Leading or Managing: Do Both

Leading or manage? The following is aiming to answer the questions of which personal style should managers adopt to ensure success and what is the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates. These controversial questions have been considered over the last century, and though the overall agreement has stimulated away from ‘command and control’ to management and leadership concerning more advice-giving and participative methods, there is no single model, as the best tactic may differ based on the conditions and individual characteristics.

To begin with, leadership is a procedure of social inspiration and influence, which maximizes the efforts of individuals or the team, concerning the accomplishment of a goal. The above definition has some key elements such as:

  • Leadership stalks from social impact, not authority or control
  • Leadership needs others, and that suggests they don’t need to be ‘direct reports’
  • Effective leadership has many types and paths and it does not indicate on personality behaviours, qualities or even a title.
  • It includes a goal, not influence with no intended outcome

Finally, a leader could use social influence to just organize the efforts of others, but I believe that leadership is about maximizing the effort in order to achieve the goal. (Forbes, 2013)


On the other hand, regarding management, according to Drucker (2005), ‘ Management may be defined as the process by means of which the purpose and objectives of a particular human group are determined, clarifies and effectuated’.

Management has three characteristics:

  • It is the process of current and connected actions
  • It contains and focuses on reaching organizational aims
  • It reaches these aims by functioning and through individuals and other managerial resources. (Management Innovations, 2008)


The role of a leader in comparison to that of a manager has many similarities as well as differences. As management being a significant part of leadership, I believe that management has a not good enough resonance. However, exclusive of management, leadership lacks of structure. Management drives the company to efficiency and profits. Managers make allocations, meet target, give and receive instructions, evaluate individuals and get out the best of them.


Leadership is about change and development. A leader motivates and inspires constituents to try harder and give much more effort. Additionally, a leader sets values, surpasses aims, introduces actions and draws the best out of individuals.

While the leader inspires and motivates, the manager controls. Leadership change the world and management sustains it. (Allman, 2009) 

“Efficiency is doing the right thing, effectiveness is doing things right” – Peter Drucker

In my point of view, there is no right or wrong way for superiors to approach employees for successful results either personal way in which managers will ensure accomplishment. There is only a right combination of both. This can be achieved by the manager to has both the moral values as well as the right and fundamental communication bridges that a leader can build among his staff in combination to reach the goals. The mixture of good manager and good leader is unusual and respected, and far more valuable than either just one. So the best thing to do is to do both. (Kilbort, 2004)



Venn diagram – the circle of leading is who you are and the circle of management is how you operate. Although, the two circles meet in the below four key areas:


Great leaders and great managers listen well, are curious, manage their self-talk, and hold themselves accountable for moving the business forward. (Forbes, 2012)

The one who can essentially do these four things and at the same time both improve his people management capabilities and improve himself as follow skilled leader, he will be clearly greatly unstoppable.

Likewise, leading and managing are balancing and connected. Leading is about who you are as a person; people need leaders who feel ‘followable’. A leader can be translated as a visionary person, passionate, brave, intelligent, generous and reliable. These attributes must be demonstrated on a daily basis to be seen as real. (Forbes, 2012)


Based on the above explanations, differences and similarities, in my case I would preferred to get led and one of the reasons is that leadership has to do with people instead of management that has to do with things. The only person that I need to get managed is from myself in order to be a good and effective leader in future. So I would like to be led motivated by safeguarding my moral values and goals. I am a person who is inspired to work in the light of the values and beliefs that come from my leader. Finally, I would like to have the right relationship with my superiors so as to increase productivity in a pleasant and harmonious work environment.







1) Allman S.. (2009). Leadership vs. Management. Successful Meetings, . 58 (11), 12.

2) Kilbort, P. (2004). Management Vs. Leadershipt. Physixial Executive. 30 (6), 32-35.

3) Andersen E.. (2012). Manage or Lead?Do Both.. Available: [online] http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2012/04/10/manage-or-lead-do-both/ . Last accessed 1st of April.

4) Kruse K.. (2013). What is Leadership?. Available: [online] http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/ Last accessed 1st of April.

5) Management Innovations. (2008). Define Management & its Functions.Available:[online] http://managementinnovations.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/define-management-its-functions/ . Last accessed 1st of April.

2 thoughts on “Leading or Managing: Do Both

  1. andreaschristoforou1

    Both roles are necessary and many people tend to spend a lot of time trying to manage rather than to lead. Leading is future and people oriented. It is creative rather than reactive. Most people find that the more time they spend leading, the less time they need to spend managing. Thus if people spend more time focusing on leading it would lead to greater results being achieved and at the same time people would feel greater pleasure from their efforts.

  2. antonisathanasiades

    well written article and explains well the role of managers and leaders. It is true though that most people when thinking of leadership they tend to assume that the role of a leader is the same with the role of a manager. after reading this article i m pretty sure people will assume differently and that both leaders and manager are necessary but act differently


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