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Difference between Leadership and Management

We have studied a lot of terms in our business studies lectures. The two terms that are commonly used in the business are leadership and management. Well, leadership and management are widely used to denote different meanings. In some places, leadership is defined as the way a person keeps the nation going, i.e., how he/ she works to stabilize the nation. On the other hand, in some cases, management may mean to manage a particular department, i.e., taking necessary decisions for smooth and efficient working of the company. There are several different meanings of management and leadership. But what do they actually mean? Well, let us discuss the meaning and differences between the same.


Leadership is defined as a social practice that involves motivating individuals in order to reach a common goal. In companies, a leader motivates and directs the employees to achieve a common goal. There are many leadership skills possessed by a leader.

They are self-development, innovation, team development, strategic thinking, analysis, etc. A leader motivates other people to do the right things. Examples of leadership include training a new member, sports leadership, leading a class project, etc.


Management is defined as the process of directing the employees so that they can achieve their particular goals. Management includes directing the employees, supervising their skills, handling projects, etc. One of the examples of management can be the way a person handles their finances. There are three kinds of management, namely autocratic management, democratic management, and laissez-faire management. Now, you must be wondering as to what is the difference between these two terms. Well, the difference between management and leadership is given below.

1. Leadership is defined as the process of motivating and directing people to achieve a common goal. On the other hand, management is defined as the process of directing the employees so that they can achieve their particular goals given to them.
2. There are a variety of skills possessed by a leader. Some of them are:
  • Empathy
  • Active Listening
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Flexibility
  • Strategic thinking and working
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Time-Management
  • Positivity
There are several types of management styles as well. They are:
  • Authoritative Management
  • Persuasive Management
  • Participative Management
  • Collaborative Management
  • Transformational Management
  • Delegative Management
  • Paternalistic Management
3. Leadership is based on trust and responsibility. Management is based on control and directing the employees.
4. The role of the leader is to inspire his/ her employees and other people. The role of a manager is to manage things in the company.
5. Leaders are open to change. On the other hand, managers are focused on having stability in the company.
6. A leader has a broader perspective. A manager has a narrow perspective.
7. A leader follows principles and guidelines. A manager follows the policies of the company.
8. A leader always motivates his/ her employees. A manager is authoritative in his style and controls the employees.
9. A leader enjoys power along with the employees. On the other hand, a manager enjoys power over people.
10. A leader has followers. A manager works with subordinates.
11. A leader is open to change. A manager is resistant to change.

So, these are some of the key differences between leadership and management. Well, there are different types of management and leadership styles practiced in the company. So, let us look at some of the types.

Types of Leadership Styles

  1. Autocratic Leadership: Autocratic Leadership is defined as the leadership in which the leaders have all the power in order to govern a nation or lead a company. The leaders are very rigid in this type of leadership style. In this kind of leadership, the decisions are taken quickly by the leaders, and leaders have close supervision upon the employees. One of the famous examples of autocratic leadership is Hitler and the way he governed the nation. He was the sole leader of the country.
  2. Charismatic Leadership: Charismatic leaders have the ability to influence people and change their perspectives towards a particular thing. These kinds of leaders inspire other people. For instance, Oprah Winfrey is a charismatic leader because of the way she speaks and influences people.
  3. Transformational Leadership: Transformations leaders are just like Charismatic leaders, i.e., they have the power to inspire and influence people. In this leadership, the leader doesn't need to be present in order to supervise the employees. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi is not with us; still, his thoughts inspire us to speak the truth and stand against evil every day. This is a kind of transformational leadership.
  4. Transactional Leadership: Transactional leadership is defined as the leadership in which a person/ employee accepts to do a job, and he/ she gets compensated for the efforts they have put in. People who work hard and want themselves to be compensated are likely to be under this leadership style.
  5. Supportive Leadership: Supportive leadership is defined as the leadership in which the leaders help the employees to achieve a particular task assigned to them. The leaders give them the required training so that they can achieve their goals. The employees are bound to feel empowered under supportive leaders.

Types of Management Styles

  1. Autocratic Management: Autocratic Management is defined as the management approach in which the manager has the sole authority to make decisions regarding the matters of the company. There is only one-way communication, i.e., boss to employees. There are three types of autocratic management, namely:
    • Authoritative Management,
    • Persuasive Management
    • Paternalistic Management.
  2. Democratic Management: In democratic management, both the manager and employees take part in the decision-making process. The employees also have some power in the decision-making process. Under this kind of management, the manager makes sure that the employees have comfortable working conditions and a safe environment. There are five kinds of democratic management, namely:
    • Consultative Management
    • Participative Management
    • Collaborative Management
    • Transformational Management
    • Coaching Management
  3. Laissez-Faire Management: In laissez-faire management, the employees do their work without being under the supervision of any leader. The employees make their own decisions and are responsible for solving their problems. There are two kinds of laissez-faire management, namely:
    • Delegative Management
    • Visionary Management

So, these are some types of leadership and management. In order to govern a nation or run a company, management and leadership are required. One can be a good leader if he/ she inspires and motivates other people to do the right things. One can be a good manager if he/ she stabilizes the company to work in a smooth and efficient manner. Thus, both leadership skills and management styles are essential for an organization.

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