Leadership vs Management: The Key Differences

Leadership vs Management: The Key Differences

In order to have a great team, you need both Leaders and Managers. Managers can support team members during their day-to-day tasks and empower them to do their best. As a Leader, you can share the bigger picture so team members can have the overall vision clear in mind. Both are critical for a team to function at their best. Let’s look at them both in a little more detail.

Skills and Qualities of Leaders vs Managers

Whether you see yourself as a manager, a leader, or both, learning to differentiate between the two roles can help you develop the appropriate skills.

Leaders (the ‘visionaries’)

  • Motivation: Strong leaders motivate their team to achieve big things. They share their energy and enthusiasm with the group in order to achieve more.
  • Risk-taking: Good leaders know when to take risks—and when to support their team members to take risks. The best leaders challenge the status quo in order to drive positive change.
  • Creativity: Strong leaders think outside the box and challenge the status quo. They support and nurture creativity within themselves, and their team members.
  • Mentoring: A leader’s goal is to help their team grow to their full potential, through coaching and guiding them.

Managers (the ‘operators’)

  • Problem-solving: Usually, managers use problem-solving to help unblock tasks so team members can get their best work done. This might mean helping team members rethink priorities or adjusting timelines.
  • Team building: Good managers recognise the value in a team, not just an individual. Managers can set up situations for connection and encourage team members to get to know one another. When team members know one another, they will be more comfortable collaborating and working together.
  • Organisation and planning: Being a good manager means developing project management skills, such as organisation and planning. These skills can help give their team members clear insight into upcoming work, and support them if they need to readjust priorities or rethink deadlines.
  • Delegation: Good managers often delegate work to the best person for the job. Being a manager isn’t so much about saying, “I can do that” but saying, “I know the best person for the job.” This way team members are empowered, and their strengths are acknowledged, resulting in the job being done well.

Key Differences Between Leaders & Managers

” While leaders and managers both aim to motivate people to drive impact and achieve results, managers are more concerned with the operational aspects of that journey, whereas leaders are focused on inspiring and empowering people to accomplish their goals. Another key differentiator is that leaders continuously strive to evolve and push for change, while managers are often looking to maintain the status quo.”


Reference: https://asana.com/resources/leadership-vs-management

We offer the following courses to set you up for success, whether Management or Leadership is your jam!

BSB50420 – Diploma of Leadership and Management

BSB50820 – Diploma of Project Management