What’s the difference between leadership and management?

Although leadership and management are often used interchangeably, the two are actually quite distinctive roles – and require differing skillets and talents.

Management as a bridge to leadership

Managers are hugely important in every organisation. They are often viewed as the head of various projects and departments, helping to fuel successful organisations and encouraging success amongst the individuals who form each team within the company.

However, there is no mistaking that management is quite distinct from leadership. Managers are frequently individuals who work for the leaders who front a company, particularly in the case of larger organisations.

There are of course instances where the two roles overlap, either by necessity or preference. A manager may become the lead on a task, they may lead a department, or in the case of smaller enterprises and start-ups, the role may be fulfilled by just one entrepreneurial person.

Even on these occasions, they will soon learn that there are times when they must switch ‘hats’ and become either the leader or the manager, depending on the circumstance at hand.

For a company to be run effectively, management and leadership need to be closely integrated. They are forever linked while still being fundamentally separate. Key skills which are required for management include the ability to both plan and organise effectively in various areas and delegation, all while ensuring staff know what is expected of them.

As well known figures within the organisation, managers are frequently responsible for motivating and inspiring colleagues, pushing them to excel and reach their full potential. Many of these skills are also desirable in leaders, which can sometimes result in confusion.

Leaders as inspiring frontrunners

The leader of a company is often the figure which many working within it are quick to identify and even idolise. They like to focus on the big picture, rather than the day-to-day workings of each department.

Leaders are figures with a vision which they are eager to put into motion, and they are skilled at identifying the people who can bring that vision to life. They are therefore fantastic at viewing their team members as much more than just figures with a particular degree or background, and are interested to discover more about what motivates and inspires them – and how this can help drive the organisation forwards.

The crucial overlap

Both managers and leaders play an integral role in helping companies rise to the challenges they face. Both need to know their role well, but they often take a differing approach to their position. A leader is someone who naturally attracts a following, while a manager may be more prone to emphasising their authority.

Where management is all about generating new ideas, it is the leadership of the company which will help put these ideas into motion within the organisation.

Written by
Scott Dylan
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Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan is the Co-founder of Inc & Co, a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, and business strategist renowned for his adeptness in turning around struggling companies and driving sustainable growth.

As the Co-Founder of Inc & Co, Scott has been instrumental in the acquisition and revitalization of various businesses across multiple industries, from digital marketing to logistics and retail. With a robust background that includes a mix of creative pursuits and legal studies, Scott brings a unique blend of creativity and strategic rigor to his ventures. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is deeply committed to philanthropy, with a special focus on mental health initiatives and community welfare.

Scott's insights and experiences inform his writings, which aim to inspire and guide other entrepreneurs and business leaders. His blog serves as a platform for sharing his expert strategies, lessons learned, and the latest trends affecting the business world.


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