The Similarities and Differences Between Leadership and Management

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Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company. It manufactures, develops and sells computer softwares, computers, mobiles and other consumer electronics and services. They are widely known for their operating systems, i.e. Microsoft Windows and software products like the Microsoft Office suite, and also Internet Explorer. Bill Gates and Paul Allen are the founders of Microsoft. Bill Gates has consistently been at the top of the list of the world’s wealthiest people. The Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft is Satya Nadella.

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Its mission is “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Its vision is “to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.” (Gregory, 2016)

Microsoft’s long term objective is to reinvent productivity and also business processes, Building an incredible cloud platform is also something they want to achieve in the coming years and also creating a wide range of personal computing is also one of its biggest goal. (Hackett, 2015)


Leadership is a process of guiding, influencing and motivating employees or team members towards achieving a goal or a set of goals. Leadership is a process that influences individuals and their behavior without the use of violence or threats (Buchannan and Huczynski, ….). Whereas Schein ( ) argues that leadership is the ability to step outside ones culture to begin a evolutionary change processes that are more adaptive. Further, author believes that a leader is basically a person who holds a superior position and is able to exercise control over others within his/her field. A leader also motivates and inspires other people to achieve more.

According to John Maxwell, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” There are many types of leaders or leadership styles that we come across daily. Some of them include: A leader who inspires staff and creates an environment of intellectual stimulation is a transformational leader whereas, A leader who has a clear chain of command is a transactional leader. Leaders who usually have full control over the staff and who don’t usually consider employees’ suggestions, They command and give orders are autocratic leaders however, leaders who asks for feedbacks and inputs from the employees for the final decision are democratic leaders. A leader who relies on personality and positive charm is a charismatic leader. Leaders who give employees the power of decision making are laissez-faire leaders. (TEC , 2015)

There are many roles that a leader performs on a daily basis. Leaders inspire and guide their employees to the right path of achieving goals and objectives. Leaders develop strategies that the team members can use to achieve goals. They provide training that team needs and also communicates clear instructions to the employees. A leader takes feedback from the team members and monitors the team members’ participation and ensures effective flow of daily operations. A leader creates reports and updates the company on the team’s and its members’ progress. A leader also finds out about the needs of the employees and provides what they need. Leaders also give their employees credit or recognition when a job is done well. A leader brings everyone together with common goals to work and achieve goals effectively. (Frank T, 2018)

Leaders are present in every level in an organization. But to know identify a leader, they should have certain qualities. Leaders can be identified as self motivated as they always desire to achieve more and beyond what they expect. A leader is confident and is always open to new experiences and also finds out his/her strengths and pushes oneself to his/her maximum limits to achieve a goal. Leaders are accountable and takes full responsibility for the outcomes whether good or bad. Great leaders focus all of their attention on the work they are participating with their team members. They keep others engaged into getting the work done. A good leader is charming and magnetic. It requires leaders to go out of their comfort zone and trying something different. Which makes leaders different from managers. Leaders are usually charismatic. A leader is empathetic. When all the focus is on achieving goals, it can be difficult to focus on the needs of other people. But a leader manages both effectively.

A successful leader is usually a risk taker as they always think out of the box and are always creative. They identify, evaluate the risk, then handle the risk in the best-suited way. Leaders are great time managers. They take time as their most important asset. They effectively plan their time knowing when exactly and where to spend it. (Downard, 2016)


Management is basically exercising control over employees or team members to get work done. Management increases efficiency. It helps managers to reduce costs and increase productivity through planning, organising and controlling. Management is the art of getting things done through others and with formally organised groups. (Koontz, 1961) Whereas, according to Henri Fayol, Management is to forecast, to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and control activities of others.

There are three levels of management:

  1. Top level/ Administrative level: It consists of board of directors, chief executive officers or managing director
  2. Middle level/ Executory level: It consists of branch managers and departmental managers
  3. Low level/ Supervisory level: It consists of supervisors, foreman, section officers and other employees. (Juneja, n.d.)

A manager is someone who is responsible for administrating and controlling an organisation or staff and who supervises, motivates and directs employees towards the progress of an organization.

There are mainly three types of managers. Every manager has a role depending on the department. They are general, functional and frontline managers. General managers are responsible for the performance of the organization or its subunits or divisions. Functional managers are responsible for operations such as production, sales, marketing, information technology, accounting or logistics and also the tasks and activities. Frontline managers are responsible for tracking the performance of the employees. These managers lead and guide their teams members and units. 

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