Is there a difference between leadership and management?

Is every manager a leader? Is every leader a manager? Is there a difference? This question as been asked over and over again, and most likely will not be fully answered by this post.

“Leadership and management are two synonymous terms”

The quote above is incorrect, and there are many differences between the two. Here I have compiled a list, side by side, what I think are the main differences between a manager and a leader.


Lays down structure and responsibilities.

Focus on planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.

Follow organizational policy and procedures.

More of a science, everything is planned, standard and logical

Evaluates people by their past records and present performance.


Communication style is usually more written.

Has power from their status.

Accountable for team performance

People follow them because of their job description.

All managers are leaders (or they should aim to be)


Provides direction and guidance

Focus on listening, building relationships, teamwork, inspiration, motivation and persuading others.

Follow his/her own instinct

More of an art, everything just flows as the situation evolves

Evaluates people by their potential that cannot be measured, thinking of future performance.


Communication style is usually more verbal.

Has no power, the leader serves the team.

Leaders have no accountability

People follow them on a voluntary basis.

Most leaders are not managers.

In your team, who is your leader? Is he/she the same one as your manager?
If so, you are one of the lucky ones. If not, don’t worry. Share this post with your manager.



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