What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?

Management is the process and tasks related to setting and achieving goals.

Management Formula Equals Things We Will Do Plus How We'll Do Them

Leadership is working through others to get things done.

Illustration of Leader Rising to a Challenge and Working Through Others to Get Things Done

Leadership is one of Management's Four Parts

Illustration of Managers Making a Plan


Illustration of Manager Organizing Needed Resources


Illustration of Leader Guiding People


Illustration of Manager Riding Wave


Are all managers also leaders?

Some managers may do all the work themselves and thus are not leaders.

Illustration of Manager Buried Under Stack of Papers

An example would be a sole accountant. She may set and plan goals, organize the work, and track progress, but she isn't required to lead since she doesn't work through others.

Are all leaders also managers?

Some leaders may not plan, organize, or control and thus are not managers.

Illustration of Team Working at Computers

An example would be a software team lead. He may use his expertise to influence others to get things done, but he isn't required to plan or control.

Thought Questions

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  • When have you been a manager but not a leader? When are you responsible for setting goals, organizing resources, and making adjustments, but you do the work yourself?
  • When have you been a leader but not a manager? When have you needed to work through others but did not have formal authority or responsibility?
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