Management vs Leadership

Management and Leadership are often used interchangeably but there are not the same

Key Differences

The key differences between management and leadership are summarized below:

  • Management is about directing a person from one point to another using a set of guidelines and expected behaviors, whereas leadership is about guiding a person from one point to another through discussion and debate. Note the keywords directing and guiding.

  • Management is task-oriented. Leadership is a practice.

  • Management is about directing, monitoring, controlling, and administrating. Leadership is about coaching, motivating, inspiring, guiding, and influencing.

  • Managers focus on short term goals, whereas leaders focus on long term vision.

  • Managers rely on positional powers whereas leaders rely on personal powers. Refer to The Powers of the Project Manager for more details.

  • A good manager may not be a good leader and vice versa.

Managers vs Leaders


Table 3-1 of the PMBOK® Guide, 6th Ed provides a good comparison of leadership and management traits.

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Last updated: January 09, 2024