Leadership and management are two very different entities; in fact, they are so very different, because when you are promoted into a role with management responsibilities, you don’t automatically become a leader. And so, this article aims to set out the key differences between leadership and management to aid you to successfully lead your team.

Trust and delegation

Managers can find it tricky to trust their employees and can end up micromanaging their every move, creating bottlenecks in production and a real lack of motivation from employees. Instead, leaders guide and coach their employees, trusting them with the tasks of which they are responsible. They allow their staff to make mistakes, because, at the end of the day, this is a proven way of learning. They are ever optimistic about the abilities and potential of their people and attempt to help them realise this.

Objectives vs vision

Managers tend to not be able to think beyond what an individual can do – They stick with what has worked historically instead of looking at the bigger picture. Leaders push the boundaries and embrace what they see as possible whilst engaging their employees to turn that vision into reality. They truly understand that high-functioning teams can achieve so much more when working as a team as opposed to individually, in silos. Therefore, leaders are thinking very-much about the long-term. Leaders always focus on people, ensuring they build fantastic relationships with all stakeholders. They build loyalty and communicate endlessly and perfectly. Managers tend to only focus on the people and processes needed to effectively complete their department goals. They have staff who follow their directions with the aim of pleasing them.


Leaders are extremely self-aware and manage their own personal brand effectively. They are comfortable in their own shoes and more than willing to challenge the status quo and employees will admire them for this as well as being inspired to be like them and motivated to do well for them. Managers on the other hand can copy others, rather than adopting their own unique leadership style. Leaders also yearn to learn continuously, remaining ever-curious. They always want to expand their thinking. Managers tend to only adopt proven behaviours.


Leaders are proud innovators and not afraid to disrupt. They embrace change and will always challenge processes, procedures and other leaders within a business to ensure that everyone is working towards the benefit of the entire business. They of course understand that change can create waves, but these waves aren’t necessarily negative. Managers tend to stay with what works and may not necessarily challenge the views of others.

Risk management

Managers always try and minimise risk, in fact, they will do anything to avoid it. Leaders will throw caution to the wind and go for broke, even if they fail, epically. In a similar vein, they will attempt to control problems and difficulties, rather than embracing them and using them as an opportunity for change.

As you can see, there are fundamental differences between managing your people and leading them and this applies in any type or size of business. In our opinion, it’s important to aspire to be a leader, coaching your people, building their trust and respect and leading your people, department and company to success. Anyone can manage but leadership is a honed and some might say inherent skill which is extremely difficult to master.

If you’d like guidance on how to become a leader, or in fact how to become a better leader, please contact us on: 01453 297557 or email