Are Leadership and Management Different?

Are Leadership and Management different ?? I think the short answer is a big YES … 

And, how they are different are fairly simple in nature (more detailed in practice) and put simply, leadership is about people, and management is about process and procedure. 

So, what are the big 3 differences between the two? (and stay tuned to the end of the article for the explanation on why yes, they are different, and yes, a good leader needs to be a good manager, too) … Firstly though: 

1. How are leadership and management different? – Leadership runs on emotional intelligence 

To be a good leader, it is simple – you need to have a high EQ (emotional quotient). 

Leadership is about connecting with other human beings, it is about knowing them, and empathising with them, and it is about getting things done by supporting your team members to become the very best versions of themselves. 

Management is about ‘encouraging’ people to follow the systems, the processes and the procedures. Not a lot of emotional intelligence required there… and generally, not a lot applied to the process of ‘getting stuff done’. 

2. How are leadership and management different? – Leaders empower… Managers direct 

Leaders are very empowering. They empower people to make decisions, to innovate and to create. They encourage their team to try new things, and to come up with solutions. 

Managers are more directive, and they tend to be significantly less supportive of the ideas and opinions of their team. It is all about ‘we have always done it this way’, and ‘why would we change – if it is not broken, then don’t fix it’. 

3. How are leadership and management different? – The CEO is the Chief Empathy Officer, not the Chief Executive Officer (it’s about empathy) 

Firstly, leadership starts at the top of the business, and secondly, leadership is about empathy (understanding others); management is about executive…

Because the culture within an organisation starts at the top, and the leadership style and strategy, start at the very top of the organisation; hence, the CEO has a big part to play in setting the leadership tone for the business. 

So, a leader focused CEO will lead with empathy, not with executive … ness (an Anton-ism), where they will perform more like a management focused CEO. 

CEOs that care about people, and that actually like people, will set the leaders up in the business for success, they will model people focused behaviour and they will be congruent in their words and actions that ‘people are our top priority’. 

Credit for the ‘Chief Empathy Officer’ concept to Pat Armistead!


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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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