Leadership vs. Management, What’s the Difference?


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Is leadership good and management bad? Of course not, both are important. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explains their roles in project management in this short tutorial video.

Related: How Leaders & Managers Use Software for Better Results

how are leaders and managers different and the same?

In Review – Leadership vs. Management, What’s the Difference?

Today’s video topic is surprisingly controversial, Jennifer noted. There are many who stand on one side or the other of the great divide between leadership and management, demonizing one and praising the other.

You don’t have to look far to find examples of either persuasive leaders who have done terrible things or efficient managers who lack the soft skills to lead and inspire. That’s why Jennifer wanted to focus on what the differences between the two are and why a combination of both is ideal.


What is leadership? It’s the action of leading a group towards a common goal. People who lead have three common attributes:

software for leaders and managers
  1. They inspire others to share their vision.
  2. They motivate others to act on that vision.
  3. They encourage others and help them overcome obstacles in pursuit of that vision.

Jennifer quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

Want more inspiration? Read our 25 most inspiring leadership quotes.

10 Leadership Skills

Jennifer went on to list the skills that make up great leadership, while acknowledging that there are more. But these are some of the core values of a strong leader:

  1. Communication: The ability to disseminate information and listen actively.
  2. Motivation: Getting people to want to do what you need them to do.
  3. Delegation: Knowing that you can’t do everything and trusting others to help you carry the load by completing assigned tasks.
  4. Positivity: Keeping a positive attitude, regardless of the situation, helps with morale.
  5. Trustworthiness: People aren’t going to listen to you or do what you ask if you don’t first instill a sense of trust.
  6. Creativity: There will always be problems that can’t be solved by rote; you must think creatively and be open to taking chances. Employ divergent thinking to find unique solutions.
  7. Feedback: Leadership doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Listen to your team, stakeholders, advisors, mentors, etc., and take their opinions seriously.
  8. Responsibility: You can’t expect people to follow you if you’re not taking responsibility for the bigger picture and your behavior.
  9. Commitment: You also cannot expect to lead others if you are not committed to the project.
  10. Flexibility: Things change, and rigidity can ruin a project, so you must be willing to adapt and not hold too tightly to anything.


What is management? It’s the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. But the emphasis does tend to be on things rather than people.

Managers are people who plan, organize and coordinate. They are methodical and are always reassessing their process to make sure they’re progressing as planned. If not, they tweak to get back to their baseline assessment.

Jennifer quoted management consultant, educator and author Peter F. Druker, who said, “What’s measured gets improved.” So, you can see a difference in that managers approach things more systematically, seeking metrics and tools to measure their progress and adapt their process accordingly.

Top 10 Management Skills

To further highlight the differences and the complementary nature of leadership and management, Jennifer noted 10 of what she considers the most important skills for any manager to have.

Related: How to Be a Good Manager

  1. Interpersonal Skills: While managers aren’t exclusively dealing with people, they still must interface with them, and the better they do so, the smoother the management process.
  2. Communications: Being able to manage is being able to communicate what you need to who needs to do it.
  3. Motivation: The same is true for motivating people to follow your management lead.
  4. Organization: You must be organized. Management is made up of many parts, and they cannot be handled on the fly.
  5. Delegation: No one can manage everything themselves, and if they try, they’re going to fail. So, share responsibilities and tasks with others.
  6. Forward Planning: A manager is a planner who looks towards the future and how to set themselves up for it today.
  7. Strategic Thinking: Part of that planning is thinking strategically about the project, the organization and how to align them moving forward.
  8. Problem Solving: Managers face issues daily, and they must think creatively to solve them.
  9. Commercial Awareness: Managers are not working in a vacuum and need to have a keen sense of the business and commercial environment in which they operate.
  10. Mentoring: In order to get things done, sometimes a manager must become a mentor, offering guidance or training where it’s needed.

You probably have noticed that many of the skills for leadership and management are the same. Not all of them, but enough to build a Venn diagram where the best leaders and managers meet in the middle.

Pro-Tip: Every leader and manager worth their salt knows that they can always work towards improving their skills. There are many leadership and management programs online and at schools, and there’s likely at least one to suit your needs and your schedule.

Take it Further: Whether you’re a leader or a manger, you’re always going to want to push your company and your team to grow. Learn how transformational leadership can do just that.

Thanks for watching!


Today we’re talking about leadership versus management and what’s the difference. Well, I’ll tell you. This topic sure can stir up a crowd because you have some people who think leadership is great and management is bad and vice versa.

But the truth is, we probably all know examples of leaders who were very influential, who have really done some really bad things in the world. We can also think of probably some managers who were great and vice versa.

So today I wanna look at both of these and we wanna sort through. We wanna see what the differences are and I think you’ll see why we really need a combination of both if we’re managing projects or trying to get some kind of initiative done for our company.

So let’s talk about first, leadership and look at what leadership is. So leadership is the action of leading a group towards a common goal. If you think about, you’ve heard that leaders lead people, they inspire, they motivate, and they encourage.

So here’s a quote that I love by Dwight D. Eisenhower, it says, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it.” I think that’s a great quote and sums up leadership very well.

So you can look through all kinds of leadership material, but I like the outline of these top 10 leadership skills.

Number one, communication. Being able to communicate effectively with the group.

Number two, motivation. It requires a lot of motivation to get people to do what they don’t want to do.

Delegation, being able to delegate things that are best suited for someone else.

Positivity, keeping people positive, probably sometimes in the worst of things.

Trustworthiness, being able for your people you’re leading to trust you.

Creativity, there are most times when we’re trying to do a project or initiative where things constantly change, so it’s important to be creative and think through solutions and roadblocks.

Feedback, being able to receive feedback but also give feedback constructively without offending anyone but being able to help them.

Number eight, responsibility. Taking the responsibility for actions and getting things done.

Also, commitment. Once committing to something, sticking through the thick and thin until the end.

And then ten, flexibility. Again, knowing that any project or initiative things we do likely are going to have changes, so being able to be flexible to look at different angles and consider changing course when we need to.

Okay, now let’s look at management. So where leadership was the ability to lead people, this is the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. So where leadership is leading people, management is managing things.

So managers, they plan, they organize and they coordinate.

Here’s a quote by Peter Drucker, and you can’t really argue with his management. He’s one of the leading leadership and management thinkers of our time. It’s, “What’s measured gets improved.”

So again, looking at some of the skills of managers here, just, you know, there are many, but here are some of the top 10 skills.

So number one, interpersonal skills, being able to communicate with people at having great soft skills.

Number two, communication. Again, like leaders, they have to communicate effectively through written, oral and other types of communication.

Number three, motivation. Although managers are trying to get things done, there’s also the component of motivating people to get the task and activities done.

Organization, being able to plan out, organize and coordinate things for the plan.

Number five, delegation. Again, it takes a skill to be able to delegate appropriately to the right people.

Number six, forward planning, always thinking ahead where are we going next.

Number seven, strategic thinking, looking at the big picture and then being able to take that through and fill out the details.

Number eight, problem-solving. Again, most anything we do with projects or initiatives, things are always changing, problems always arise. So having the capability to problem solve is essential.

Number nine, commercial awareness. That’s really understanding the industry, the market that you’re in or that the manager is in and understanding how that impacts how the economy and all kinds of financial situations can change and impact things.

And also ten is mentoring. So a manager getting people to get things done, sometimes they may need additional training or mentoring and they’re really good at that.

So as you can see, some of the communication, motivation, delegation, some of these skills are different or the same, but you can see where leadership and management vary.

So if you need a resource for additional information on leadership and management skills, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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