October 12, 2022

Learn the Difference: Leadership vs Management

By B&SC Blog Team

Learn the Difference: Leadership vs Management

The phrases “management” and “leadership” are sometimes used interchangeably. While there is considerable overlap in the styles of leaders and managers, there are substantial differences between leadership and management too.

Both managers and leaders are essential to organizational success; each job requires a distinct set of skills and attitudes. All companies need managers and leaders, although not always in the same capacity or from the same individual. Simply said, managers manage an employee in a workplace while leaders lead people. It is a subtle but important distinction. What is the difference between leadership and management?

What Is Leadership?

Leadership is a term that extends beyond business environments. Effective leaders use social influence to challenge the status quo and maximize the efforts of people to work toward a common objective.

Bill Gates stated that in the next century, leaders will be the ones who empower others. A strong leader has a vision and can motivate others to move forward based on it.

The idea of leadership transcends business and is a focal point for most aspects of life. Today, those in a leadership role respond proactively to challenges that people face every day, in and out of business. An effective leader can get people to follow them.

Almost all great leaders have had to overcome setbacks and disappointments along the road. For many, this is what defines and motivates their leadership style. Martin Luther King employed a range of methods to develop and lead a movement critical to efforts to remove legal segregation in the United States.

Walt Disney was one of the most prolific business leaders in history. He based his leadership plans on the participation of team members and business peers. Another influential business leader is Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Her leadership strategy was to treat each person in a way that made them feel important.

What Is Management?

Management is about controlling the day-to-day operations of a business or organization. That doesn’t require the ability to inspire others. It is simply about being organized and in control of the situation.

In management, the focus is on the process, not the vision. Managers look to achieve organizational goals. They do this by implementing processes and coordinating actions.

“Manager” is a title, and workplaces depend on these professionals to provide direction, coordinate tasks, and set strategies. Without management, there is no structure. Managers can be leaders. In theory, effective managers do have leadership qualities. However, leadership and management are not the same thing.

Leadership vs. Management

Managing people entails monitoring them to ensure they perform what they are meant to do. Traditional supervision means ensuring workers don’t misbehave or make mistakes, which might happen if someone isn’t monitoring them.

Leaders are self-assured enough to select individuals they can rely upon and delegate authority to them to accomplish what they do best.

Although there are clear similarities, the differences are more subtle. If you were to break these two concepts down, you would see them more clearly, though. To know which one you are practicing, a practical way to figure it out is to count how many people outside of your reporting hierarchy come to you for advice.

Value: The Difference Between Counting and Creating

A manager looks at a team and counts the value of the individual people in it. They use their management skills when:

  • Setting objectives for the team
  • Organizing the work
  • Using power to motivate-for example, a manager may set pay levels and determine promotions
  • Analyzing performances based on established measures
  • Nurturing employees and helping to develop their careers

A good manager sets clear objectives, develops standard procedures and processes to meet those objectives, monitors results, and then makes changes where necessary.

Leaders, on the other hand, make people want to follow them. They work to generate value in everyone. While managers count value, leaders inspire it. Some critical leadership qualities include:

  • Stimulating thought and innovation in others
  • Motivating and encouraging participation
  • Communication expertise
  • Inspiring loyalty
  • Seeing the bigger picture

They also lead by example, putting themselves at the same level as the people that follow them.

Power: Direction vs. Influence

The use of power is another critical difference between management and leadership. Managers have subordinates, and they have power over decisions that affect their lives, such as pay raises, employment, and promotions. Their subordinates follow them because they don’t have a choice, which is why not all managers are leaders.

For leaders, though, the power is in their ability to influence others. The people around them seek advice and guidance, not direction. If the subordinates come to a manager for advice, they likely consider them a leader.

Strategy: Leading vs. Managing

It seems a bit simple to say leaders lead and managers manage, but that explains it well. Management is about controlling those under you and directing them in a way that accomplishes a goal.

Leadership means motivating them to follow the same path and inspiring them to complete tasks. It is influence and inspiration that separates a leader from someone that is only a manager.

Start Your Leadership Journey Today

Business degrees like those offered at Bryant & Stratton work to instill leadership skills in students. Business leaders don’t necessarily have to be managers. The goal is to provide education that helps you excel at your career and set goals for yourself. A business degree from Bryant & Stratton College provides a strong foundation for those looking to succeed.

The business programs cover many different career paths, too. A BBA Accounting degree gives you the skills to work in the field of accounting, for example. Bryant & Stratton College offers business programs at many different education levels, as well.

Our diploma programs prepare students for entry-level positions in many fields. It is a stepping stone that can start you down a path to meet your career goals.

Our associate degree programs are the next level up. Both diploma and associate degree programs are often available online. Most associate programs take anywhere from 16 to 20 months to complete if you are a full-time student-whether on-campus or online.

Many of our bachelor’s degree programs offer similar flexibility. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in a business field at Bryant & Stratton College in as little as 40 months and study online or on-campus.

Leadership and management are critical skills to have if you want to go into business. We teach you the basics of both to give you what you need as you enter the job market or become an entrepreneur. Graduating with a business degree will ensure you have the technical skills necessary to move forward as a leader.

Find out more about getting your business degree or diploma at Bryant & Stratton College today.

Related News