Leadership is different than management

by Ashvini on October 24, 2012 · 7 comments

in Leadership

In the knowledge economy its not just enough to manage your people . While managing may be necessary because you still have to plan for your resources, it is not sufficient to create high performing team. As a manager, alignment to corporate mission statements is rewarded well ( for example doing a fairly decent job).

However that is not sufficient for the new age economy. Today, competition is fierce and the company will be known by the extraordinary things that it does. One needs to constantly break the boundaries. One will have to motivate yourself first, to propel your team,

Leadership is different from management. Leadership is when a customer calls to express grievance and return more than happy, even as a permanent loyal customer.

As a manager here are the things one is expected to do .

  1. Manage resources ( people and material)
  2. Complete work within deadline and within budget
  3. Keep the team sufficiently motivated to make them deliver on the job
  4. Solve crisis as and when they happen.
  5. Follow policies and processes
  6. Align your team to organization’s vision

and a few others.

Leadership is different. It is not an add-on to management rather it is the opposite.

  1. Leadership is creating a vision no matter where you are in the company hierarchy.One may need to align it with organization’s motives but why not make it more than just being a follower
  2. Leadership is about inspiring people based on example. Even though you may not be fit for doing a hands on job, your passion for learning will inspire your team members.
  3. Leadership is about taking responsibilities when things go wrong.Its about turning the crisis to your advantage for example by doing the right things first and resolving the crisis.
  4. Leadership is about letting people grow. You are a leader when you recognize talent in others and let it blossom. You know you are successful when people want to work with you. They will be even ready to forgo short term rewards for a long term benefits , they will get from you.
  5. Leadership is about grooming other leaders. A leader knows that he needs to make way for others. A leader grooms others to take leadership when he/she is not around.

Good leadership today is far more important than just management. Leadership will build you a great company and get you highly motivated employees.

About The Author


Jeevan Jacob John October 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Leadership is also about having the right mindset, isn’t it Ashvini?

Unfortunately, all leaders aren’t true leaders, some work for just the money, others for perks and other reasons (only a few are actual leaders who inspire others! But, it’s changing!). More and more people are realizing the importance of changing their mindset from the traditional fixed mindset of you have it or not to the growth mindset that encourages people to keep on learning!

Anyways, thank you for the post on the differences of management and leadership (I always thought that leadership was an add on to management! Thank you for clearing that up!)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Hi Jeevan,

We all need money and who would not mind some perks ( only if they are not over the top ;) ) . But yes true leaders are different and they know what it is like to take people with them. They have a vision and help people to achieve their dreams. Be it personal life or business , I have met a few of them.
You are most welcome and thanks for writing the comment :)

Roz Bennetts October 26, 2012 at 12:31 am

Hi Ashvini,

I’ve not seen the two roles dissected like that before and it was interesting as I can see a few people I know who have big titles and are supposed to be leaders who actually are nothing more than managers, either because of their own personal aptitude or they’re being restrained from making those leadership inroads from their superiors.

It also occured to me that the opposite can be true and you can have someone who has the title of a manager who demonstrates many qualities of a leader.

I like this commenting plug-in by the way! I couldn’t remember where I saw it before but it was here – I like the fact you can edit the title and I get a huge selection of my posts to choose from!

All the best, Roz

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hi Roz,

Since you mentioned it , I have to tell you that first:D. This comment plugin is created by me. You can find it at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/comment-juice/ . You can try it out if you have a wordpress blog.

I think vice versa is also true. A good leader needs to be a managerial skills too . However managers just being managers is not probably sufficient. It is very sad if organizations don’t allow people to grow. I don’t know for how long smart people will stay in such organizations.

Thanks for your comment once again :). Really appreciate :)

Adrienne October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I can relate so much more now to the leadership role Ashvini then the manager. When I was in corporate America I had more of the manager role and am glad to have that behind me.

I love what you shared about leadership and I definitely agree with you. I know for me it’s inspiring others to believe in themselves so they can be the leaders I know they can be. Helping others and solving problems, showing others they can help people grow as well is so rewarding. Makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something tremendous.

Enjoyed this post, great points on leadership.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hi Adrienne,

You are a leader and it shows from the way you write you blog and do things for the community of bloggers. Inspiring others and setting example is one of the most important part of being a good leader. You have summed it well, because I guess you know it so well :).

Thanks for your awesome comment.

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