Management and leadership. The two words are thrown around daily in any business setting. But, what’s the difference between the two? Is there a difference? While it may seem like the two words are interchangeable, management is not leadership, and a good manager doesn’t always make a good leader.


Managers are responsible for planning, leading, organizing and controlling various aspects of a business. Managers deal with tasks that ensure the company is running smoothly, and everything is documented when necessary. Managers need to be skilled at dealing with numbers and administrative duties and do most of their work behind the scenes.


Having a good manager is necessary to the success of your business. They lay out goals and the objectives that need to be met to reach those goals. Because of this, they tend to view people as numbers and aren’t always the best fit for managing human resources.


While managers usually direct, leaders aim to inspire. A good leader should be adaptable and able to tailor their approach to the needs of different employees. Leaders need to be people-oriented, as they’re the power behind a workforce. Leadership has little in connection with assigning and evaluating work.


Leaders are connected to the people who work for a company and often serve as their voice. Leaders make an effort to inspire creativity and innovation in the people they work with. When issues related to morale or performance arise, leaders will bring these to the attention of management to look for a solution. When a leader makes a decision, they keep into account the effect it would have on the entire team, rather than just themselves


A good leader is someone who works to build up their team members; they highlight strengths and look for ways to improve weaknesses.


While managers are always in an authority position, a leader isn’t necessarily someone who’s in charge. A leader can be anyone who is passionate about their work and inspires others to feel the same. A leader is someone who engages with others and focuses more on building relationships than managing business objectives.


A business needs both leaders and managers to run successfully. The common mistake comes when thinking a good manager will make a good leader. Both serve essential roles, but often perform best in that role, and can’t step into the other’s shoes.