And the difference between management and leadership is ...?

Some people in the company I now work for interchange the terms 'management' and 'leadership' seemingly at will. In the ensuing debate, some accept that there is a difference; others fail to see the point. To me, management is about making things happen, and leadership is about setting direction. Also, I see another difference: in my old military environment leadership was expected from the senior person present in any situation, whereas in civvy street there is more scope for a natural leader to take the lead (albeit with the consent of the senior person present).

In today's environment, what do you see as the differences between management and leadership?
One definition of leadership I quite like is this;

leadership is the ability to get people to do someting when you want it done, in the way you want it done, because they want to do it.

It's not perfect I know, but the final phrase is the difference that makes a leader rather than a manager.
They're spelt differently.

Happy to help, etc...

But seriously, I've always thought that management can be taught, but leadership can only be developed.

I would venture that Management is the allocation of resources to allow achievement of aims set by leadership.

BTW, there is a Short University Course in Exeter that covers all this.
This has often been a hobby horse of mine. I have ruminated, cogitated and thunk. The best I have managed to come up with was from the letters page in an Australian newspaper. I photocopied this article at the time and it has remained in the top drawer of my desk for a few years now. Whenever some smartarse tries to do the management / leadership thing I quote this at them. Try it. It makes perfect sense.


Whilst I agree with Messrs Hilmer and Donaldson (Management Redeemed) that management has largely run amok trialling short term fixes, they have done the cause of management a disservice by suggesting that management (as I read the extract) can ever succeed independently of the complimentary notion of leadership.

In my view, management at best can only ever be the sound of one hand clapping. The notion that we can 'manage people' is flawed and downright dishonest. I have only ever seen people motivated by leadership, not management. Management, I would argue, is simply the administrative support arm of leadership. We need people who accept responsibility to manage themselves, not to accept being managed. I certainly don't like being managed, but I do respond to leadership....

F J Miller, East Brisbane.
Simple, succinctly put and true. There, the unfashionable truth. Management has its place, but actually it's effective leaders we need. We have been fighting a rear guard action for sometime now, to protect ourselves from those who would wish to dilute tried and trusted methods to take account of modern management techniques.
I would argue that there are different types of leadership - for instance, somebody maybe a natural leader in one setting, e.g. a medic in a hospital; but then place the same medic in a situation where he was required to lead a company attack and he prob. would not do so well.
Not sure I agree. I believe leadership to be an innate characteristic which, as already mentioned, can be developed but cannot be actively taught. In the example given above I’d argue that the difference is in learned skills and experience but that the personality trait of leadership remains much the same.
I have the same issues, leadership and management are two distinct things. Management is the ability to apply resources, leadership is the ability to get people to do a task. Thus good management can be measured by finantial, and quantifiable resources, good leadership is measured by the application of the team, having done the best job they can and willing to come back for more because the leader asked them to!

Anyone can be taught management (apply the tools and metrics and codes of good practice) and be good at it . Anyone can be taught leadership (historial example, guidelines etc) , but you have to believe in yourself and your team to be good at it!
Lucky_Jim said:
One definition of leadership I quite like is this;

leadership is the ability to get people to do someting when you want it done, in the way you want it done, because they want to do it.

It's not perfect I know, but the final phrase is the difference that makes a leader rather than a manager.
I would replace the final phrase with 'even if they don't want to do it.'

A leader must inspire and enthuse. Management can be done by a faceless gnome in the NHS who does not have contact with anything except his keyboard.

Think of it this way - MCM Div Desk Offrs at APC Glasgow manage all our careers (reasonably well for the most part) but they are not Leaders (in their current role anyway(!) - I am sure that plenty of them are good leaders when in command!)
I think leadership has a bit more regality about it.

I think it's providing inspiration, support and commanding respect and using all of these things to steer something by force of will, with the support of those around you.

Management is the technical side of things. It's about understanding the details and resources required and applying them to the task.

Most people can be taught to manage something, but I think leadership is a more natural thing that, as said above, can only be developed.
Lucky_Jim said:
leadership is the ability to get people to do someting when you want it done, in the way you want it done, because they want to do it.
"Leadership is that combination of example, persuasion and compulsion that makes men do what you want them to"

Field Marshal Lord Slim DSO MC GCB GBE GCVO


Just spent 9 months on ICSC, still trying to work it out (joke)

Suggest you contact the Defence Leadership Centre at Shrivenham, they've got shed loads on it! Failing that, get ahold of a copy of ADP Land Ops - actually a brilliant publication!
On my police promotion course I was told, "anyone can be a manager, managers just do what the book tells them, leaders however are rarer and do the right thing what ever the book says"

Leaders hold the map. Managers hold the steering wheel. Doing both is possible but is more likely to lead to a crash.

However, if we're avoiding trite soundbites, which never convey the whole story in any case, the difference is rather difficult to define. But I think most people would agree that leadership involves charisma, atmosphere, morale and other fuzzy concepts that make the subject so hard to pin down. Managment is much more scientific and involves resources, procedures, policies and suchlike.

There are major differences between military and civil life that make direct comparison between leaders and managers a difficult subject.
As a civilian - once I got to director level - I worked on the basis when implementing redundencies that I could do without managers but could not do without leaders. In time, I gathered a team of double-hatters who could manage and who could also lead.

RMA SANDHURST (circa 1973)

Leadership in the Army is principally about DOING. It is the business of applying your professional skill and knowledge of your ability to inspire people to give of their best TO GET THINGS DONE.

Nor should you confuse leadership with 'management'. The latter is a civilian term which is primarily concerned with organising resources rather than people.........
Just literally finished a 3 year management degree so please make allowances for non use of big words (they scare me and my ice cream!)

So my 2p is

At a very basic level:

managment is literally the managing of resources (people, objects, money etc) and can be done by anybody ultimatly (think 1000 chimps with typewriters...) as it is a fairly logical process and as has already pointed out can be taught.

Leadership is the provision of a figurehead to actually inspire things to get done (in whatever fashion is needed - eg. by example, motivational speechs etc). The best summary of leadership ever given to me was simply : "Follow Me"

Whilst leadership is an obvious benifit to efficient magagement it is definatly not a interchangable term.
You lead people.

You manage processes and things.
Inf, you just beat me to it.

You manage organisations and situations - you lead people.

A good manager will see his system work when he is absent. A good leader will improve performance while he is there.

These things are not mutually exclusive.
"Leaders" are respected by the individuals subordinate to them because they put the interests of said subordinates before their own; "managers" borrow your watch in order to tell you the time, and then walk off with your watch. Managers tend to rate themselves "popular with MY team", and ALWAYS have the data to prove it!

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