Why Leadership Is Different to Management—These 5 Critical Ways

May 22, 2021 3 min read
Why Leadership Is Different to Management—These 5 Critical Ways

Let me state the obvious. Leadership is different to management. Both are needed to drive team performance, and both are essential for teams to reach their full potential.

So, it makes sense to understand the difference between leadership and management. Right?

Stick with me and I will explain why they are different. I’ll also spell out what you need to do to set yourself apart from other team managers.

Why Leadership Is Different to Management

But first, understand this: leadership is not a replacement for management. Nor is it better than management.

Management and leadership complement one another. As a matter of fact, management and leadership are as distinct as certainty and uncertainty.

Indeed, this is how we should view them:

Management is déjà vu (seen before) whereas leadership is vu jàdé (not seen before.)

Read on and I’ll explain.

The Difference Between Leadership and Management

According to some of the best names in management studies, the team manager is interested in five basic activities. These are:

  1. Setting objectives: Setting goals for the team and deciding what is done to achieve those goals.
  2. Organizing people: Dividing the work into manageable chunks and choosing the best people to do the work.
  3. Motivating and communicating: Communicating the goals and motivating the team to work effectively to accomplish those tasks.
  4. Measuring performance: Setting relevant targets, analysing and interpreting team performance.
  5. Developing people: Developing capability within the team.

One thing that is beyond doubt about these activities is certainty. They are familiar, and we do them periodically, dependably. You’ll also have a pretty good idea how to do each task.

Now that you know the basics of team management, let’s take a closer look at leading teams.

What Is Leadership?

It’s a good question. And believe it or not, there are many answers!

However, the purpose of this text is to highlight five critical ways in which leadership is different to management. And to accomplish this, you first need to consider the role of leadership in teams.

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