Difference between Leadership and Management

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 7: Leadership

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Difference between Leadership and Management

There are lots of confusions and overlaps, and also big differences, when comparing leadership with management. A very big difference between leadership and management, and often overlooked, is that leadership always involves (leading) a group of people, whereas management need only be concerned with responsibility for things, (for example IT, money, advertising, equipment, promises, etc). Of course, many management roles have major people-management responsibilities, but the fact that management does not necessarily include responsibility for people, whereas leadership definitely always includes responsibility for people, is a big difference.

The biggest most fundamental overlap between leadership and management – there are many individual points – is that good leadership always includes responsibility for managing. Lots of the managing duties may be delegated through others, but the leader is responsible for ensuring there is appropriate and effective management for the situation or group concerned.

Management is a process of planning, organising, coordinating, directing and controlling the activities of others. Management is the authority to carry out these functions. Whereas leadership is the process of influencing for the purpose of achieving shared goals.

Not all leaders are managers and similarly, not all managers are learders.

Leadership is not the same thing as being in a position of authority. It is possible to be a boss in a company without being a leader. A boss can be more of an administrator than a leader.

Conversely, an administrator can be effective in his job without being a leader. The administrator is a bureaucrat— whether in government or in business—a person who keeps careful records and sees that things are done according to the rules. On the other hand, a leader can be effective without being an administrator—leaving rules, regulations, and their enforcement to others.

Typical Responsibilities                       (not absolutely exclusive to either management or leadership)



  1. Implementing tactical actions
  2. Detailed budgeting
  3. Measuring and reporting performance
  4. Applying rules and policies
  5. Implementing disciplinary rules
  6. Organizing people and tasks within structures
  7. Recruiting people for jobs
  8. Checking and managing ethics and morals
  9. Developing people
  10. Problem-solving
  11. Planning
  12. Improving productivity and efficiency
  13. Motivating and encouraging others
  14. Delegating and training
  1. Creating new visions and aims
  2. Establishing organizational financial targets
  3. Deciding what needs measuring and reporting
  4. Making new rules and policies
  5. Making disciplinary rules
  6. Deciding structures, hierarchies and workgroups
  7. Creating new job roles
  8. Establishing ethical and moral positions
  9. Developing the organization
  10. Problem-anticipation
  11. Visualising
  12. Conceiving new opportunities
  13. Inspiring and empowering others
  14. Planning and organizing succession


Difference between Leader and Manager

  1. A manager administers, but leader innovates.
  2. A manager maintains, while a leader develops.
  3. A manager focuses on systems and structures, whereas a leader’s focus is on people.
  4. A manager relies on control, but a leader inspires trust.
  5. A manager keeps an eye on the bottom line, while a leader has an eye on the horizon.
  6. A manager does things right, a leader does right thing.
  7. A manager does not have followers, while a leader has followers.


Some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others, while others define leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”

People tend to characterize leaders as having the following traits: intelligence, outgoing personality, verbal skills, aggressiveness, consistency, determination. They are expected to have the capacity to motivate others to action. They are forced to make a lot of decisions quickly, and they learn the fine distinction between decisive and authoritarian-a skill in which the relative inexperience of the leader is most obvious. 

Leaders should create an environment where there is honesty, inspiration and realistic goal setting. Communication and clarification of goals should be continuous. Some leaders develop their team and foster loyalty by making members feel that all the accomplishments realized are a result of a collective effort.

There are other types of leaders, who may referred to as democratic, who provide directions, allows the group to arrive at their own decisions, offers suggestions and reinforces team members ideas. There is also the type of leader who sets the pace, makes all the decisions for the group without their input, and seeks little approval from team members. This type of leader exhibits an authoritative style in which the leader takes full responsibility for the team member’s progress and accepts few suggestions from the team members.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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