leadership and management what is the difference

Leadership and Management: What’s the Difference?

Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things – Warren Bennis and Peter Drucker

This is the year that has changed my life, starting in the month of June. I had already had an increase in my duties and responsibilities. From having only three teachers within the Department assigned to me when I was still in the Junior High School to having seven, with more in the future here in Senior High School Department, I found it overwhelming.

Was I afraid of this seemingly daunting task that lay ahead of me? Of course! Yes! But letting fear rule is not a wise decision. I have to make friends with courage so that even though I have fear within me, I will just set it aside and face the new challenges being placed on my shoulders.

This year, I have been exposed to these two words at work: Leadership and Management. It has been a while since I began playing both roles within my teaching career. Being a leader and at the same time a manager inside the classroom, the faculty requires commitment, passion, and dedication.

There is a myth saying that those two words mean the same but actually they do not. Every leader can be a manager but not all managers can be leaders and I am going to define my reasons for this.

If management (manager) is like looking at trees, leadership (leader) is looking at the forest. Being a leader is like looking at the big picture. They are the ones who set the directions in which they want the organizations to move.  Leaders are dreamers with a purpose and have huge and audacious goals. They are the influencers of teams, groups, and organizations (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). Leaders are people with strong personalities and determination to inspire and uplift the people inside their organizations. This means that as leaders, they  don’t simply focus solely on the business itself but also on human relationships.

On the other hand, according to Kotterman (2006), managers are the people who make the visions of the leaders work. They are the people whose mindsets are on the tasks and problems within the organization. Among their tasks is a requirement to come up with plans, timelines, agenda, and resources to materialize the visions of the leaders.

Leaders have big goals whereas managers are in charge of turning those big goals into specific plans of actions that will make them appear doable. The managers see to it that they fulfil the tasks to meet the short-term goals they planned for a day, for a week, or for a month, which will later on fulfil the long-term goals of the leaders.

leadership and management what is the difference


While every leader can be a manager, for being able to manage is a prerequisite to being a leader, not all managers can be leaders.  Managers by default manage, direct, hire, and supervise people by making sure everything works well which is different from the roles of leaders. Both leaders and managers know the importance of getting things done and accomplishing goals. They need to go hand in hand to achieve goals as one is complementary to the other.

Are you a leader or a manager?

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Author : Ana Rose Alvaro

Ana Rose was born and raised in the Philippines. A simple Filipina who was born with a natural love for books and languages.

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