6 Key Differences between Leadership and Management

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  • 24 February 2023

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In today’s fast-paced business environment, gaining a solid understanding of both leadership and management is crucial for success. Understanding the difference between leading people and managing work is essential for students who aspire to advance their careers in management. The Bachelor of Business Administration or BBA course equips students with the top management skills and knowledge they need to excel in the rapidly evolving business realm. 

This blog post will explore the difference between leadership and management, providing definitions, examples, and insights into each aspect. By the end of this post, readers will have a clearer understanding of the distinct characteristics that define management and leadership differences.

Definition of Leadership versus Management 

Leadership is influencing and guiding individuals or groups towards a common goal by inspiring, motivating, and directing them. On the other hand, management involves coordinating and controlling organisational resources to achieve specific goals and objectives. 

Leaders have a vision for the future and can communicate it to others, creating a shared sense of purpose and direction. Managers are responsible for planning, organising, and directing the activities of individuals and teams and for creating and maintaining a supportive and productive work environment. 

Overall, how does leadership differ from management? Unlike leadership, which is often thought of as a personal trait, management is a formal role that requires specific skills and knowledge, including financial management, human resource management, and operations management.

What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?

Leadership vs management are two distinct yet interrelated concepts that play a critical role in shaping the success of organisations. 

While both approaches involve influencing and guiding individuals and teams towards a common goal, there are 6 significant differences between the two in terms of focus, style, power, approach to decision-making, influence, and skill development.

  • Focus: The primary difference between leading people and managing work lies in their focus. Leadership is focused on inspiring and motivating individuals or groups towards a common goal, while management is focused on coordinating and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and objectives.

  • Style: Another key difference between leadership and management is style. Leaders often adopt a more visionary and charismatic approach, inspiring and guiding their followers towards a common goal. In contrast, managers adopt a more systematic and controlled approach, directing and coordinating the activities of their teams.

  • Power: The source of power also differs between leadership and management. Leaders gain power through their ability to inspire and motivate, while managers gain power through their position and the formal authority that comes with it.

  • Approaches to Decision-making: Decision-making also differs between leadership vs management. Leaders often make decisions based on their intuition, experience, and vision for the future, while managers make decisions based on data, analysis, and the needs of their organisation.

  • Influence: Leaders can influence and persuade others through their charisma and vision, while managers can influence through their authority and control over resources.

  • Skill Development: The development and growth of leadership and management skills also differ. Leadership skills are often developed through personal experience and self-reflection, while management skills are developed through formal education, training, and experience in a management role. (Must Read: Importance of Soft Skills in Business)

While leadership and management have some similarities, they also have some distinct differences that make them unique. For example, an effective leader may also be a skilled manager, but not all managers are necessarily leaders

Difference between Leadership and Management with Examples

  • A leader might give a motivational speech to their team, while a manager might create a detailed project plan.
  • A leader might inspire their team to achieve a shared vision through words and actions, while a manager might direct their team through clear instructions and guidelines.
  • A leader might have a powerful vision that inspires and motivates their team, while a manager might have the authority to allocate resources and make important decisions.
  • A leader might boldly decide to pursue a new opportunity, while a manager might make a calculated decision based on market trends and financial data.
  • A leader might convince their team to adopt a new approach by sharing their vision and inspiring them, while a manager might implement a new policy with the authority to change.
  • Leaders might develop their skills by learning from their own experiences and reflecting on their successes and failures. At the same time, managers might pursue a management degree or attend training courses to develop their management skills.


A well-rounded understanding of both leadership and management is essential for success in today's rapidly evolving business world. With a BBA degree, graduates can pursue a wide range of careers in various sectors and industries, including finance, marketing, human resources, and more. 

So, if you're interested in pursuing a successful career in business and management and want to gain a comprehensive understanding of leadership and management, consider enrolling in a BBA course from the top institutions powered by Sunstone.

Sunstone is the leading education services provider for your higher education needs, providing students with a wide range of benefits. With over 70 sessions conducted by recruiters and industry experts, students can access valuable insights and knowledge. 

FAQ - Management or Leadership

Which is better, management or leadership?

The answer to this question is subjective and depends on the context and the situation. In some cases, strong management skills may be more important, while in other cases, strong leadership skills may be more critical. It is best to have a balance of both management and leadership skills.

What comes first, leadership or management?

It is difficult to determine which comes first as they are often intertwined and complementary. Influential leaders must also have strong management skills to effectively implement their vision, while effective managers must have strong leadership skills to inspire and motivate their teams.

What are the qualities of a good leader and a manager?

A good leader typically has qualities such as vision, charisma, the ability to inspire and motivate, and strong communication skills. A good manager, on the other hand, typically has qualities such as organisational skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to make decisions, and the ability to allocate resources effectively. 

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