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Leadership For Beginners

Leadership vs Management

Leadership vs Management
Leadership Styles
Leadership and Ethics
Leadership and Culture
Leadership and Gender
Leaders on Leadership
Leadership Quotes
Other Useful Sources
Famous Management theorist - Frederick Taylor
"Leaders are mere figureheads, propelled by events which are beyond their control, even though it appears that events are controlled by them"
"Management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.”
By Zoe Cooper


What is the difference between leadership and management? This is the age old question that has been asked over and over with different answers each time. Leadership and management are both equally important in business and can be used in conjunction or separately to create change. Leaders create a vision and motivate their followers to achieve this vision while managers attend to the business side of things such as keeping people on track. This paper defines leadership and management and compares the two functions to each other, pointing out the main differences.  


Leaders compared to managers

Leaders manage and managers lead but the two activities are not synonymous. Management and leadership overlap but they are not the same (Coutts, 2000). Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. The biggest difference between leadership and management is the way they motivate people who work or follow them. Many people however act as a manager and a leader as they find this to be more effective (Changing minds, 2007). Leadership is innovative, creative and above all else, proactive. In contrast, management is a reactive tool to whatever situations happen to crop up. Leadership and management are both important but the differences are profound. Managers administer while leaders innovate; managers maintain and leaders develop. The manager accepts the status quo while the leader challenges it. The manager relies on control while leaders inspire trust. Managers have their eye on the bottom line while leaders have their eye on the horizon. The manager is the classic good soldier while the lead is their own person (Coutts, 2000). The table below briefly outlines the major differences between leaders and managers.









Leading people

Manage work





Long Term

Short Term





Sets Direction

Plans detail





Personal Charisma

Formal authority

Appeal to
















Excitement for work

Money for work









Leadership is a very important topic and good leaders can have significant effects on people, the community and their country. Leadership is the ability to influence people towards the attainment of goals (Samson & Daft, 2005). Leadership occurs when one person induces others to work towards a predetermined objective (Legacee, 2007). Leadership is an interpersonal influence directed through communication towards goal attainment (Handy, 1999). Throughout history there have been many famous leaders who can create change through motivating and influencing their followers towards a vision. A leader is someone who guides and directs a group of people and can influence others without relying on power or force (Davidson, Simon, Gottschalk, Hunt, Wood & Griffin, 2006). A good leader is someone who can bring about change and affect performance in a positive way (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006). A leader creates a vision and motivates people to achieve the vision. Leaders are generally self confident people that possess trustworthiness, emotional stability, a high tolerance for frustration, enthusiasm and are usually extroverted (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006). Leaders act as figureheads, negotiators, coaches, team builders and spokespeople. They deal with change, motivate, inspire and influence people. Leaders are always good with people and are very good at creating loyalty and encouraging people to follow those (Changing minds, 2007). Leaders are very important in business and work closely with managers, but have varying roles and responsibilities.



Management is the main focus of an organization because it keeps the organization going well with little change (Coults, 2000). Management is the process of coordinating work so it is completed efficiently with and through people (Stone, 2005). Management focus on entire organizations and look at the short and long term perspectives (Indian Child, 2004). Managers integrate and coordinate work o0f others to have power within a position (Handy, 1999). Managers attend to the business side of the organisation such as delegation of tasks and rosters. A good manager must be able to9 motivate a team and influence members by selecting the most effective communication channels and managing employee behaviour (Davidson & Griffin, 2003). Managers participate in four main functions. These are planning, leading, organizing and controlling. During the planning phase of management it is important to define goals and establish strategies that will help to reach these goals (Wilson & Glaros, 1994).  The organizing phase of management includes deciding on what tasks need to be done and who is doing them, how the tasks are going to be grouped, who reports to whom and where decisions are to be made. A manager must be able to motivate a team and influence the members by selecting the most effective communication channels and managing employee behaviour (Davidson & Griffin, 2003). The fourth and final stage of management is controlling which includes; monitoring performance, comparing performance to the standard set for work and taking necessary action when required (Davidson & Griffin, 2003). Management is an important task in organizations and it is important to have an understanding of what management entails.


Management and Leadership are both very important topics that can make the difference between a company being successful and a company failing. Management and leadership can work along side each other but it is important to know that they two are different positions and have different roles. Someone can acts as a manager and not be a leader and a leader can simply lead and not manage. Managers are more formal and take fewer risks while managers look into the future, leaders generally take more risks and break rules.



Davidson, P & Griffin, R.W. (2003). Management: An Australasian perspective.

Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons.


Davidson, P, Simon, A, Gottschalk, L, Hunt, J, Wood, G & Griffin, R.W. (2006). Management: Core concepts. Queensland: John Wiley & Sons.


Dubrin, A. J, Dalglish, C & Miller, P. (2006). Leadership. Queensland: John Wiley & Sons.  


Handy, C. (1999). Understanding Organisations. England: Penguin Books.


Indian Child. (2004). Management. Retrieved, May 15th, 2007, from


Legacee Management Systems. (2007). Definitions of leadership. Retrieved 2nd April,

2007 from


Samson, D & Daft, R. L. (2005). Management. Victoria: Dryden Press.


Stone, R, J. (2005). Human resource management. Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons.



Leaders have followes


By Laura Phillips, Kathleen Varela and Zoe Cooper