Is Leadership Different than Management

Yes it is. Simply put they are very different.

Management theory suggests that there are four core skills needed to be successful.

  1. Plan
  2. Organize
  3. Lead
  4. Control

the reality of this list is that 1, 2, and 4 are skills that are relatively well clustered. Each involves a discipline of understanding how a process works, providing the resources to keep it running and monitoring it to ensure it meets standards. Each of these skills is worth an extended series of posts to understand and begin the mastery process. Frankly though there are some great management sites out there that make us writing about it redundant. Take my friends at Manager Tools they do an amazing job of breaking down all things management.


That third item lead, now its different. where the other skills are technical in nature leadership is relational. we talk about building trust, inspiring vision, creating meaning. Yes leadership is definitely different. I published a short video on this a while back. Check it out below.

the difference between leadership and management definitely creates confusion as well. Many people confuse the two because of their intertwined nature. Here is an interesting question:

when you direct people toward an organizational objective are you leading or managing?

I think it depends on how you are directing them. Orders and commands might work in a supervisory capacity but are they really a leadership function? My opinion? Only when other forms of influence are clearly not going to work or the situation is urgent and critical. To be effective at a commanding style you have better of created or have available a deep emotional bank account with your employees. Without it they might go through the motions but will seriously lack the initiative and drive needed to carry your organization through a crisis.

So are your employees going through the motions?

Are you ready to deal with this challenge now?

Contact me at to find out how you can motivate your employees to perform


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