Leadership vs Management

Leadership vs Management: What are the main differences?

You are wondering the differences between Leadership vs Management? Visit our website to get useful information and free PMP Practice Test!

January 1, 2022

Debates about leaders and managers have been a burning topic of discussion for many years. Distinguishing between Leadership vs Management can help us to better understand the art of leadership and correct our own behavior. Let’s follow this article to learn more about the differences between these two positions.

Leadership and Management definition

Leadership is an influence process in which leadership seeks the voluntary participation of subordinates in achieving organizational goals. Leadership is the process of using and coordinating the activities of individuals in an organization by influencing and directing the behavior of individuals or groups towards organizational goals. Nowadays, leadership is considered one of the most necessary concepts in the science of organization.

The leader may not be as good at expertise as workers, engineers, not as creative as the research department. But leaders must be good at using people, they have the ability to manage and allocate resources appropriately.

Meanwhile, management is an organized, oriented, purposeful, and planned continuous influence of the managing subject on the managed object in order to command, control, and link factors involved in activities. into a unified whole, harmonizing the activities of the stages in a regular manner in order to achieve a definite goal. Management includes the activities of establishing an organization’s strategy and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or volunteers) to accomplish its goals through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human.

Leadership vs Management
Leadership vs Management


Remarkable differences between Leadership vs Management

Debates about the difference between management and leadership have been a burning topic of discussion for many years. Distinguish between management and leadership helps us to better understand the art of leadership and correcting our own behavior. So what is the difference between management and leadership?

MeaningLeadership is the skill of leading others.Management is the art of organizing and coordinating things systematically in an efficient manner.
PrincipleInspire othersOperation management
Focus onEncourage changeMaintain stability
RequireForesightShort-range perspective

What are the responsibilities of leaders?

In terms of work

Achieving work goals is the most important task for a team leader because assigned work is the reason teams exist.

In terms of each individual

  • Support and encourage each individual in the group
  • Allocate tasks according to individuals’ abilities
  • Clearly explain the individual’s role in the group’s work
  • Evaluate individual performance
  • Protect (when necessary) each individual in the group from others, or even from other individuals in the group.
  • Encourage experienced individuals to help and guide individuals who are trying to be self-reliant.

In terms of the whole group

  • Express enthusiasm for the group
  • Set and agree on general and specific goals and objectives so that everyone knows what needs to be done and why it needs to be done.
  • Ensure common group standards and norms are maintained at all times.
  • Support the group when in trouble
  • Represent the whole team in front of the upper management.
  • Represent the superior leader in front of the group.
  • Coordinate with other teams or departments.

What are the responsibilities of managers?

Here are some specific tasks that a manager needs to take charge of during their work:

Regarding external affairs:

  • Build and maintain good relationships with all customers as well as stakeholders of the project.
  • Support stakeholders and partners to come up with ideas and goals for the project to ensure feasibility.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with third-party partners (material suppliers, contractors,…).
  • Meeting with customers when it is necessary to define contract details and clarify each specific requirement of the parties.
  • Participate in relevant conferences, seminars, and training to enhance professional knowledge.

Regarding  internal affairs:

  • Make a detailed plan to track the project and its progress. Ensure that all the projects can be completed successfully within a given period of time and budget.
  • Estimate the time, cost, and human resources required to complete the project. Monitor changes related to project scope, schedule, and costs.
  • Allocate available resources of the enterprise and propose to recruit new personnel if the job requires it.
  • Measure the effectiveness of project execution with the right tools and techniques. Monitor the implementation of the project, especially analyze what has been done and not done to draw lessons for the following projects.
  • Report the problem to a higher level when you can’t solve it yourself. Perform other related tasks under the direction of higher-level officials.
  • Monitor budget spending and eliminate unnecessary expenses.

These are also the duties of a project manager, see more details about What is a project manager?

What are the traits of managers?

  • Leadership skills

This is an indispensable skill of a manager. Good leadership is tested through success in changing systems and people. The word “leader” is being used when referring to the role of managers because the function of leadership is to handle all the changes in a team/project. Managers need to lead the team to success.

  • Strategy-planning skills

The manager is the decision-maker. A wrong plan will most likely lead to unpredictable consequences. So planning skills are very important to ensure that managers can make reasonable plans and direct all employees to work. During the implementation of the plan, the manager will need problem-solving tools and, when necessary, must make and execute decisions within his or her authority.

  • Problem-solving skills

The problem-solving process can be carried out through the following steps: identifying the problem, finding the root cause of the problem, classifying the problem, finding the solution, and choosing the optimal solution. A good manager will conduct this process skillfully and efficiently.

  • Communication skills

More and more people are realizing the power of relationships, which comes from good communication skills. You must know how to impress with your voice, body language, eyes, and easy-to-understand, convincing expressions. Good communication skills are also effective in human resource management.

  • Visionaries

A leader is much more important than an individual. He always seems to know how to plan everything well and is the one who provides the most useful advice to his associates or subordinates.

  • Assertiveness

As a leader, you are expected to make important decisions while others often try to stay away from it. Even though these decisions will sometimes make a big impact on the relationship between you and the people around you, you have to accept it.

The arrogance and tolerance in decision-making can lead you to mistakes when setting a bad precedent that leads to the loss of your “authority” as a leader. Sometimes you also need to be a little ruthless in firing an employee because his actions greatly harm the interests of the company.

  • Willing to sacrifice personal interests

As a leader of a team, you have to spend a lot of time and effort to manage your subordinates and work well. Even that busyness takes up private time for yourself and your family.

  • Adaptability

A business approach may work today, but tomorrow it will be different. A good leader needs to be aware of that and must be timely in adapting and accepting change. He must stay up to date with new skills, technologies, and methods to promote growth in his work.

What are the traits of leaders?

  • Visionaries

Leaders must be visionaries and have a very broad vision and understanding. They see things that normal people can’t see. Good leaders are people who see the future of the organization, they have big dreams. And know what it takes to get your organization on the right track.

  • Inspiration

Usually, the leader is someone who is not directly involved in the war. They are good at inspiring, they lead their teams to take action for a common goal. Often leaders have good managers who stand shoulder to shoulder as the leaders’ generals. Managers will make small goals for them.

  • Good strategic planning ability

A leader is more than just a visionary. They are also good at strategic planning. They know how to properly allocate resources. They know how to create strategies to solve specific problems. But the leader is often the one who is not good at execution.

  • Coaching genius

Leaders are often the best at recruiting and building teams. They form and train their team, not only in terms of expertise, cohesion but also in creating a common vision.

  • Sensitivity

Sensitivity is a special quality that helps us to read the minds of others. Therefore, let’s understand the thoughts and aspirations of employees to meet and have a way to persuade and lead them. In cooperation, it will be easy to predict the direction of the opponent to prepare a battle plan.

  • Integrity

Looking at people and looking at work for fair judgment is an essential element in creating a healthy working environment. More than anyone else, a leader is the one who takes the lead to show the new integrity that makes people respect and creates a united team.

  • Energy

A leader is a person who confronts all difficulties and challenges to maintain his/her organization. Therefore, willpower is a necessary quality to make them unable to fall.

  • Confidence

Believing in their decisions, leaders make employees believe in what they do. Sometimes it will be difficult, but new confidence makes us optimistic and motivate others to continue.

  • Intelligence

The intelligence of a leader is the comprehensive development and combination of the necessary elements. Maybe they are not the best in a certain field, but with their intelligence, they know how to use talented people to become their effective hands.

Remarkable differences between leader and manager

  • Leaders provide vision, managers set goals

Leaders paint a big picture of what they see and inspire their followers to work together to make that picture a reality. They are responsible for thinking up and putting new ideas into the company’s plans for the next period. Leaders must always have a vision, while constantly developing new strategies and tactics. They, therefore, need to be knowledgeable about the latest trends, research, and skill updates.

Meanwhile, managers focus on setting, measuring, and achieving goals. They control situations so that everything is maintained and operating as planned.

  • Leaders change the agents, managers maintain the status quo of the team

Leaders are always looking for innovation. They accept change even knowing that everything is working properly for better development in the future. Leaders understand and are ready for the fact that changes will often create a ripple of instability in the business/organizational apparatus.

Managers are always committed, sticking to what is working. They choose to tweak the system, structure, and process to make it more efficient.

  • Leaders are unique, managers are learning

Leaders are always themselves. They are self-aware and work hard to build their unique, distinctive personal brand. Leaders are comfortable with their own style and ready to stand out. They are also known to be authentic and transparent.

Managers learn their management skills and abilities through work experiences or from others. They are more inclined to learn to create their own leadership style than to define and create themselves.

  • Leaders accept risks, managers control risks

Leaders are willing to take on new things even when they may fail miserably. They know that the higher the risk, the greater the chance; and failure will be a step on the road to success.

Managers work to reduce risks or unforeseen situations. They always seek to avoid and control these problems rather than head into unsafe things.

  • Leaders prepare for the long term, managers control the short term

Leaders are always visionary. They do what they say they will and work towards a big goal in the distant future. Leaders can work towards this goal with burning motivation without receiving any reward other than reaching the finish line.

In contrast, managers work on short-term goals. They always monitor, check the process and seek recognition and rewards from superiors or from actual performance.

  • Leader expand personal development; Managers develop existing skills

Leaders know if they don’t learn something new every day, they will fall behind. They are always curious and seek to embrace new things in an ever-changing business environment.

Managers often seek to grow from what has made them successful; perfect existing skills and apply proven methods through knowledge and experience.

  • Leadership strengthens trust; Manager relies on control

You can’t be a leader if no one executes your ideas. Leaders are often tasked with building trust, getting people excited about their ideas. When employees are excited to receive ideas, it means that the leader has built their trust. This is essential when business is changing rapidly.

The difference between managers vs leaders is that Managers maintain control of employees, helping them to develop their full potential to create products, services or increase revenue for the business. To get the desired results, managers need to understand the abilities, passions, and desires of each employee.

The main tests between management vs leadership

  • Test of Counting Value and Creating Value

Managers are the people who count their value. Meanwhile,

leaders focus on making their value which is expected to be higher than the value of the team, or the followers.

  • Test of Circles of Influence and Power

Managers will manage the team with authority and rules, which allow creating a circle of power within their team. Meanwhile, leaders influence others by beliefs and aspirations, so, leaders have the ability to create a circle of influence in the team.

  • Test of Leading and Managing

The main task of managers is to manage a team to achieve the set goals according to a certain route. Whereas, leadership finds innovative ways, allowing employees to make a difference to lead the team to success.


In general, both leaders and managers are important and indispensable positions in a team. Although there are certain differences between these two definitions, the lack of one will lead to confusion and a lack of direction for the team. A manager needs to have the qualities of a leader and vice versa.

The above article has defined the concept of Leadership vs Management as well as provided related information about these two positions. Hope you guys can have more beneficial knowledge and achieve a high position in your career.

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