Management and Leadership. The Subtleties of Differences


There is always a person in the group who has great influence and higher authority than the rest. Here are the heroes of our day. People can perform leadership functions in sundry ways, focusing on their own personal characteristics, the ones of the group, and the options of the task that is required to be done by the group.

In accordance with the fact that the leaders make an emphasis in the demonstration of their role, two types of leaders stand out: instrumental leaders, focused primarily on solving the task, achieving common goals, and affective leaders, contributing to the creation of a favorable psychological climate in the group and the development of its cohesion.

There is an opinion according to which two concepts of leader and manager differ in a number of features, another opinion says that these concepts are actually identical. We will discuss the differences since a complete leveling the differences will mean the lack of a comparative characteristic, which we have aimed to. If you are looking for more information on management, check this link

So, the concept of "leader" should differ from the concept of "manager". As you know, any enterprise or group, as in our case, can be considered a formal or informal organization. Accordingly, there are two similar types of human interaction.

What are we talking about?

Formal relations are inherently business, official, aimed at the performance of certain specified functions and, accordingly, following the instructions that lead to the desired result. Relations of the second type are emotional, psychological, built on a thin surface of subjective perception, ready to turn to a certain degree at any time and change the person's idea of everything that is happening around.

Management is the notion of a system of formal relations, and leadership – of informal ones. As you know, the role of managers is predetermined. There is a staffing table with a range of their functions, going beyond which is regarded as self-will and punished in accordance with the administration system of a specific organizational group. Leaders emerge spontaneously, there is no such position and no one can say that they are obliged to do something and confirm these words with official documents.

Common Features

First, let us define common features:

  • Both concepts characterize people, who coordinate the relations of the company employees or members of a particular social group;
  • In both cases, it is a question of social influence on the collective, its worldview, actions, atmosphere and productivity of work;
  • There is a certain subordination system. In any case, the person sets the pace, but in the case of the manager, it is a relationship that is documented and beyond which you cannot go, in the case of the leader, the relationship is not outlined.

Let us say a few words about the opinion that these concepts are identical. According to it, it is considered that the head of an organization or group is a person-orchestra, someone combining certain formal qualities and informal priorities of the leader. Thus, it most effectively affects people.

Why is this happening?

Interaction with people occurs best when it successfully combines different origins of power, directing people to achieve certain goals. In the formal case, it can be about obtaining some material benefit, monetary incentives or bonuses, in the informal one – about praise, satisfaction about the completion of an important mission, sense of self-worth.

In essence, power is the potential to influence behavior of other people. Some are more influential, some less, and this should all be taken into account by a person who, by his/her or someone else's will, has received such an opportunity. In this case, it makes sense to determine the influence. What is this? This is the behavior of a single person, aimed at forming or correcting the direction of action of another person.

For successful work, power must be applied skillfully. The leaders have the possibility to punish or reward a person who is under their control. The influence of such a person is built on people's belief in his or her competence. It cannot be a ghostly authority, invented and formed somewhere in the back of the mind. People very subtly feel whether a person is able to lead them in the right direction or whether he/she is unworthy of their faith and actions aimed at establishing this faith. To some extent, the leader is the idol.


Differences can be drawn on the following parameters, formed and stated in accordance with the foregoing:

  • The leader primarily regulates interpersonal relations in the collective, the manager deals with the regulation of the official relations of the group as a certain social organization;
  • In most cases, the leader is realized in some mini environment, formed randomly and united by a specific goal. The manager is the representative of the macro environment since he or she is specifically authorized to perform certain functions and is connected to the social system of public relations;
  • The first case can be called the urge of the soul. Nobody has the right to appoint a person as a leader, while appointment as a manager is a common thing;
  • The criterion of stability. The first option is less stable in the sense that the appointment and change of a person mostly depend on the mood of the group. Manager is a more stable phenomenon;
  • The manager has a wide range of rights to apply various kinds of sanctions, fines and penalties, while the leader cannot boast of such privileges;
  • In both cases, people make decisions, but if the leader is guided by a specific goal and by intra-group processes, then the manager must think more globally, on the scale of the overall social picture;
  • The field of activity of the leader is a certain group, particularly little, that can exist in isolation, the manager is the head of the group, which is a part of the mechanism that fits into the overall scheme of the enterprise.

People who lead others, regardless of the division that we talked about in this article, become attractive to followers thanks to the ability to see what will ultimately be achieved as a result of the efforts made. However, this is not any goal or any state of the organization in the future. To a greater extent, this is what followers want or can have. In addition, the vision becomes attractive if it is greater or better than the existing reality, that is, to some extent, the idealization of the future state is allowed.

Many people need a vision. The image of the vision captures the imagination of the adherents and encourages them to devote themselves to putting it into practice to the extent they share the leadership vision. A vision that gives strength to followers and makes them believe in the success of the cause.

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