What is the difference between leadership and management?

There is often a tendency to confuse leadership with management. They are certainly two pillars contributing to the growth of a company, whatever its size. But they are not at all synonymous, as there are important differences between them. Simply put, leadership is more focused on long-term change and transformation. Management, on the other hand, is more concerned with improving efficiency and performance.

Management: a group leader designated by his or her hierarchy

The manager is a person designated by his or her hierarchy and whose mission is to lead a team. Given the complexity of such a task, i.e. managing teams and people to perfection, the position of manager is obviously the result of a promotion, which is not offered to everyone. Thanks to his or her managerial skills, the manager exercises and represents a certain authority over his or her group. In this case, management aims to improve the efficiency and performance of its team in order to achieve a specific objective. Therefore, several qualities come directly into play: integrity and honesty, inspiration, vision, ability to face challenges, communication performance, valuing the skills of his collaborators, listening to his group… What’s more, management is not a profession, but rather a practice based on experience. In order to carry out his mission perfectly, a manager must, if possible, resort to management coaching.

The aura of the leader and the status of the manager: two essentials for a company

Although leadership and management are two very different details, they are complementary to make a business run smoothly. Of course, leadership and managerial skills can work together: the leader’s change and the manager’s improvement, the leader’s risk-taking and the manager’s risk management, the leader’s advice and the manager’s guidance, the leader’s visions and the manager’s organization, the leader’s personal charm and the manager’s formal influence .

Leadership is not a decision but a decision

Unlike management, leadership is rather a decision. Yes, the leader has not been designated by his hierarchy to carry out his mission, but rather by the members of his team. In relation to these people, the leader has informal authority. And since his mission is long-term, leadership consists above all in conveying an exciting vision of the company’s future. Thanks to his or her ambition and long-term vision, a good leader loves to take risks to achieve his or her goals by encouraging and motivating his or her team as much as possible. By relying on his leadership qualities: integrity, communication skills, vision, risk-taking, willingness, responsibility, optimism, leadership skills, process management… the leader can positively influence his team, which can be beneficial for the functioning of the company.