What's the difference between 'When to Lead' and 'When to Manage'?

1,644 Views Updated: 04 Sep 2017
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What's the difference between 'When to Lead' and 'When to Manage'?

Do you know the difference between Leadership and Management? People often confuse between when to lead and when to manage in their daily lives. Thus, as a manager, it is extremely important to understand the significance of the two terms and act in a given situation accordingly.

As we explore the meaning of the two term, let's take a deeper look at their significance and comprehend the difference!

What Do You Mean By Leadership?

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The role of this term is to motivate individuals towards a wishful attitude and behavior. Also, the desired attitudes and behaviors are depicted by the aims and persons you lead. Leaders are asked to lay their focus on mindset primarily. They are asked to do so because motivating and inculcating a positive approach leads to wishful behaviors. Although, you must remember that behaviors do not always build up wishful attitudes.

What Is The End Result Of Leadership?

The outcome of the term is intangible particularly when it comes to the efficacy of motivating attitudes that feed into behaviors.  As a result, measurement of leadership effectiveness challenges many organizations.

How Can You Measure The Effectiveness Of The Term Leadership?

There are several ways to measure the intangible results of leadership depending on the team and organization:
1.    Employee satisfaction
2.    Employee attrition
3.    Absenteeism
4.    Adherence and compliance
5.    Career progression and promotion rates

If any of these are used in the role of leadership especially satisfaction, attrition, and absenteeism, leadership would hence become ineffective.

What Do You Mean By Management?

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The role of management is to organize, optimize, assign and execute tasks towards a specific goal. The way management functions impact the results of the leadership function.
The wishful attitudes and behaviors from leadership should feed into the management process.

What Is The End Result Of Management?

The outcome is tangible, unlike leadership. You must know that it is a finished task or a compilation of tasks that gives out an outcome.
How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Management?

Did you know that measuring the effectiveness of management was way easier than leadership? It is possible due to the following:

1.    Quantity of output
2.    Efficiency of output (output unit per hour)
3.    Quality of output
4.    Budget measures
5.    Deadline and timeline measures

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So you must know in the end that, leadership is about proper optimization of culture and people. And, the term management is related to proper optimization of all elements of project execution.

A leader should lay his focus only on leadership and manager’s utmost focus should be management duties. Both the terms are easy yet confusing at the same time! !

(Featured Image: Slide Share)


Leadership and Management are like the pedals of a cycle. They work as a tandem to build a stimulus in an organization or in life. There are times when both of them need different emphasis on them. They cannot be mixed. To manage something is to manage the policies, the key objective behind it but to lead something to pull together everything and move towards the desired goal. Leadership focus on people apart from management, whilst management is accountable for financial matters only. In comparison to management, leadership is uniquely inherited but management is task-centric.

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