Leading vs. Managing

Leadership and management are two topics that are closely related but also distinctly different. Understanding the key differences can help you determine which type of behaviors are most appropriate and effective in different situations.


Leaders are focused on the vision and mission of the organization, setting the direction and inspiring others to follow. They create the environment that makes their team motivated, energized and purposeful. Key skills of leading include:

    • Initiative:Leaders take initiative and provide guidance and direction.


    • Risk Taking: Leaders are willing to take risks and think innovatively to solve problems.


    • Motivation:Leaders have the ability to motivate others and create a positive atmosphere.


    • Influence:Leaders can influence people and inspire them to follow their vision.



Managers are focused on the day-to-day operations and setting long-term plans. They are responsible for specific tasks, objectives, budgets and timelines. Key skills of managing include:

    • Organization:Managers have organizational skills and can manage competing priorities.


    • Delegation: Managers are able to delegate tasks effectively and efficiently.


    • Communication: Managers have strong communication and interpersonal skills and are able to effectively convey information to others.


    • Problem Solving: Managers have excellent problem-solving skills and can think strategically about solutions.


Leadership and management both play important roles in successful organizations. While there are distinct differences between the two, it’s important to understand when and how to use them in order to maximize productivity and efficiency.