Licensee Badge
Submitted by jcohn on


I wondered why there has not been discussion nor podcast on the difference between leadership and management? These are very different, and the tools for leaders are not the same as tools for managers.

I miss not having any programs on leadership.

It would be interesting to hear your views on leadership.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Leadership is achieving a vision.

Management is achieving effective results.

They're so different - COMPLETELY SO - and this is MANAGER tools.

We think often that leadership is a bridge too far for many, as the state of management is so poorly practiced.

We love leadership, but too many people confuse the two, and we have to be careful to not conflate them in the minds of thousands.

We will do them, but not as often as many would want.


jcohn's picture
Licensee Badge


I agree that they are different, but in organizations today it is more about leading than managing. If the World is Flat (per Friedman) we had better develop leaders (per Bennis) and yes, also train managers. But I wonder how one can mentor, provide very insightful feedback, or lead a virtual team without some aspects of leadership. Perhaps a show on how they are different, where the leadership skills come from, elements of leadership, etc. would be useful.

Otherwise, Taylor was right, it is more scientific. :)


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


You're right... and leadership is WAY harder to teach, despite the greater need.

But we do have casts on it in the future.


dw_crm's picture

Some wise men wrote,
"Management is about doing THINGS right,
Leadership is about doing the RIGHT things."

-Snehal Desai

pneuhardt's picture

In a similar thread, I gave these definitions. If you tell someone what to do and how to do it, you are bossing them. If you tell them what to do and give them some general ideas about how to do it but leave they details to them, you are giving them direction. If you tell people what needs doing and provide an environment to help them do it, that is providing leadership. And if you help people understand what it is they collectively want to become, that is providing them vision.

I'll add this one to the list. Management is a set of practices that make sure things get done effectively and with desireable outcomes. Without effecive management, leadership and vision my go wasted because they will have a harder time influencing outcomes.

Which leads me to a thought I never had before just now. Anyone remember Maslow's Hierarchy Of Human Needs? He and his followers formed a pyramid with the most basic needs at the bottom and what are termed "growth needs" at the top. Well, I see a pyramid of all of these concepts in the business world. "Revenue generation" is as the base with "corporate vision" at the top. "Leadership" falls just below that, and "Management" somewhere below that. Management becomes a "deficiency need" of business, roughly equivelent to a "safety need" in Maslow's pyramid.

Just a thought I had. It's probably not even original with me, but if not then I will say that I re-invented it this evening. ;-)

bflynn's picture

Not a complete description, but I like this way of thinking about it:

Management is that which appeals to the brain. Leadership is the part that appeals to the heart.


dmbaldwin's picture

I believe we are called on to do both.

I lead my leaders, but I manage me administrative staff. If I cast vision too much with the administrative staff they don't think I care enough about what technical or detail related issues they are concerned with. My leaders, who lead whole divisions of the organization would become frustrated with meetings where all we talked about where management issues.

I think we all weild double edged swords -- management and leadership.



dmbaldwin's picture

Brian et al,

I guess that's why good leaders need a skill set in the management area. That's what first drove me to find Manager Tools. It wasn't cause I was lacking vision. I lacked the management skills to work with people so that we could all turn vision into reality.



jlwilliams's picture

[quote="dw_crm"]Some wise men wrote,
"Management is about doing THINGS right,
Leadership is about doing the RIGHT things."

-Snehal Desai[/quote]

I read the quote in Warren Bennis' book "Managing People is like Hearding Cats".

jlwilliams's picture

In his "I have a dream" ([url][/url]) speech on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified LEADERSHIP. He passionately laid out his vision of a world that he believed was necessary and achieveable. His presence and delivery of that vision stirred a nation. On that day and every day since there have been many who have taken that vision and labored to execute its principles and by doing so work toward deliver the results Dr. King envisioned.

King was the leader…those executing are the managers. What is great about a true leader is that they infect us with their vision to the point where we take on some part of the leadership mantel. That transference of leadership is done by the leader through coaching and mentoring managers into better managers and future leaders.

None of us are absolved from the challenge and responsibilties of being BOTH manager and leader. We attend to the execution of our processess and tasks to achieve daily, weekly and annual objectives as managers and we also stretch ourselves to DREAM about the many “what ifs” that cross our paths. Think about your family and home; You manage the budget, home and car maintenance and mow the grass. You lead, coach and mentor your children and spouse to fulfill their dreams and desires and achieve their unlimited potential. YOU ARE BOTH LEADER AND MANAGER!

While there is a difference, let’s not build a wall or see leadership as some far off bridge in the foggy mists. Look for the manager and leader inside all of us and cultivate the best of both to achieve the greatest where we are and where we CAN BE. Manager-Tools should be building and creating leadership qualities in all managers, after all, the kids are watching.

bflynn's picture

[quote="dmbaldwin"]I guess that's why good leaders need a skill set in the management area. That's what first drove me to find Manager Tools. It wasn't cause I was lacking vision. I lacked the management skills to work with people so that we could all turn vision into reality.[/quote]

With the recent post (thanks jlwilliams), I was rereading the entire thread.

Dave - Brilliant. You're absolutely right about this and I realized that what you said applies to me too.

Before you can impart a vision, you must have the day to day skills to accomplish a result.


jbthree1's picture

Theoretically, leadership and management are very different. But in the real world, very few leaders have the luxury of leadership without management and very few managers have the luxury of management without leadership.

The emphasis may change as one works their way up (from management to leadership), but rarely can one be in a position the solely focus on one or the other.

kklogic's picture

Marcus Buckingham says that managers motivate by exploiting the differences in people, leaders motivate by exploiting the likenesses in people. I thought it was an interesting way to look at it.

tomas's picture

Leadership and management are different but not unrelated.

I'll quote myself from [url=] this [/url] thread.

[quote]As to the relationship between management and leadership, my Management 101 textbook describes the elements of management as "Planning, leading, organising and controlling". That is, leadership is but one element of management. [/quote]

essener's picture

I was just thinking about this topic, nice to see there's a thread already :) Having just taken a high profile mangerial role, I'm getting more and more convinced that what I have been missing in managers around me is leadership.

I haven't really given it much thought earlier, it was more a gut feeling, but it is clear to me that while people tend to follow our quarterly or yearly goals set by higher management, they do so very reluctantly. None of the ideas stick, as soon as a new target settings are done, the old goals are all forgotten. But even just in the scope of managing people, I'd still be dissatisfied with such a situation, it lacks enthusiasm and motivation.

This is where I think leadership comes in, it gets some sense and vision into the day to day action. At least when it comes to me, I'll try to keep an eye on both managing and leading :)