Differences between Leadership and Management

Similarities and Differences between Leadership and Management

In any organization leadership and management plays a crucial rule for success. So in behavioral science, these two are discussed frequently by giving importance. Many people think leadership and management are the same things but in reality, they are not the same thing. Rather they are highly related to each other and they have some common attributes and have some differences. In management, leadership is an essential part and plays a crucial rule to build an environment in which each and every employee develop themselves and get success. Leadership is the quality to influence group behavior to drive the group efforts towards the accomplishment of targets. On the other hand, Management is the science and art of getting people and other resources effectively and efficiently to accomplish desired goals and objectives (Mintzberg, 1973). Leadership is one of the major elements of Management and Management is managing all the resources in a disciplined way (Northouse, 2007). This report will identify differences and similarities between leadership and management. Moreover, the purpose of this report is to identify the skills and qualities that make a good leader and manager. Moreover, this report analyses the strategies to overcome common barriers to effective communication.

Similarities and Differences between Leadership and Management

Differences between Leadership and Management

Leadership impacts the future of an organization by creating a vision and motivating the organization towards the goals. The leader either can make or break an organization and their vision can only be measured after a substantial period. On the other hand Management role is more to manage the day to day activities, supervise subordinate staff, get the task completed, and measure the performance. There is a debate about whether leadership and management are the same or not. Some scholars do not try to make any difference between leadership and management whereas some scholars make differences between them. But in reality, leadership and management require completely different skills. And we can rarely found both attributes of leadership and management at a time in a single person (Algahtani, 2014).

The difference between leadership skills and management skills and their importance in organizational success by the following table below:

Leadership Management
Leaders make a vision, which has long term effects for the organization. Management has short terms goals, objectives.
Leadership has the intention to climb to the next level. Management has the intension to execute the plan effectively and efficiently.
Leaders have followers to lead them. Managers have subordinates to instruct which tasks to accomplish.
Leadership is a proactive process. Management is a reactive process.
Leadership is based mainly on verbal or oral communication. Management is based mainly on written communication.
Leadership evaluates individuals by their potentials, which cannot be measured. Management evaluates and rewards people by their present and past performance.
Leadership focused on a change to develop the organization. Management focused on bringing stability to success.
Leadership needs the trust and credibility of his followers. Management needs control of managers to its subordinates.
Leadership shows how to do work perfectly. Management tells what to do to work effectively and efficiently.
Leadership tries to influence and motivate people to achieve goals. Management involves managing people and resources to do the organizational work effectively and efficiently.
Leadership skills emphasize to motivate followers. Management skills emphasize to upgrade skills.
Leaders have a dream to achieve after substantial time. Management needs subordinates and resources to fulfill the leader’s dreams.
Leaders influence his power to motivate his followers. Managers influence their power to regulate their resources.
Leadership works with commitment. The management works by taking control of its resources.
Leadership emphasizes on innovation new thing. Management takes a standardized method to work.
Leaders try to find out the possible new outcome. Management focuses on problem-solving in the present situation.
Leadership is doing the right things. Management is doing things right.
Leadership is about transformation so it focused to bring and adapt change. Management is task-oriented so it focused on things effectively and efficiently.
Leadership is focused on achievement or change. Management is focused on the result.
Leadership is searching for the answer to how and when. Management is searching for the answers to what and how.
Leadership tries to take a risk to bring change. Management tries to avoid risk to get the work successfully.
Leadership has a long term vision. Management has short term goals.
Leaders treat all members equally and work as a team. Management treats members by organizational hierarchy.
Leadership involves followers in decision making. Management does not involve subordinates in decision making.
Here, the communication structure is a two-way process. Here, the Communication process is a one-sided discussion.

The leadership emphasizes empowering people to work towards long term vision whereas management emphasizes short term goals. An operational framework is a key to management to deal with subordinates whereas leadership tries to develop the operational framework. Although Leadership and Management differ from each other both are equally important for an organization (Neelam Azad, 2017). Though there are differences between leadership and management many researchers thought to be a good leader one should have some skills of a manager and to be a good manager one should have some skills of a leader.   

Similarities between Leadership and Management

  • Both leadership and management work together to manage organizational resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Leadership and management both have common goals. Leaders set the vision and the vision is separated by the manager into different goals.
  • Leaders and managers both are working with people.
  • Both managers and leaders are accountable for their results.
  • Management and leadership both influence the work structure environment of the organization. (Neelam Azad, 2017)

Skills and qualities required to be a good manager

The manager is an important profile for any organization or department. The main task of a manager is to manage people and resources rather than doing any work. There are debates about what skills and qualities a good manager need. To manage an organization effectively a manager needs some skills and qualities which differ him from another employee of the organization.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the behavior and tactics we used to interact with others effectively. A manager needs to manage subordinates who work under him. So he needs some interpersonal skills to have a good relationship with others.  (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Communications skills

In everyday tasks, the manager needs to communicate with his/her subordinates. So the manager should have sound knowledge of written and verbal communication.  (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Motivating employees

A manager should have the quality to inspire the subordinates so that they can be directed towards the achievement of organizational goals. (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Organizing capabilities

A manager must be organized. He should be capable to organize among the subordinates and other resources to get a good result effectively and efficiently. (Younes Kohail, 2016)


A manager needs to delegate the right tasks to the right people. Without delegation properly organization cannot get the tasks properly. (Younes Kohail, 2016)


A manager needs to have good planning and he/she must try to implement the plan. So, he/she forward the plan to his/her subordinates to achieve the target. (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Be practical and ethical

A manager must be practical and ethical in his approach. Some of the theoretical plans may not be implemented in practical life. In that case, he/she must talk with the upper level to change the direction. (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Reward and punishment subordinates

A manager should have knowledge who works the right thing in the right way and who cannot do that. On the basis of the report, he should reward or punish his subordinates.


A manager has to be reliable for his/her subordinates. He/she should be available when his/her subordinates need and support them.

Time Management

A manager must be aware of the time. There should be a time frame to do tasks. And he should divide the work to his subordinates by setting a timeframe. (Mintzberg, 1973)


Sometimes a manager needs to become a mentor for his subordinates. Like a teacher, he/she should teach his/her subordinates. (Mintzberg, 1973)

Managing Conflict

If sometimes any conflict arises between/among people he/she should manage it through his experience and power. (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Commercial Awareness

A manager needs to have the surroundings commercial update news in which the organization operates.


A manager must be committed to his organization so that he/she can direct the subordinates to achieve the goals.

Being positive

A manager is always a positive attitude in every action taken by the company. If something wrong happens he/she tries to overcome the situation. (Mintzberg, 1973)

Target oriented

A manager divides the set vision into separate goals or into small parts so that he/she can identify whether his/her target is achieved in short term or not. If in the short term if the target is achieved do not need to change the plan and vice versa. (Younes Kohail, 2016)

Skills and qualities of a good leader


A leader should have a clear vision to transform it into the followers to achieve the targets.  (Kanungo, 1988)


Communication skills are one of the main qualities of leaders. He/she communicate with his followers, take suggestions from them, and give instruction to them. (Yazdanifard, 2015)


Creativity is one of the major qualities of leaders that differentiate leaders from his/her followers. A leader needs a creative mindset to have an innovative plan. (Muteswa, 2016)

Flexibility and versatility

A leader must be flexible and versatile along with the plan. He/she must be ready to accept the change and go through the new plan/direction. (Muteswa, 2016)

Discipline and focused

A leader loves his work. He/she is very punctual and focused to achieve the target. He should work as a mentor for his followers.  (Muteswa, 2016)


A leader listens to followers/team, and stakeholders and take their opinions seriously. If the opinion gives positive feedback he/she takes their opinion in a real case.


A leader is committed to his teams and organization. Without commitment and delegation, the vision cannot be achieved.

Building morale

Morale denotes confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline. A leader himself building morale for his team for giving them confidence and winning their trust. (Muteswa, 2016)

Role of ethics

Ethics means moral behavior to recommend right and wrong things. A manager/leader should play ethically in the organization. He/she must be a role model for his/her subordinates. Ethical standard depends on organizational rules and policies. So a manager/leader should obey the rules and policies of the organization as well as of the country. Ethical management/leadership involves leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others.  A manager/Leader is responsible for influencing subordinates and followers to complete tasks and behave in certain manners.

Role of social responsibility

Social responsibility is an obligation for society. A manager/leader should be obligated to society according to the organizational rules. A manager/leader is socially responsible for corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, or for the country.

Strategies to overcome the communication barrier to effective communication

In any organization, there are different ways of communication which mainly can be divided into two categories, written communication, and verbal communication. But to communicate with each other we have to face different barriers.

Using simple language

Use simple and common words so that everyone can understand what one wants to say. Ambiguous and uncommon words should be avoided. For example, most of the country use British English as an official language. So it needs to try to use it. (Erven, 2018)

Ensuring feedback

For any quarries, if anyone asks something please give feedback quickly so that he/she understands what is asking for. For example, if anyone mails to get the financial report then if it is ready then send it or if not ready, then reply to him/her that it needs some time to finish it. (Erven, 2018)

Reducing and eliminating the noise level

Noise is the main barrier to communication. Reduce and eliminate it by soundproof walls. For example, a separate room for top-level management with a soundproof wall can reduce the noise level. (Erven, 2018)

Avoiding overload information

Do not give all the information at a time. Rather separate it into different segments so that everyone can understand it easily. For example, never give sales reports, purchase reports, budget reports, salary reports, etc. at a time in one mail. Rather separate it to different mails. (Erven, 2018)

Controlling emotion

Emotions are one of the major obstacles in communication. For example, anger, anxiety, frustrations create lack of attentiveness to the communication.

Having knowledge about cultural differences

When someone needs to communicate with cross-cultural country be aware of their culture. For example, in every country, English may not be used as the base of communication. So, it is better to keep the English easy for them. (Erven, 2018)


The report entails that management and leadership work together. Where there is management, there is leadership with it. A manager needs leadership qualities to motivate his/her subordinates and a leader needs managerial qualities to lead and motivate his/her teams (Yazdanifard, 2015). In any organization, management and leadership work together. In any organization, there is a manager and a number of leaders along with their teams in assisting the organization to accomplish organizational goals. Sometimes managers play the role of a leader too, and leaders play the role of a manager. This way they both go side by side as a complement to each other. An organization needs both management and leadership for its growth and survival.


Algahtani, D. A., 2014. Are Leadership and ManagementDifferent? A Review. Journal of Management Policies and Practices, 2(3), pp. 71-82.

Erven, B. L., 2018. OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION. Business Communication, 4(1), pp. 02-06.

Kanungo, J. A. C. a. R. N., 1988. Charismatic leadership: The elusive factor in organizational effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Mintzberg, H., 1973. The nature of managerial work. New Tork: Harper and Row.

Muteswa, R. P. T., 2016. Qualities of a Good Leader and the Benefits of Good Leadership to an Organization: A Conceptual Study. European Journal of Business and Management, 8(24), pp. 135-141.

Neelam Azad, G. A. A. B., 2017. Leadership and Management Are One and the Same. Harvard Business Review, 81(6), pp. 102-106.

Northouse, P. G., 2007. Leadership: theory and practice. 7th ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Yazdanifard, M. J. H. &. D. R., 2015. How Effective Leadership Can Facilitate Change in Organizations through Improvement and Innovation. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 15(9), pp. 02-07.

Younes Kohail, J. O., 2016. The Qualities of a Good Manager. What Does It Mean?. International Journal of Business and Managemen, 11(8), pp. 86-90.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

Differences between Leadership and Management

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