Managers and Leaders: Are They the Same or Different?

What is the difference between leadership and management? Leadership and management are both necessary competencies that add institutional value. Neither is superior or inferior to the other; they are just different. This essay will discuss about the difference between both of them.

Leadership and management are terms that are often considered synonymous. It is essential to understand that leadership is an essential part of effective management. .Leadership and management are essential skills for all qualified care professionals, regardless of the position that they hold.

(Gopee & Galloway, 2017, p.25). People often mistake leadership and management as the same thing but in essence, they are very different. The main difference between the two is that leaders have people that follow them, while managers have people who simply work for them. Particularly in small businesses, for a small business owner to be successful they need to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board with working towards their vision of success.

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Leadership is about getting people to comprehend and believe in the vision you set for the company and to work with you on achieving your goals, while management is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day activities are happening as they should. As a crucial component of management, remarkable leadership behavior stresses upon building an environment in which each and every employee develops and excels. Leadership is defined as the potential to influence and drive the group’s efforts towards the accomplishment of goals. When management is defined in relation to administration, for example, it is the word ‘management’ that conveys the sense of strategy and creative endeavor, with ‘administration’ seen as embodying notions of efficiency and routine.

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When leadership is defined in relation to management, however, it is leadership that is then cast as the creative function, with management seen as relating more to day-to-day work. (Thorpe, 2016, p.11).

Management and leadership skills are often regarded as one and the same to many businesses. While the two inherently share many similar characteristics, they differ in that not all managers are leaders, but all leaders are managers. They are complementary qualities inexorably linked to each other, and any attempt to extricate one from the other is impossible. Whereas the manager exists to plan, organize and coordinate, a leader serves to inspire and motivate.

Leadership is the element that makes the difference between an organization “muddling through” or merely surviving and another that is really making an enviable process. Leadership can be looked upon as a subset of the management fuction. (Oshagbemi, 2017, p.24). A leader focuses on interpersonal relationships with other important contacts in other companies, as well as promoting promising individuals within the company to foster innovation. A true leader will also be willing to ignore the company’s quarterly bottom line for several quarters – much to the chagrin of shareholders – and make investments for a long-range growth perspective. A leader is considered a ‘fearless innovator’ in that he or she challenges the status quo and is unafraid to take high risks in search of high rewards, for customers, employees, and shareholders alike.

Management refers to the activities involving in coordinating people, time, and supplies to achieve desired outcomes and involves problem – solving and decision – making processes. (Cherry & Jacob, 2016, p.295). A manager is considered a copy of the leader, responsible for communicating the rules and philosophies of the company to individual employees, and ensuring that they abide by them. They are responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of the company so the cogs of the operation stay well-oiled. Managers are generally more concerned with the quarterly bottom line, and will often base decisions based on these calculations.

To sum up, in many professions, managers and leaders assume the same role. Many managers will struggle for their entire careers and never attain this, but a skilled few will evolve into true leaders.

Reference Lists

  1. Cherry, B., Jacob,S. (2016). Contemporary Nursing. St.Louis, Missouri: Riverport Lane. (pp. 295).
  2. Goope, N., Galloway, J. (2017). Leadership and Management In Healthcare.Chennai, India: C&M Digitals. (pp. 25).
  3. Oshagbemi, (2017). Leadership and Management in Universities Britain and Nigeria. Berlin: Deutsche Bibliotek Catologing in Publication Data. (pp. 24).
  4. Thorpe, R. (2016). Gower Handbook of Leadership and Management Devolopment. Abingdon, New York: Routledge (pp. 11).

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Managers and Leaders: Are They the Same or Different?. (2020, Nov 20). Retrieved from

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