There is an ongoing debate about the correlation between leadership and management — does a manager have to be a great leader and does a leader need to have good management skills? What is the difference between leadership and management?

Leadership is doing the right things; management is doing things right. - Peter Drucker

Comparison chart

Leadership versus Management comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartLeadershipManagement
Definition Leadership means "the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members." Management comprises directing and controlling a group of one or more people or entities for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing that group towards accomplishing a goal.
Personality Styles Are often called brilliant and mercurial, with great charisma. Yet, they are also often seen as loners and private people. They are comfortable taking risks, sometimes seemingly wild and crazy risks. Almost all leaders have high levels of imagination Tend to be rational, under control problem solvers. They often focus on goals, structures, personnel, and availability of resources. Managers’ personalities lean toward persistence, strong will, analysis, and intelligence.
Orientation People-oriented Task-oriented
Focus Leading people Managing work
Outcomes Achievements Results
Approach to tasks Simply look at problems and devise new, creative solutions. Using their charisma and commitment, they excite, motivate, and focus others to solve problems and excel. Create strategies, policies, and methods to create teams and ideas that combine to operate smoothly. They empower people by soliciting their views, values, and principles. They believe that this combination reduces inherent risk and generates success
Approach to risk Risk-taking Risk-averse
Role in decision-making Facilitative Involved
Styles Transformational, Consultative & Participative Dictatorial, Authoritative, Transactional, Autocratic, Consultative and Democratic
Power through Charisma & Influence Formal authority & Position
Organization Leaders have followers Manager have subordinates
Appeal to Heart Head


Managing and leading are two different ways of organizing people. Leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow — i.e., a leader is the spearhead for that new direction. On the other hand, management controls or directs people/resources in a group according to principles or values that have already been established. The manager uses a formal, rational method whilst the leader uses passion and stirs emotions.


People naturally and willingly follow leaders due to their charisma and personality traits, whereas a manager is obeyed due to the formal authority vested in him/her. As a result, people tend to be more loyal towards leaders rather than managers.

Role conflicts

Leadership is one of the several facets of management. Often the same people play wear different hats - both leader and manager - at different points in time. Although not essential, it certainly helps a manager if he/she is also a good leader. Conversely, leaders do well if they have some degree of management skills because it helps them envision the implementation of their strategic vision.

Self-motivated groups may not need a leader and may find leaders dominating. Alternatively, small teams may find a natural leader emerge based on his/her specialized skills. But this leader may be subordinate to the team manager in the organizational hierarchy, which may lead to conflicts.


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"Leadership vs Management." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2023. < >