarification on any part of this leadership vs management article, please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of this page, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

1. What is the primary distinction between leadership and management?
Leadership and management differ in many ways, but the main distinction is that management is a collection of entities that work together to achieve a common goal. On the other hand, leadership is in charge of motivating, influencing, and empowering employees. Power and control do not distinguish leaders from managers; instead, influence and inspiration do.

2. What are the six distinctions between leadership and management?
Leaders develop a vision, while managers develop goals.
Leaders effect change, while managers maintain the status quo.
Leaders and managers are influenced.
Leaders take risks, while managers assess risk.
It takes time to become a leader; however, becoming a manager is much easier.
Leaders build relationships, while managers build systems.
3. Which comes first, leadership or management?
A successful business requires both leaders and managers. Leadership ensures the organization’s overall values and ethics, whereas managers structure teams to achieve goals.

4. What is the distinction between leadership and management?
Leadership focuses on motivating employees, convincing them of your vision, and establishing a positive work culture at the company. On the other hand, management emphasizes day-to-day task progress and related issues.

5. Which is more effective, management or leadership?
Management and leadership are both essential for an organization’s smooth operation. However, leadership comes before administration — a well-balanced organizational leadership at its core. A successful business requires a disciplined process, vision, and passion.

6. What are the primary distinctions between leadership and management?
The two primary distinctions between leadership and management are as follows:

Values are created by leadership, and those values are counted by management.
People are led by leadership, while work is managed by management.
7. Which comes first, management or leadership?
Leadership comes first because their vision drives the organization.
Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management. Explain how the goals of management and leadership overlap and provide one example. As a nurse leader, describe how you can facilitate change by taking advantage of this overlap

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