Leadership vs. Management

Welcome to guest blogger Holly Caracappa

Management oversees task and projects, whereas leadership influences people. So in a sense, management deals with the tangible aspects of life while leadership is more ephemeral. In the workplace, managers rely on incentives – like pay – to motivate subordinates, while leaders offer both inspiration and compensation. This creates a transactional dynamic between managers and employees, where managers leverage compensation and other rewards or punishments at their disposal to receive desired performance. Leaders forge relationships to gain desired results, realizing that they cannot succeed alone.

To avoid going solo, leaders amass followers. Whether through eloquent speeches, a charismatic personality or earthy humor, leaders compel others to follow them – after all, following is a voluntary action. Good managers will create structures and organizations that allow their employees to perform at their best, while micro-managers will stifle creativity, never gain loyalty from their workers and hinder productivity.

While managers minimize risk to ensure stability, leaders embrace risk as a chance to evolve. Leaders consider the long-term while managers focus on the day-to-day. This ability to channel attention onto the important project at hand is necessary. Leaders who rely solely on fervor or bombast will eventually disappoint their followers because their words lack practical backing.

At the university level, one can see the leadership versus management dynamic by looking at the juxtaposition of seminars and lectures. In lectures, professors expound on an area of expertise.  Conversely, in seminars professors guide discussions, sometimes offering insights, but mostly allowing students to discover through collaboration and discourse. Both formats have a role in education because each class format has strengths specific to different types of subject material. Likewise, management and leadership both have a place in the workforce.

Holly Caracappa is a writer for eCollegeFinder.org, an online education portal dedicated to matching students with the top online schools. eCollegeFinder helps students find the best undergraduate, masters and accredited online PhD programs at accredited online colleges.