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Leadership vs management: The key differences

Leadership and management are interchangeable, but do not mean the same. Leadership involves leading and inspiring, whereas management is the process of planning, leading, organising, implementing and controlling. This article provides you with an overview of the key differences between leadership and management.

Leadership versus management

The difference between leadership and management is that management focuses on systems, structures and procedures, while leadership focus on people. A leader can be appropriately defined as an innovator, while the manager plans, organises and administers. Management involves giving out incentives like bonus and/or introducing coercive measures for the job to be done effectively and efficiently, but under leadership, people are inspired to produce quality results. Also, management emphasizes on job planning and controlling, but under leadership, people are motivated to meet their targets and rely on trust.
Duties of the manager and the leader The manager is responsible for maintaining the systems in place and makes sure if they are adhered to and on the other hand, a leader develops the systems and comes up with ideas for the manager to implement. The manager’s job is to follow procedures, organise and plan for the work, give it to the right people, control the process and ensure that the job is done correctly and on time. He is responsible for drafting staff member’s job description and assigns relevant tasks, whereas the leader inspires and motivates people to perform efficiently. A leader is able to view things in a long-perspective, and is prepared to challenge any changes with innovative ideas, whereas the manager focuses much on short-run issues and is more likely to accept than to challenge some outcomes.

Development of management and leadership

Nowadays, it is difficult to draw the difference between leader and manager due to industrial changes, increasing knowledge and recognition of labour organisations because employees are no longer viewed as 'production machines'. Hence, the manager also needs to have characteristics of leadership, of inspiring and of motivating subordinates so as to produce the desired results.
Characteristics of a good manager and a good leader Characteristics of a good manager include developing skills at workplaces and inspiring results. Good management leadership styles involves managing and leading people, and to be able to produce the desired results through utilising every individual’s knowledge and capabilities. On the other hand, good leaders compliment their leadership characteristics with managerial processes to resemble a ‘winning brand’ to the people.

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