Leadership and management are two distinct disciplines. Managers may operate through official authority and power while leaders may function through persuasion and inspiration. A business needs to have effective leaders and managers to succeed. However, effective leadership doesn’t happen overnight. Leadership is all about inspiring people, sharing vision and getting them to work towards common goal.

Regardless which role you are right now in your career, knowing the difference between leadership and management can help you become effective professional:

Leaders are visionary, managers are calculated

Leaders are working towards certain goals while managers are tactical. Leaders help set the mood and ignite the passion among their followers. Meanwhile, managers operate on a day to day basis. People answer to their managers while leaders are followed by people. 

Managers are task-oriented, leaders are people focused

As mentioned, managers are driven to operate on daily basis. They are logical and task-oriented. They pay more attention on processed and events. They calculate effort, estimate timeline, assign resources, etc. They tend to follow the push approach. Meanwhile, leaders are motivators. They appeal to emotions and are more focused on the people. Leaders motivate team and appeal to them at an individual level. Their approach is more on inspirational. They know what ticks a person and how their people’s skills can fit into the bigger picture. Managers tend to micromanage where they operate under a command and control premise. They tell others what needs to be done whereas leaders set the path, pace and example. 

Leaders thrive on abstract thinking, managers depend on facts

Leaders must think outside the box wherein they are able to connect seemingly unrelated data. They must also be able to articulate his vision to encourage and inspire others to pursue a common goal. He must sell this vision to the organization. An effective leader knows how to convince an organization that his vision is doable and that it can add value to the business. This is why leaders must be visionary since he should see where his organization is going. Meanwhile, good managers should be able to work, analyze and interpret facts and data. This is to ensure optimal results. 

Leaders are confident, managers are committed

Managers stop at nothing to get the job done. In the face of uncertainty, leaders rise above the occasion and innovate. Managers are bound to their duty to carry out tasks and achieve results as expected. They excel in process and execution while leaders are inclined towards motivating followers and impacting the future. Leadership requires taking calculated and educated risks while management demands for self-discipline to commit to the plans. 

To sum up the difference between leadership and management, leaders answer to the entire organization while managers are responsible for their team members. Management is usually a yes and no, right and wrong process while leadership is indefinite. It encourages questions, empowers and inspires people.