Leadership vs Management – How to Tell a Leader from a Manager

Being a good, even great manager is no longer enough in this day and age. More and more companies are looking for leaders, people who are capable of leading employees towards a goal, and not just managing the existing workforce. When comparing leadership vs management, there are certain important differences that must be taken into consideration.

Value: counting it or adding it?

Leadership vs Management – How to Tell a Leader from a ManagerBusinessDictionary.com defines a leader as “A person or thing that holds a dominant or superior position within its field, and is able to exercise a high degree of control or influence over others.”

One of the most important differences between management and leadership is how they both treat value in regards to company goals. Where management is simply counting value – as the manager is in charge of evaluating workers’ capabilities and simply distributing tasks, leadership is also responsible for adding value.
A leader is quick to recognize those capable of creating value for the company, while complementing the work being carried out by others. This does not mean that management should be pushed away and forgotten; the two must complement each other for the company’s success.

Influence vs power

When talking about leadership vs management, the clash between power and influence comes up right away. A manager has subordinates, while a leader has followers. A manager creates circles of power around him or her based on the company hierarchy, while a leader creates circles of influence, as employees feel free to come to him or her for advice.
A leader is a person who draws people in, even from departments that are not linked to him or her. In just one word, a leader has charisma.

Leading vs controlling

Leading people towards a goal is what leaders do. A leader’s innate abilities include influencing others, motivating them, enabling them to work together better. On the other hand, a manager’s job is to control a group of people so they can reach a certain goal.

Leadership vs management – the rundown

Leaders and managers are different, but they must complement each other for promoting the success of their companies. Learning and understanding the differences between leaders and managers can help create the proper space for both types of personalities to thrive. Here is a short list of other differences between the two types of professionals.
A leader is in charge of innovation, while a manager handles the company’s administration.
A leader is preoccupied with developing the company, while a manager’s role is to maintain its structure.
A leader is a self taught professional, while a manager needs formal education.
A leader knows how to create new things, while a manager is in charge of verifying that the things are done correctly.
Where a leader becomes an inspiration for others, a manager has to rely on control to ensure that employees stay task-focused.
A leader comes up with new ideas, while a manager is focused on doing things by the book.
A leader’s focus is on the future, while a manager lives in the present.

These are not, by far, all the differences between leaders and managers. When evaluating the leadership vs management relations, the most important thing to keep in mind is that one category does not exclude the other.