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In organizations, leaders and managers are often confused. How can it be differentiated between the two? The difference between leadership and management is simple. Leadership is when you have the capability of influencing a group of people or individuals towards performing or doing something. On the other hand, management is the art of arranging and coordinating a group of people to complete required tasks efficiently in an organization.

Being a leader comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to be able to do more than manage; you have to be able to lead your team.

Whether you plan to become a PMP certified project manager or want to be a competent project manager, it is important to know the difference between leadership and management.

The Differences Between Management and Leadership

  • Leadership is about building people; Management is about direction.
  • Leadership is about principle; management is about numbers.
  • Leadership is ethical and moral with a genuine concern for people first; management is about telling the people what to do, where to go, and when to get there.
  • Leadership, the edge; management is the tip of the sword.
  • Leadership builds people—the best leaders lead by example and demonstrate how they would like their employees to perform. Management directs financial, human, technological, and informational resources and turns them into results.
  • Leadership is a process of influencing others to work willingly to achieve objectives. Management is a process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling to achieve predetermined objectives.
  • Leadership is single person-centric, whereas management is group or team-centric.
  • Leadership is about people, whereas management is about things or objects.
  • Leadership is related to people interaction, whereas management is related to interaction.
  • Leadership is about creating a vision for the future and igniting passion in others to make that vision a reality. Management deals with the here-and-now, ensuring that things are done on time, on budget, and with expectations.
  • Leaders are concerned with why, what, who, and when. Managers are concerned with how. Leaders are focused on the big picture; managers are focused on details.
  • Leaders take risks; managers minimize them.
  • Leaders get people excited about the future; managers get people engaged in the present.


“Takeaway: To be a successful project manager you need to have both leadership and management skills.”


Leadership and Management Character Traits

S.noLeadership Character TraitsManagement Character Traits
1.Trustworthy and honestAbility to delegate and follow up
2.Inspiring and motivationalOrganization skills
3.CompetentCommunication skills
4.ProactiveDecision-making skills
5.CommunicativeTime Management
7.Flexible and adaptableDelegation

The relationship between leadership and management is clear to most employees. Yet the distinctions between the two roles are not always easy to draw. Some leaders may indeed act like managers, while some managers can display many of the better qualities of a leader. People with managerial titles sometimes feel more comfortable acting in a leadership role than those with leadership titles do when acting as managers.

What Do Managers Do?

On the other hand, managers are more likely to be seen as administrators who organize work and make sure that the job gets done. They focus on how things need to be done. They work behind the scenes — they have experience, competence, and authority.

What Do Leaders Do?

Leaders are often said to lead by example, inspire others, have vision and passion, and be able to influence people. They focus on what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. They stand out from the crowd — they have charisma and presence.

“Leadership is about inspiring and management is about planning.”



In this article, you learned that both leadership and management are different from each other; however, there is a clear overlap between them. We compared leadership vs. management and noticed that managers and leaders are different. Management and leadership are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Both are necessary for success.

You want to get things done, and you want to make an impact. But the world is full of distractions and the work is never-ending. How can you be more organized, manage your time better, and find ways to be more effective? Learn with Rafiuddin Alvi.

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