Leadership and Management: What is the Difference?
The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably. There are many articles that try to differentiate between the two, but they often give reasons that bear little relation to each other, such as:
- Leadership inspires, management plans.
- Leadership is there first, management does it again.
- Leaders praise, managers find fault.
- Leaders ask questions, managers give directions.
- Leaders help others achieve, managers expect support.
Such definitions are concerned more with leadership (or management) style than with the difference between leadership and management. A good leader will often have the flexibility to use all these behaviours as and when the context demands it. Dictionary or Wikipedia definitions offer no further help, because they give definitions that are very similar. For example, Wikipedia suggests leadership and management are both about guiding or controlling a group of people to achieve a goal.
So what is the difference between them, why is so much effort spent on defining their differences, and does it matter?