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Although people use the terms management and leadership interchangeably, they are two different things. Management refers to the idea of making sure that people are doing their jobs and focusing on the tasks and how they are accomplished. At the same time, leadership is more about making sure that people feel good, have confidence, and collaborate within a team. Take a look at some of the differences between the two.

The Purpose

The purpose of management is to make sure that employees do what they are hired to do. They should perform their job and nothing more. The idea is that if everyone does what they are supposed to do, the result will be positive. Leadership takes the opposite perspective. The idea is that a project’s success depends on the people who are working on it, and the people can improve on the intended results. Leadership encourages people to think outside the box and offer improvements to make the product even better than it was. The leader is there to support and encourage, while the manager simply makes sure people do their jobs.


Another difference is in self-awareness. For management, there is no self-awareness. The manager is there to do a job, and it doesn’t matter how people perceive this person, only that they get people to do what they are supposed to do. People are often afraid of management because they don’t want to get in trouble. Leadership requires self-awareness because they lead through trust. They believe in their teams, and they want to encourage people to feel good about the work they do. Leaders can listen and acknowledge when they make a mistake, and they are willing to learn from a team member.


Trust is not necessary for management because the manager is there to ensure that people do their jobs. If they don’t do what is expected, they are reprimanded and possibly fired; they get to keep their jobs if they do. Leadership is a two-way street where there is trust on both sides. Leaders hire people who are capable and can add to productivity and creativity. They encourage improvement and collaboration, and teams need to trust the leader to do their best work.