Management vs Leadership – The difference and why we need both

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Mention Management and Leadership to anyone working in corporate. To them, they mean entirely different things. And they are right to think so. Here is why, In the hierarchy of business, a manager’s role has to do with forecasting, planning and controlling, budgeting, controlling, controlling and controlling. That’s Right! that is why most managers cannot grasp remote work in this COVID pandemic. We know managers to be those that have been appointed to manage but not necessarily lead. Leaders are at the LEGENDARY  status in any company and are seen as visionaries. 

Should managers and leaders be the same? Should a manager know how to lead? And should a leader learn to manage? These days we understand that the old-fashioned view of a manager’s duties is wholly insufficient for the new-millennium workplace. Let us look at some qualities of leaders compared to managers. 


Leaders focus on creating value – A true leader generates value over and above that which the team creates, and is as much a value-creator as his or her followers are. Leading by example and leading by enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership.

Influence and power – Just as managers have subordinates and leaders have followers, managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence. Quick tip, look out for people outside your reporting hierarchy that come to you for advice, that is how you know that you are perceived as a leader. 


The Era we currently are has pushed for work to be changed. The future of work is has evolved and today, it is imperative for managers to be leaders and vice versa. The times where the managers’ role has in abeyance is long gone. Time to get one’s hands dirty. While managers are known to be subordinates of a corporate hierarchy, leaders drive the energy of a team. Leaders will allow people to own their own spaces and put their stamp on every accomplishment. Our traditional view of management is task-based and mechanical. In that worldview, we don’t think about topics like “How are my teammates holding up? Are they stressed out? Are they on the same page? Are they feeling good about the future and about the energy on the team?” 

For years we’ve pretended that human energy isn’t a factor in a team’s success. But we know that the team energy, also known as trust level, is the whole ballgame! We can pretend use all the means to get people to do what we want, if they don’t care about the mission, about their leader and/or about one another, the team will fracture and lose steam. It is something you cannot avoid. Trust-based and empathetic leadership is not just a way of leading, it is the only way and most profitable way to run a company. 


In managing the company of the future, management and leadership must go hand in hand. The company of the future simply cannot afford to be one or the other. Evidence supporting the failure of management – Studies support the fact that companies make the wrong choice in selecting managers 82 % of the time. Studies also found that managers account for 70%  of employees’ issues with engagement. Low employee engagement leads to low productivity, which is bad news for the bottom line. 


Without a leader, a company cannot progress with ease. And people drive dreams and visions of companies. If the people are unwilling, the dream dies. A necessary skill that all managers must-have. The skill of leadership. While the saying is true that leaders are born, it is also true that one can learn to lead. It is very possible and must be something that managers must be willing to do in order to be efficient and yield necessary results. It is not learnt in theory but in practice and takes years to truly master. It becomes a part of you. So the next time you think of progressing in your career be sure to self-check for leadership skills. Some already know and work synonymous as managers. But for many, it is a road yet to be discovered. 



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