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What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?

May 9th, 2007 · 16 Comments

I have often heard the terms used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Beside the definitions of the terms, there is a real, practical, and meaningful differentiation.

Management is planning and organizing projects and operations, allocating resources to minimize costs and maximize benefits, directing practices and procedures, establishing controls to measure the effectiveness and efficiencies, and motivating subordinates. Management is concerned with present activities and the immediate results of those activities.

Leadership is more abstract when considered separately from management. Leadership is guiding a person or group toward the best results. It is having sound understanding to determine and ability to articulate visions and goals. Leadership is in par with management, but takes on precedence for strategic management and long-term success.

Stephen Covey used a ladder to illustrate the difference between leadership and management in the book, 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. Management is concerned with getting up a ladder in the most effective and most efficient manner. Leadership is making certain the ladder is on the right wall.

I have also heard management is focused internally within an organization or group, while leadership is focused externally toward the industry and the market place. However, you chose to define the difference, when you understand the difference, you will be a better manager and better leader.

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Tags: Books · Leadership · Leadership vs Management · Management · Stephen Covey

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 7 Steps to Lead Without Inherent Talent // Aug 8, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    […] Learn better management techniques: There is a difference between leadership and management, but leaders need the skill set of a manager in order to complete the active job of […]

  • 2 Jon // Aug 14, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I have added a page to build on the leadership and management difference. I will be adding to this page as I develop material and content. Please see the page here: leadership and management difference

  • 3 BISIKAY // Feb 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    By BISIKAY, Director, The Global LEADAGEMENT Institute, London (drbisikay@yahoo.com)

    I have come to realise that once we moved away from MANAGERIALISM to, and, from the LEADERSHIP models of EXECUTIVE deployment and development, a new paradigm could now emerge, which I am exploring in the new concept of “LEADAGEMENT: The SUPER-MODEL of Higher Executive Development Beyond Management and Leadership”.
    Myself and a few colleagues are working on this super-model through the newly established GLOBAL LEADAGEMENT INSTITUTE, in London, UK. We believe that MANAGERIALISM is not enough, and that LEADERSHIP is not enough either. Current concerns about optimising executives’ PERFORMANCE worldwide have given us the impetus for the LEADAGEMENT project. The way forward, we have come to conclude, is in the SYNTHESIS of both of the current executive models inherited from past generations.
    The basic principles of MANAGEMENT and those of LEADERSHIP practices are easily reducible to CONCEPTS that can become synthesised in the wholistic system of LEADAGEMENT, which hopefully in due course give us LEADAGERS: the dynamic HYBRID Super-EXECUTIVES, the Leader-Managers or the Manager-Leaders of tomorrow.
    We are already working to see how LEADAGEMENT practice helps to produce higher Executive PERFORMANCE among organisations administrative cadres.


    From our observation of the current ORGANISATIONAL structures around the world, one has found that there is a traditional DUALISATION of the headship of corporations and institution into the conventional positions of the PRESIDENT / CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (the CEO), on one hand , and that of the CHAIRMAN on the other. Now, we would like to suggest here, in line with the principles and practices of LEADAGEMENT, that the COMBINATION of the Corporate Roles of the CHAIRMAN and the PRESIDENT / CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (the CEO), or the MANAGING DIRECTOR (MD), could be given to the newly conceived position of the LEADAGER.

    We are convinced that both the MANAGER and his/her MANAGERIAL role as well as the CHAIRMAN and his/her LEADERSHIP role will be synthesised into the LEADAGEMENT role for tomorrow’s organisations

    Below is an OUTLINE of LEADAGEMENT, the future EXECUTIVE Development and Deployment system.


    The 4 Operational and Developmental STAGES of Global Executive Functions of GOVERNANCE could be viewed as follows:


    LEADAGEMENT is the new super model of ADMINISTRATION and EXECITIVE functions beyond the current systems of MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP.

    LEADAGEMENT involves an EXECUTIVE who is LEADAGING an organisation as a LEADAGER, not just as a MANAGER or simply a LEADER, to LEADAGE for the highest level of personal performance and organisational productivity.


    Leadagement is the organic integration of management and leadership principles and practices in a synergetic, systematic and strategic way for the most effective and efficient executive and administrative productivity.

    Leadagement is the new super model of ADMINISTRATION and EXECITIVE functions beyond the current systems of MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP.

    Leadagement involves an EXECUTIVE who is LEADAGING an organisation as a LEADAGER, not just as a MANAGER or simply a LEADER, to LEADAGE for the highest level of personal performance and organisational productivity.

    Leadagement is really the essence of global executiveness.

    Leadagement as a WORD is derived from the combination of LEADership and manAGEMENT .

    (2) LEADAGE
    Leadage is how to both lead to manage and to manage to lead for maximum productivity and quality in the executive and administrative function.

    Leadage as a WORD is derived from the combination of LEAD and manAGE

    Leadaging is the dynamic processs of managing leadership and leading management roles and functions for the most productive and qualitative performance of global executiveness.

    Leadaging as a WORD is derived from the combination of LEADing and manAGING
    (4) LEADAGER
    A Leadager is an efficient manager-leader who is at the same time an effective leader-manager, performing their leadaging role beyond just managing or leading an organisation or nation successfully.

    Leadager as a WORD is derived from the combination of LEADer and manAGER


    There is a GLOBAL need for the philosophical and operational SYNTHESIS of the basic Principles / Practices / Prospects / Processes of MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP, thereby taking CORPORATE GOVERNANCE to the required next level of development !

    There is a general acknowledgement of the NEED to make great MANAGERS function better as good LEADERS too. And it is vice versa for great LEADERS as well to function as good MANAGERS. But what about what I would like to refer to as “ EXECUTIVE DISSONANCE”, whereby a manager would only want to perform their executive role simply and solely within MANAGERIALISM, and the organisational leader wanting to perform strictly within LEADERSHIPISM, and whereby both executive officers finding it very difficult to switch between the two administrative and governance paradigms, even when and if they are consciously trying to be flexible in the executive performances to reflect both their MANAGERSHIP as well as LEADERSHIP roles and goals .

    There is MANAGEMENT in LEADERSHIP, as there is LEADERSHIP in MANAGEMENT, while both are really embedded in LEADAGEMENT. It makes our task of EXECUTIVE development and deployment much easier if and when we apply the super-model of LEADAGEMENT without needing to continuously switch from neither MANAGEMENT to LEADERSHIP, nor from LEADERSHIP to MANAGEMENT.

    Out task now is how to make the new subject of LEADAGEMENT live up to its billing.


    We anticipate that sooner or later, people and organisations would want to be in the league of the most productive executives, globally, whereby every good and great MANAGERS and LEADERS everywhere will require to ADVANCE themselves and their organisations further and higher with LEADAGEMENT from now on as the pioneer new world LEADAGERS !

    We earnestly seek contributions from all cadres of EXECUTIVES and the general public, GLOBALLY, on our ongoing efforts at developing and propagating the new subject of LEADAGEMENT.


    1. BISIKAY (2008) When a LEADER Mates a MANAGER…. The Global LEADAGEMENT Institute, London. ( leadagement@gmail.com )

    2. BISIKAY (2008) LEADAGEMENT: The ESSENCE of EXECUTIVENESS. The Global LEADAGEMENT Institute, London. ( leadagement@gmail.com )

    We would welcome CONTRIBUTIONS to our development of the LEADAGEMENT discourse, globally:
    BISIKAY, Director, The Global LEADAGEMENT Institute, London, England, United Kingdom.
    bisikay@gmail.com OR leadagement@gmail.com

  • 4 Julius Baingoti // Aug 28, 2008 at 3:07 am

    Please send me some more tips on leadership and management.

  • 5 leader // Aug 10, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Leadership and management are two terms used to define group behavior in a professional or cultural setting. While leadership means setting up new goals, vision or planning a new strategy, management means controlling the group and organizing it to achieve pre-set goals and objectives according to the values and principles of the group.

    From the article Difference Between Leadership and management

  • 6 Ronald Beeny // Oct 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Please send me some more informaton about Ledership and mangement. I am an MBA Student putting together a ppaper for class

    Thank you,

    Ronald W. B eeny

  • 7 njango // Nov 6, 2009 at 6:57 am

    how do they relate these terms? In briefly

  • 8 bello adebowale // Dec 12, 2009 at 4:36 am

    please notify of any improvement on my question

  • 9 Leadership and Management Difference // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:28 am

    […] MonroeAlex K. J. Manyasi on Defining Leadership with a Quote from Dr Myles Monroebello adebowale on What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management? ← Leadership Happens at Every Level so Start […]

  • 10 OSEI-BONSU // Sep 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I have gone through your analysis of leadership and management and I am very happy about the way issues were address.

    I want to congratulate you and encourage you to periodical contribute to knowledge.
    May the good Lord grant you wisdom,favour and protection in your endeavour


    West Africa

  • 11 amira leones // Dec 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

    tnx 4 the very important info.

  • 12 faiz muhammad // Dec 31, 2011 at 3:26 am

    i am really glad of you because i use all you notes and i want to ask you one question and same one says the manager can be a leader but the leaders can not bet a managers is it true or not? please send me this answer.

  • 13 Patience Tee // Feb 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    what is the difference between leadership, management and administration. Thanking you in advance for your response.

  • 14 Jonathan Frye // Feb 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Administration is one function of management.

  • 15 Jonathan Frye // Feb 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

    No. I would argue that managers can be leaders, but leaders can either be managers or not be managers – leadership happens at every level.

  • 16 Leadagement « Leadership and Management / Turning Adversity to Advantage // Sep 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    […] credit for the term, but I found it in a comment by Dr. Bisikay on the Leadership Spot piece on the Difference Between Leadership and Management (naturally). Neither the post, nor the comment, had much new or interesting to bring to the […]

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