Leadership Vs. Management

By Ashay Patel3 min read · Posted Aug 6, 2022


The two terms ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ are often used interchangeably although these terms mean different things. Let's learn about what they both mean and how they are both similar and different!

What is Leadership?

Leadership usually reflects an individual’s ability to make decisions, take action, and assist in moving a group towards a set goal.

Leadership is demonstrated by a large range of actions in the real world. This could range from a member of a small team suggesting a solution to a minor impediment or a supervisor directing multiple groups to collaborate on a project that would push the company forwards.

What Qualities Must a Leader Have?

A leader must be able to effectively communicate to their peers as well as being responsible with their speech. Leaders require the ability to adapt to various scenarios in order to direct said group(s) towards the business’ overall goals. Without proficient planning, organizational skills, or by being an unsupportive figure, a leader would lack the ability to advance a situation.

What is Management?

The term management often refers to the way a company - as a whole - oversees and regulates various aspects of a business.

Some of the aspects managed by those in a business are:

  • Employees; oftentimes, employees are instructed to collaborate with one another within their work environment to complete certain tasks.
  • Changes; a business would fail to advance without a group - or simply an individual - maintaining growth through the proposition and selection of efficient changes.
  • Resources; companies need a way to keep track of not only their employees but of both their tangible and intangible resources.

These aforementioned aspects are crucial to success and a business will often distribute these responsibilities among supervisors and managers.

For example…

  • A supervisor may observe and instruct various employee teams at a team. A common structure of major corporations is reflected through the employment of multiple supervisors at different levels with a president or CEO at the top of the ladder.
  • Both supervisors, as well as employees themselves, can institute changes within a business, with proposed propositions being chosen based on their possible effect with furthering the organization's mission, goals, and progress. However, without the proper regulation of these changes, the company may unintentionally double back on these changes which may in turn obstruct another group of employees from achieving their goals. Having a dedicated board, or supervisor(s), to monitor these changes would allow said company to push closer to their overall purpose.
  • Another example would be a resource manager who keeps track of documents, files, or financial information would allow employees to complete tasks more efficiently.
  • Organization is crucial to the success of businesses and without people helping organize the business, it isn’t hard for important documents to get lost and the business to struggle.

Leadership and Management in the Real World

As previously mentioned, leadership refers to the actions taken by an individual to push a group towards a goal whereas management refers to the regulation of various assets amongst the business as a whole.

So, How Are They Similar?

Both managers and leaders are responsible for assisting others within a company and inspiring advancements towards a company’s goal(s). In addition, both of these positions require staff to have some form of accountability - or authority - over other employees in order to organize and direct effective actions.

How Do They Complement Each Other?

Managers are responsible for the actions of their employees and therefore must demonstrate leadership skills throughout their everyday actions. Without leadership within an organization, success would be hard to obtain. However, if there are leaders present within departments and teams, the business would be able to achieve its goals more effectively and efficiently.


Essentially, a leader is one who demonstrates the capacity - as an individual - to drive others to move towards a predetermined goal. A manager, on the other hand, overlooks various resources to ensure the study and development of an organization. Terms that reflect authoritative roles, such as leaders and managers, should not be used interchangeably but many times can be used to describe a single individual who may hold both formal and informal positions.


About The Author

Ashay Patel

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