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What is the Difference Between Leadership & Management?

By Tim Brown
Updated January 23, 2021
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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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The words “leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably, but they mean very different things even though they are complementary. If you understand how to use each of these concepts’ best parts, you can be more effective in business and your life.

When you really boil it down, managers have employees that report to them, and leaders have people who either look up to them or follow them.


Leaders tend to be highly charismatic people and are able to influence others in social and business settings. Those who interact with them often feel encouraged and inspired by their vision and want to help the leader achieve their goals.

Excellent Qualities of a Leader

The best leaders are sincere and have a clear vision. Since their charisma gets them enthusiastic followers, the leader must be guiding them down the correct path. If a leader doesn’t have a definite vision, their followers could become disillusioned or bitter.

Excellent leaders also have to have great communication skills. Some leaders can see the bigger picture but aren’t able to understand day-to-day elements that need to get done to make their vision happen. Although having a bird’s eye view of what’s going on is essential, good leaders know how to stay grounded too.


Managers administer and run organizations. They can run several departments or just manage a few people. The concept is the same for any type of manager. They are responsible for making sure that those who report to them are doing their jobs. Unlike leaders, their employees are generally not wholly invested in their vision.

Excellent Qualities of a Manager

The best managers are excellent at organizational goals. Sometimes managers and leaders can work together to create an overall vision and execute it with the team. Managers must break down more significant projects into smaller elements and then delegate those elements to their team.

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Good managers are exceptionally organized and can put processes into place to encourage and help their employees. They are great at establishing a sense of stability and fostering fairness in their work environments.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you have both the qualities of a leader and a manager, you should be in a great position to inspire and guide your team to greatness. There are a few key ways to be the best leader and manager possible.

Understand Humility

Humility is one of the most outstanding qualities in both a leader and a manager. Cockiness will get you nowhere in the business world, and many employees will both respect and be happy to work for a boss that shows humility.

Have an Open Door Policy

Let your employees know that they can come to you with any problems they might have, and make sure that you maintain confidentiality when they ask you. Don’t just have an open-door policy in name only. Enforce it and never penalize an employee for coming to you with a concern, even if it’s about your management or leadership style.

Respect Your Employees

Treat your employees like people and valuable members of the organization. Any boss that throws around their weight or disrespects their employees will not be effective. You will likely find that many of your employees won’t stick around for the long run if you don’t show them common courtesy. A little respect goes a long way, and if you show respect, you are more likely to get it in return.

Don’t Micromanage

Not only do employees hate being micromanaged, but it’s also not an effective way to run a company. Micromanaging puts stress on you and your employees. You should be able to trust that you people know what they are doing and give them ownership over certain tasks. If your employees have control over specific areas of their jobs, they will feel more invested in the company and be more loyal in the long run.

Micromanagement creates toxic work environments that aren’t pleasant for anyone. Resist the urge to manage every little thing.

Have an Important Place for Everyone

Ensure that your employees know what role they play in the company and how much you value them. By doing this, you can foster a sense of teamwork and keep your employees much happier. Creating a positive work environment is a great way to show both leadership and managerial skills.


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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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