Leadership

Video: Leadership vs. management: Understand the differences

Leadership and management are opposing disciplines, but the reality is that the two disciplines cannot work apart. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT executives looks at five ways that leadership and management roles complement and depend upon each other.

Leadership and management are opposing disciplines. Sometimes the demand is for more vision and inspiration from leader, while other times it's for more measurement and control from managers. But the reality is that the two disciplines cannot work apart. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT executives looks at five ways that leadership and management roles complement and depend upon each other.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the "Transcript" link underneath the video or you can read the original article from Shannon Kalvar that this episode was based on: Achieving executive balance: Nine ways leaders and managers work together.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

42 comments
orion
orion

The difference between management and leadership is simple. You manage resources, but you have to lead people. Each person is an individual, and a group of people will cohese into a common entity only when lead (the mob idenity). All great leaders have realized this fact. In other words, people will become a resource only when led. Without leadership a group of people will just be individuals and have divergent goals. Just trying to manage them without leadership qualities would be like herding cats.

edmofilho
edmofilho

Excellent comparison about management and leadership. I think during these times of crisis a strong balance between leadership and management will be the difference for success.

mik
mik

There is talk of being both, but not at the same time. So if a company doesn't have both can a leader effectively balance both equally and at the same time, should he?

davidcafe
davidcafe

It is clear that the author of this report likes to dominate people feeling that their method is superior to their teams. Leadership has always sustained the best end result. You don't manage people in a battle field you lead them. So the author does not understand the concept of leadership and coaching is my conclusion making this analogy highly prejudiced towards rigid management that inhibits creativity.

sboverie
sboverie

I saw an old "60 Minutes" interview with Grace Hopper, one of early programmers who helped develop COBAL as well as the concept of a high level programming language. She said that success came from managing things and leading people. This may help explain why some managers tend to treat subodinates like replaceable parts and why some managers have a loyal team of highly qualified and motivated people.

drhayde
drhayde

In his book "Organizational Culture and Leadership" Edgar Schein wrote: "Neither culture nor leadership, when one examines each closely, can really be understood by itself. In fact, one could argue that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture and that the unique talent of leasers is their ability to understand and work with culture. If one wishes to distinguish leadership from management or administration, one can argue that leaders create and change cultures, while managers and administrators live within them."

Mike_Gross
Mike_Gross

Just wanted to compliment you on a great simplification of a complex topic. You boiled down a subject that took nearly an entire semester in an MBA course to a matter of minutes, and made it much easier to understand. Good job.

dbecker
dbecker

Those of us who work on the front lines behind the scenes in technology should all realize by now that the best products and services are derived from inspiration to develop beyond necessity. Leadership is derived from vision to expand awareness for the things that people want until it becomes a necessity. One example: Back in the day when people were tied to coming into the County Annex to get the status of their permit applications and / or schedule an inspection of thier properties for the permits, Integretated Voice Response was just being established. I went to my supervisor and convinced him that I could take the current Planning and Land System and integrate it into IVR. It took me three weeks to learn how to put up VTAM on the IBM Mainframe to be the core of the screen scraper for Octel. It took me another three weeks to develop the tcp/ip Berkley Sockets programming in Assembler on the IBM Mainframe and a combination of C and COBOL on the HP3000. And it took me another three weeks to actually adapt a program to the entire VTAM / Berkley Sockets framework. It took a lot of vision, initiative and innovation. The result? Contractors and mom and pop no longer had to stand in lines at the County Annex and / or be yelled at for wandering into the wrong areas which were for County Employees only. They could call up on the telephone night or day to get the status of their permit applications and / or schedule an inspection. It initially saved the County $17,000+ per year and it can never be ascertained how much it has saved the contractors. This is just one example of how "low level techs" can make a difference with the vision of leadership. There are other examples in my life: The Washington Occupational System [which I developed on a PC for high school and community college students to use], the Spokane County Periodical System and the work I'm currently doing to establish an automated library system for the Pierce County Chaplain. Leadership is strategic. Management is tactical. And sometimes a Tech isn't just a tech. When necessary for the good of the order, push management out of the way and make a case to take on the leadership role. You may lose your job, but at least you'll have the satisfaction of being able to prove management wrong and later on tell them, "I told you so". Warning to visionaries: Like a beautiful garbage dump covered with freshly fallen snow, the vision may be lovely, but watch where you step -- it could be fatal.

dt_luke
dt_luke

Come On! You can NOT be called an effective leader if you don't know how to manage your time, your resources, your information and most importantly your people. The military leads the way on this hands down because they understand the meaning of the terms discipline and leadership. You take care of your mission and your men by managing "things" and leading your unit. Managing accomplishes tasks and leading provides direction. They are not seperate entities but part of the same entity called leadership.

18th Letter
18th Letter

It truly depends, you try to lead by showing vision however you are stuck managing because of your team.

Meesha
Meesha

Everyone has the capacity to lead and knows how to manage."A leader can manage and a manager can lead." The trick is to know what needs leadership and when to employ it. Managing is an everyday thing - your personal life, business, friends, peers,your schedule, etc. You're always managing towards a goal. When you lead, you are shaping the goal and in that visioning you are providing others the clarity necessary for all, including managers, to understand the end game. The manager takes that goal works with the team and lays out the tasks to achieve that end game. There's no mystery here only personalities that get caught up in the human condition - seeking "others's" recognition, consent and approval for our roles in life - you're a line worker, you're a manager, you're an executive. This is all based on some of our work but mostly on perceptions; i.e. how many times has a line manager been promoted to a senior management position and is so entrenched in the "manager's" mystique that s/he can't turn it off to become the leader they now need to be? Far too often and it's not limited to this example - it goes all the way to the top. Take for example the current economic crisis. North American car manufacturers are going to the trough with caps in hand begging for money to keep their organizations afloat. Yet when a pay comparison is done between, for example, GM's Sr.Exec. who I believe made approximately $15M last year while the organization had a $39B lost, and Toyota's Sr.Exec. who I believe made approximately $1M while the organization made $18B in profit. Where was the leadership in this for GM who came calling at the tax payer's door? Where was his custodial obligation to the management, workers and tax payers? At the end of the day, don't let the definition of roles stop you from being all that you can be (sic). We all have it in us to be both "leaders" and "managers"; it's just up to us to use the skills and qualities when they're most appropriate.

evanmathias
evanmathias

What a load of hot air. Seriously JH you need to think a little for yourself. Most effective groups work as teams. Managing effectively is largely a factor of the teams experience. Leadership can be shown where people excel or push the boundaries.

Colinza
Colinza

This is extremely timely given your article recently rating IT CEOs. And yes, we do need both and we do need both to drive a sustainable enterprise and market related economy. I think we can?t argue that avarice and single-minded greediness has let the world to this present cliffs edge. I read something recently on your site which really rang true with me ?The first sign of failed leadership is employee disenchantment? I think most managers these days in multinational corporations are so busy feeding the spreadsheet mechanic above them in the chain that they have little time or energy to attend to business below them and lose sight of reality. Managers should really be creating the environment in which others can be motivated and encouraged to succeed. A book that I find fascinating is by Danah Zohar ? Spiritual Capital. She also laments the drain of leadership from business. It?s a few years old know and some companies get more good press than they deserve but the message is still very relevant. It?s really about ?reaching a balance between ethical and sustainable profit, without exploitation of people, and showing respect to the societies that allow the company to exist.? I think most CEOs are too busy feeding the shareholder monkey on their shoulder to have a vision for the future of all.

masood_haider786
masood_haider786

Both are important, those who are leaders can Manage things more smartly

mwhens
mwhens

Leadership is more valuable, because if you inspire to Lead, management issues such as Reporting and Monitoring become easier as you sub-ordinates are inspired by the Leadership. Pure management without inspiration leads to grumpy workers with no respect for seniors, talking behind their backs, blaming and scheming!

techrepublic
techrepublic

Thank You, sboverie! I finally see someone who understands the real difference between Leadership and management. You manage things but you *lead* people.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

You mean you discipline people to follow someone and that makes them a leader? Discipline makes soldiers 'follow' bad officers, good leaders get followed, because of what they are. In the military if your people won't follow your lead, you get demoted, or at least end up as a REMF. In business you outsource them and get promoted.

Colinza
Colinza

You can't equate the military with a commercial enterprise. In business there is a pooling of ideas and brainstorming for innovation and business advantage. In the military there is only blind following of orders - no debate! You obey or you are court-martialled. Mind you, that sounds just like most large corporations these days!

rykerabel
rykerabel

Yes, the military has this at its core, but not like you describe it. They are broken into seperate entities as Officers versus Non-commissioned Officers. Officers are the leaders and NCOs are the managers. Its obviousely way more involved than that, but thats how its defined at its most core level.

johan.vanbrabant
johan.vanbrabant

Leadership has to do with personality and as a consequence not everybody can be a leader. Management is based on skills and can be trained. In a crisis situation, a leader is more valuable compared to a manager. Hope is the beginning of survival. A leader hopes and gives hope when everything seems lost. In these times of crisis, I prefer a leader as my boss. A crisis is a kind of war situation. Look at Leningrad were the German forces were defeated. Leningrad had strong leaders believing that they actually could stop the until then undefeated German war machine, and they did! Managers optimize to reach more efficiency and more profit. This is why Japanese economy was so strong in the eighties and today it is so lousy today. Japanese people have the best managers, but lack of leaders. Today is an opportunity for the US industry. Two wars showed that great leaders may arise when needed. We need them now ?.

JCode
JCode

This belief explains why we have such a management crisis! Being in management should require the same basic apptitude and skills as are required for any other type of job.

evanmathias
evanmathias

Management is important, and they love to think so, but ultimately it is just an administrative task, one made a great deal easier when your team is competent. High turnover in a company is not a reflection of a good company, and ultimately it will be crippled no matter how it is managed. A company with a low turnover of staff, working as teams, training, openness and flexibility will inherently have Leadership. Leadership requires skill, knowledge, trust and courage with a solid communication protocol. Greed driven, Management full of self importance, lends itself to high turnover, little knowledge sharing and a Management driven Company. It's that kind of management who have set up the disaster, not necessarily their fault, sit there contemplating the difference between Management and Leadership.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

you mostly have knowledge workers, that can be true and there are lots of good examples of self-directed professionals working in teams vs. traditional hierarchical management. But that generally only works when you have great (and low-maintenance) employees working on creative projects where they all have strong expertise.

crisher
crisher

With a well established team in a highly competitive business environment, your conclusion may have some validity. But in a fluid environment with a traditionally high turnover rate, there is a distinct difference between the two roles clearly outlined and detailed by JH.

Craig_B
Craig_B

Colinza I think you hit the core of problems in a capitalistic economy.

avidtrober
avidtrober

Environments where the task at hand is more routine tend to need management. e.g. production support lifecycle phases. Environments where the task at hand is requiring more creative/innovative challenges tend to need leadership more than management, and often suffer with management. With the latter, the common idea is management is in the superior role. But, an inverted organization, where the management role is a peer or even subordinate, I've seen work quite well, enabling hands-on leadership where bureaucracy would ensue with the common org structure.

masood_haider786
masood_haider786

in my opinion they both are the companions of each other , Leaders are the one those who show ways to do things and Managers are the one those who do . So they both are the working hands of each others

hmmmmm!
hmmmmm!

Bottom line is a manager has control of the task, knows when it is done. The leaders report to the managers on how they are meeting their set budget, performance to specs and on time. Note a bit of ego's having problems with "managers vse creative's", after a while a Manager, more so at PM levels, finds that often the biggest issue to program (manager levels)and project (leader levels) completion is making sure everyone knows when they are done. Without strong managers there is always the tendency to "Make it a bit better" rather then "doing as the specs ask". Managers, good ones, keep companies going and are key to survival. Note, on military, the bottom line is the rank of the individual, quite often not the ability, the job of the military is to fight wars, as such it is not a democracy, not a "managed situation", do not confuse tactical war operations with management, they are not the same, and if as in Iraq, NAM, and even AFG, when we start to "manage" the military, we lose, as history proves. Sorry to burst the bubble, but there is little management in the combat side of the services, tactical operations are simply Chain of Command Operations...they have to be to succeed, as to go to decide to "Manage" rather then follow orders in combat is to die, simple as that. From air to house to house, you have some flexibility, but not a lot in the over all scheme of things, and while for spin the services like to refer to "Manage etc", little has changed since we shouldered spears, bows, muskets or B-2, you win or lose operationally, and once you start messing about radically changing ops plan at whatever your level, you are endangering the operation.

phportelance
phportelance

I have read through many good replies but I have not seen any mention of accountability. I believe the two, leadership and management work hand in hand. You need both to survive in any walk of life. The thing that distinguishes a leader from a manager is accountability in a global sense. If the project fails or if the company fails it is a true leader that steps up and takes responsibility in the same way he should be given credit for the success of a project or company. I believe a leader is defined by being part of all that is done in a company and manager is defined by tasks that they are required to accomplish. For example, did the manager meet the budget. A leader should also have their hand on the pulse of the company. They need to understand the feelings people have towards a company, so they can deal with any individual and any issue that an individual may present to the leader. It does not mean they know everybody in a large company or they deal with every issue, for me it means they know how issues are directed and what manager is dealing with what kind of problems. The leader is the last stop when any issue cannot be corrected and needs a different direction. It is the leader that makes that decision and not the manager. In the end the success of a company depends on the leader and if the manager fails then the leader needs to correct the problem.

BizMan
BizMan

RE:>> You manage things but you *lead* people. A Manager makes sure that his people are accomplishing the tasks they are given. I can teach you to perform certain tasks, and as a manager I can evaluate your ability to perform the those tasks. That's management. To movitivate you to do those tasks to the best of your ability, and not only to give you reasons to do those tasks efficiently, but also to make you understand how those tasks fit into the total mission, and make you feel good about completing the tasks, that's leadership.

howletrc
howletrc

The military I was in worked just like a corporation. i worked in a military hospital and we had budgets, projects, contracts and planning. The officers made up the management and the enlisted were the leadeship. The Commander would give us the job we had to do and the chief would both manage and lead and the leading petty officer would lead us.

lammwa
lammwa

Colinza - your ignorance of the U.S. military is quite obvious with that remark. I've seen the common soldier show more innovation in a single day than some managers make in their lifetime!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

You have to be much better at managing your people to be an effective NCO, than you do to be an effective officer.

lammwa
lammwa

That's not the military I spent 15 years in!I suggest you learn the NCO creed. The Army is run by its leadership - the NCO corps. The Commissioned Officer corps "manages" the miltary. But if you ask any existing CO/NCO he/she will argue they do both! Which is true...

BizMan
BizMan

Neither leadership ability, or management skills are things that everoyone has automatically, and yes, as it is pointed out here, there is a time and place for each. RE: >> Leadership has to do with personality and as a consequence not everybody can be a leader. I agree leadership is more of a personality trait than task that can be learned. It is something that not everyone can master, but it can be developed over time. Good managers can aquire leadership skills on the job. Leadership "training" forces people to make decisions, which over time helps them to develop their leadership ability. The problem becomes when someone with good management skills get promoted to a leadership position, and is uncomfortable with making unpopular decisions. Leaders make decisions, managers form committees to make decisions for them.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

That's a very good observation, and I think you're right. You need a little more traditional management in a production environment. In a knowledge economy environment you need a more leadership (and a little less management in order to foster more creativity).

masood_haider786
masood_haider786

Yes i agree with you as these both are needed but at the same time not in one individual. Roles and responsibilities are different from one another.Some of the roles I feel are also Important as Managers Which i haven't foun#d in the Post although your post is complete and informative. Manage the project taking into account integration across all areas. * Engage with stakeholders. * Direct project resources. * Monitor and manage the project budget. * Monitor and manage the project risk. * Organise steering committee meetings, including ensuring that minutes will be taken. * Report to the steering committee or Project Leader, raising strategic issues. * Prepare Project Status Reports and Project Change Requests for the steering committee. * Manage project team members. * Negotiate and resolve issues as they arise across areas of the project and where they impact on other activities, systems and projects. * Organise and chair project reference group meetings, as appropriate. Project Leaders. * Work with functional managers and the team sponsor to obtain necessary resources to support the team's requirements. * Obtain and coordinate space, furniture, equipment, and communication lines for team members. * Establish meeting times, places and agendas * Coordinate the review, presentation and release of design layouts, drawings, analysis and other documentation * Coordinates meetings with the product committee, project manager and functional management to discuss project impediments, needed resources or issues/delays in completing the task.

Colinza
Colinza

Don't be so paranoid major. You're missing the point too. It was a tongue in cheek remark with a pertinent message but perhaps metaphor is lost on military intelligence.

Colinza
Colinza

This is very true for the scenario you paint. However, for an efficient system, the traditional management has still to be cognoscente of the vision in order to align its efforts to the business mission of the company. In turn, the Vision above has to be mindful of the closed loop production it's tagging along in order for it to fit the plan. Otherwise the Vision might outgrow the production division and then the enterprise cracks.

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