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Difference between Leadership and Management


This seems to be the million -or in some cases the billion – dollar question. This question remains one of the most popular questions I hear after 40 years of business life.

Why is still such a frequent question? Have people failed to recognize the difference between these main themes in life and business? It seems so in my opinion. Speaking of opinions, it is time for me to jump into the equation and make a call regarding the key differences between the two terms.

First, they are difference. Leadership and Management both require unique, yet, similar skills sets to be successful. This topic of skills sets seems to be most debated within organizations.

Second, it is time for me to show the difference between Leadership and Management. Here is my opinion based upon years of working with both types of people – Leaders and Managers.

Leadership – Looks to the future to find direction and purpose. Leaders want to do the right thing. Leaders also motivate and inspire their teams. They remain calm during periods of chaos. They trend people well while expecting high performance and results from everyone. Superior performance by individuals or teams is recognized and encouraged. Leaders also look and talk about possibilities and opportunities.

Management – Looks at the present while referring to the past for guidance. Managers want to do things right. Managers are the gatekeepers of tradition and processes. They tend to follow rules and procedures during periods of chaos. The focus upon people using rules, processes, constraints, and orders to stay on track. Doing the job well is more important than getting superior results. Managers tend to look and talk about limitations and budgets.

Okay there you have my explanation of the differences between leadership and management. These definitions come a purist approach and is handy for pointing out differences. The real world produces all forms and combinations of leadership and management.

The best or optimal state is to possess balance between these two descriptions of traits needed in key and top positions within any organization. Balance is the key to most things in life – knowledge, family, business, financial, health, and weight. When we find the balance point between these two critical factors, we stand out from the crowd. At this point, the person gets others to do extraordinary things.

Learn to use both of these critical factors in your professional life. Balance is the key to your ultimate success. Enjoy your life an your success using this information.

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