What’s the Difference between Management and Leadership?

Despite what you might think initially, there is a big difference between management and leadership. All leaders are managers, but not all managers are leaders. Knowing the difference is the key to reaching your team’s full potential and achieving your goals as a business.

Leaders have people follow them and managers have people work for them. If you want to know how to become a better leader, keep reading.

What does it mean to manage?

Managing is simple. You just use the authority you have over others to dictate terms and designate tasks. It doesn’t really require you to listen to your team. Management often doesn’t require there to be a manager in the first place.

The same job can be done with a list of tasks sent by email. Most people don’t need to be told when or how to do something and are more than capable of managing many of their own responsibilities. But this doesn’t inspire your team, keep them engaged, or foster innovation. 

Managing is an essential part of any team, but having a manager is not. This shines light on the difference between a good manager and a good leader because although a team may not need a manager, they will always need a leader.

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Leaders inspire. Being a leader requires you to have a human touch. This means listening, encouraging group efforts, pushing people based on what you know about them, and most importantly, being a good leader means you care.

Leaders don’t just manage. They engage with their team, leaving room for discussion and new ideas to surface. By making your team more comfortable sharing their criticisms and new ideas, you are more likely to innovate and always have the edge on your competition. Being a leader is also a competitive advantage.

Your team should also feel comfortable asking for help. They respect your input and value your opinions. People also want to work harder for leaders, but not managers.

Managers don’t lead by example

A big difference between management and leadership is the ability to lead by example. The worst kind of manager is a recluse who hides in an office sending orders down the line. A leader doesn’t hide in their office. They put themselves out there and actively engage with their team, motivating everyone towards a common goal.

How well you lead by example even adds to the differences between a good leader and a good manager. A good manager might “lead by example” by going through the motions and doing enough. A good leader does more than enough because they care. They don’t just go through the motions—they set the tone for enthusiasm in the workplace.

Don’t be a manager – be a leader

Cain Consulting teaches leaders how to avoid becoming managers. Building your skills as a leader is essential for achieving your goals as an individual and a business. If you want to improve your skills as a leader and your ability to communicate with your employees, contact us to learn more about how we can help you. 

Ready to advance your leadership?

We’d love to hear from you to see how we can help you become the most effective leader you can be. 

What We Do