What is the difference in Leadership & Management?

There is a difference between Leadership & Managers.


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Do you remember the TV sitcom The Office? It was a show about a paper company Wernham Hogg. The manager David Brent was an artist in management speak as was Gareth Keenan who was team leader. The TV show was a great example of what was bad in Leadership and Management skills.

So, what was wrong with Leadership and Management in The Office?

  • They tried to always be the good guy
  • They made staff feel uncomfortable
  • They pretended to be someone else
  • The never really fit in with the gang
  • Their body language and facial expressions gave too much away
  • They had tendency to sugar coat things.

Have you ever experienced any of these attributes? None of the above are good examples of good Leadership or Management.

You may think that the two roles are the same thing. Their roles often overlap but they generally have different skill sets and tasks. Leadership is about inspiring whilst Management is about the day to day processes.

The main differences between leadership and managements responsibilities are: –


  • Set visions
  • Show creativity
  • Show people what to do
  • Ask questions
  • Inspire people
  • Shape culture
  • Look at the future
  • Influence people
  • Are proactive


  • Follow visons
  • Execute ideas
  • Tell people what to do
  • Give directions
  • Drive success in people
  • Affirm culture
  • Work in the present
  • Organise people
  • Are reactive

Where Leaders & Managers overlap

  • Accomplish goals
  • Explain vision
  • Motivate people
  • Determined
  • Communicate
  • Training
  • Root cause analysis
  • Trend analysis
  • Reporting
  • Risk assessment
  • Problem solving


Leaders set the vision, managers follow It. Most of them have a clear vision of where they want their organisations to be in the future. However, they are not the only ones responsible for making that vision come true.

Even though managers are the ones who can influence people to work towards the same objectives, many employees agree that their company doesn’t do a good job communicating the company’s goals.

Leaders think ideas, managers think execution. While a managerial culture emphasises rationality and control, leaders are more about looking for opportunities for improvement on the organisational level. They do this by coming up with new ideas and driving the shift to a forward-thinking mindset. In other words, managers always look for answers to how and when,” while leaders look for answers to what and why.”

If you have any questions or need clarification on any section of this leadership vs management article, please feel free to get in touch.



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