Management vs Leadership

What is the your management style?

  • Is there a distinction between management style and leadership style?
  • Are the leadership characteristics different?
  • How will subtle differences between the two can affect your business?


One definition of management is to direct or control the use of, while another is to exert control or to make submissive to one’s authority, discipline, or persuasion.

  • A definition of leadership is “to show the way, to guide, or to direct.
  • Military leadership teaches that it is:“… the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.”

Management Style vs Leadership Style

Management and leadership characteristics are not the same.  Semantics to some, but if people are the organization’s most valuable resource, then they should be treated as valuable members of the team.

A leader’s job is to show the way so that others want to follow, not to make them submissive.  An authority vs. responsibility scenario illustrates how things can contrast sharply with a change in leaders and its impact on the organizational climate.


Colonel Mike Pulliam was an example of a servant leader who exhibited many positive leadership traits, ably leading his team  through motivation and inspiration.


Within a short time after Mike’s departure, new leadership appeared more focused on numbers and reports than individual growth and development.

The once positive environment quickly changed and the feeling that you could make minor mistakes and operate while learning and growing was gone.

The work environment changed from one driven by the importance of leadership to another where a definition of management governed actions.

As a consequence, people were less willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and as motivation waned, overall performance decreased.

The Impact

Imagine yourself just out of training and eager to apply what you learned. You enter your new organization and observe, especially the environment, because you really aren’t quite sure how you will fit in.  Maybe you feel trusted and that you will be able to learn and grow in this setting. Either way, the boss has a big influence.

For new employees, this environment helps them determine whether they made the right career choice in their new occupation.  Great leaders know that it is a privilege to coach and develop others. They recognize that by serving and setting the example, they will attract followers and gain their support along the way.

Management and leadership characteristics are not the same.

  • What is the your management style?

Developing Leadership Skills

Create an environment of engaged employees by communicating your values, and read more about teamwork, team building skills, team building exercises, and being a team leader.

Tom Crea

Tom Crea is an author, leadership speaker, and leadership development coach who travels from Pittsburgh, PA.  Tom's passion is sharing lessons learned in how learning to delegate made his life easier.