The 3 Main Differences Between Management & Leadership

team leader in woodThe words manager and leader are used interchangeably most of the time, but they are not the same.

There is a world of difference between a manager, which every single company on the planet has, and a true leader, which is fairly rare.

Both employees and companies benefit from leaders, versus simply managers – to make sure you are putting your leadership foot forward, learn the difference between managers and leaders.

The Difference Between Leadership & Management With Examples

Employees/ Projects

A manager has only one goal in mind – to get the job done.

As such, they focus on projects, tasks and due dates, simply handing out assignments to their employees and making sure they get done.

Leaders, on the other hand, always keep at the forefront of their mind that they are working with people, actual human beings.

While they also stay on top of projects, their first and utmost concern is their staff.

They work to make sure they are empowered, motivated, educated and trained so that they not only get their jobs done, but also grow and flourish in their positions.

Creativity/ Banality

Supervisors establish a certain routine in work habits and maintain that status quo.

They come to learn which employees are good at what, and assign specific tasks to them.

They know what systems and software to use, and continue using them.

The viewpoint here is “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Leaders banal view of the workplace and crave and demand creativity.

They know that employees thrive when their creative juices are flowing, so they work as a team to come up with a better and more productive way of doing things on a regular basis.

Modelling/ Dictating

Managers often wrongly believe that their duty lies in directing staff in what to do, but don’t understand that in order for a positive team experience, they need to actually be the example of the perfect employee.

A true leader will model the type of behaviour they expect to see from their staff rather than simply dictating what they should do.

Don’t expect your team to work overtime while you come in later and leave earlier than everyone else.

Don’t take off for a two-hour lunch while your employees only have an hour.

Doing so will demotivate them and make them lose respect for you. However, working side-by-side with them and showing them how committed you are to the job will empower them to feel and act the same.

Please visit our Leadership Category for lots more on this subject.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 5 September, 2017

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