Creative Leadership

Leadership vs. Management: 13 Tactical Differences

Today’s guest post is from Mark Dreistadt, founder of Infinity Concepts in Pittsburgh. Infinity is an advertising, marketing, and donor development firm that has created the “DNA Workshop” – helping organizations discover their unique identity. Mark’s post is a challenge for leaders to understand the differences between Leadership and Management:

When it comes to the differences between leadership and management, far too often, the terms are used interchangeably, but they are really quite different from one another.

• A manager’s job is to plan, organize, and coordinate; the leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.
• The manager administers; the leader innovates.
• The manager thinks short term; the leader thinks long-term.
• The manager maintains; the leader develops.
• A manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
• The manager is transactional; the leader is transformational.
• The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
• The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
• The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line (and they need to); the leader’s eye is always on the horizon.
• The manager imitates; the leader originates.
• The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
• The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
• The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

Leaders need to be managers – and – managers need to be leaders. Determine where you are strong and build up your weak side. Never presume because you are a good leader that you are managing well. Neither should you presume that because you are a good manager you are functioning as a good leader.

Both skill sets can be learned – and both need to be intentionally cultivated.


Follow Mark on Twitter at @markdreistadt

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