MTI Collective: Leadership vs. Management


How would you define leadership and management? What are the differences conceptually and in action?

"Management is control of self and attention and leadership is characterized by action and detachment and situations awareness and calm and logical "

"Leadership is the continuous process of developing and maintaining a group dynamic.

Management is the combination of organizational and administrative direction to achieve specified tasks.

The conceptual differences are that leadership is means based, and management is ends based. What do I mean by this?

Think of a Marine rifle squad conducting an assault. As a leader, the squad leader must do several things to succeed. First, he must build a sense of camaraderie amongst his Marines to ensure they are willing to go into harms way for one another. Second, he must have conducted the requisite training to give the men confidence in the squad and each other to succeed. Third, he must develop lines of communication and intent with his subordinate leaders to facilitate delegation of crucial tasks. Finally, he must maintain the bearing and decisiveness to direct his men when friction occurs. Nothing I described above is unique to a squad assault; leadership in this combat scenario is about the group dynamic he builds, a dynamic which would aid a team in any problem set.

Management centers around the completion of specific tasks, from the short term to the long term. Think of the same squad leader, who now has to manage the task of assaulting this objective. He builds a roster of personnel and weapons, and inventories his equipment and supplies. The squad leader then inspects the Marines to ensure they have all required gear. He builds a timeline for training, rehearsals, and departure for the mission, then communicates this schedule to his Marines and ensures their compliance. He ensures that any qualifications to use specialized equipment are met and documented. During the assault itself, he reports supply issues and casualties to higher while continuing to issue instructions to his Marines to facilitate the completion of the mission. Every task has a clear end state and output, and can occur absent of whatever social dynamic exists within his squad. "

"Leadership is the art of inspiring and influencing people typically within an organization or community. It relies on such things as emotional intelligence, creativity and improvisation, patience, understanding, and empathy. In its basic form it motivates the individual to give their best performance for extrinsic and usually tangible rewards. In it's highest form it is boundless and uses abstract concepts like morals and principles to articulate and provide intrinsic rewards like satisfaction, respect, dignity, and honor. Leadership is not just a pizza party or a burger burn. It can be as simple as recognizing a problem, finding a solution, and taking initiative to implement it while everyone is standing there looking on or incessantly complaining about it.

Management is the science of organizing and executing an operation with a defined end state or desired outcome. It relies on facts and figures to make calculated decisions, mitigate and accept risks, and achieve goals. Management in its purest form asks "What am I trying to achieve, and how and what do I need to achieve it?" Management is also asking "What else can I do to make this better and succeed quicker?" and then doing it. You are continually moving the ball down the field towards the end zone. You keep your head on a swivel and keep asking questions. A good manager knows problems don't go away and bad news doesn't get better over time."

"Leadership is developing people and focusing on long term goals that benefit an organization.

Management is day to day operations "

"Leadership- the act of moving a group of people toward a shared or organizational goal.

Management- the act of controlling processes and/or procedures to fulfill a task or goal.

The difference- You lead people. You manage things (equipment, programs, products, projects, etc.) the moment you are only managing people is the moment you lose the leverage of a leader. "

"Leadership is about people and resourcing their success to operate as teams.

Management is about things and systems that support teams."

"I equate management with compliance and an orientation towards tasks over people. You can be a good manager and get a lot done, but your focus is on the outcome rather than the people. Leadership leans towards people over outcomes. Leadership is about getting outcomes by getting your people to be their best selves. "

"Leadership is the art of inspiring a team towards a bias for appropriate action given the circumstances regardless of positional authority.

Management is the art of effectively influencing a team towards task completion in spite of the circumstances from a position of authority.

The conceptual differences between leadership and management lie in the approach to the task / mission at hand. Both use artful applications towards effective progress but leaders have a bias towards inspirational and relational methods where managers have a bias towards transactional and task oriented methods.

In action a leader’s inputs can seem more personal / inspirational where a managers inputs can seem more distant / programmed."

"We manage things and processes.

We lead people and ourselves. Leadership is how we show up in the world and inspire others to act in support of the mission"

"Leadership is the ability to influence humans. Management is the discipline of keeping systems and processes on course."

"Leadership is work through others with a focus on people and management is the use of systems and coordination to keep an enterprise running smoothly and efficiently while also creating standard processes. Leadership uses emotional intelligence to determine how hard to push subordinates or when to back off. While management is more concerned with operational efficiency of things."

"There is overlap. To me leadership is more proactive, course correcting, or blazing an unknown path.

Management helps you stay on the path- perhaps it is the guard rails and “check in” procedures.

A good manager should be able to follow the procedures and know/sense/determine when the procedures should change.

Good leadership should set up a good management plan, schedule regular check in, determine KPI’s, etc. "

"A leader sets the mission and vision of the organization inspires the team.
A manager controls the day to day activity of their organization or people.
Being a military leader I really saw the difference on a “tour with industry” I did in Silicon Valley. They promoted salesmen to CEO and those men and women are great managers, but knew nothing about leadership. I never saw them walk around and see how the team was doing, I never heard them talk about the mission or vision. They did not promote camaraderie or install the drive in the team. It was all about the profit and their promotions. In the military you see people leading. How else to do you convince a young kid that cleaning toilets is important and will help us defeat our adversaries. That takes leadership. "

"Leadership = people focused
Management = task focused

Both are essential to effectively lead an organization. Leaders use attributes such as charisma, humility, and confidence to influence a group of people to accomplish a mission. Leadership is more of an art than science.

Management focuses on accomplishing tasks towards a greater goal. It is the science in running an organization. "

"Leadership is intangible. I describe it is a way of being, a demeanor, an attitude or manner of conduct (really a combination of all of those things) that inspires others to adopt a similar attitude or view toward a specific task, role, or objective. It can be reduced to a specific task, but can expand far beyond that as well. Management is simply the ability to identify a problem, find the solution, and organize the pieces necessary to achieve that solution. Great leadership is always welcome in any situation, but is valued in direct proportion to the gravity of the task. The greater the consequences, the greater the need/impact of a leader. The same could be said of a manager. Complex problems sometimes require complex solutions and therefore deft resource allocation skills. Great leaders are harder to come by, and their exploits are often the stuff of legend, however strong managers are very valuable in their own right, and unfortunately often go unsung and underappreciated. Great leaders are not always great managers, and vice versa. Those that can be both consistently are the elite. "

"Leadership is a about setting and inspiring a vision amongst one or more people, crafting a framework to move forward toward that vision. In action, leaders [are prepared to] proceed whether or not anyone follows; that people follow make them a leader.

Management is about working within a framework and organization to optimize its efficiency, specifically focusing on the people and tasks at hand. In action, a manager takes the goals set by a leader, and harnesses the team given to him, and at his best will help create the conditions (as well as use carrots and sticks) for his team to become self-motivated to achieve the tasks at-hand as efficiently as possible. "

"Leadership is leading my example and demonstrating tasks. Management is the dissemination of tasks to people or groups. "

"Leadership - "the art of influencing others to accomplish your objectives." (Professional Military Education - circa September 1996)

Management - the art of working through others to get things done."

"Leadership makes people want to follow your word and action. It's a quality attributed to a person. It can be instinctive, it can be cultivated, it can be towards others or just for yourself. It's felt and witnessed. It's not necessarily the outcome of an intellectualized process.

Management is an administrative action. It's a set of administrative actions, parts of processes, driven by some logic, to accomplish clear objectives. It can be towards people, resources, material, time, etc.; it can also be a personal process towards your schedule, engagements, finances, etc. It's about getting people to do things and providing them with what they need. It can be a purely intellectualized process or it can stem from charisma.

Leadership is a form of management. Not all management is leadership!"

"Leadership builds a team and says do as I do/done, they know the role/job of those under them and don't micro-manage how its done

Management says to do this or else and has no trust in the people under them and most of the time doesn't even understand the role of the people under them"

"Leadership is an organic, informal quality (built into the personality, reliant on character and experience) while management is a mechanical, formal quality - an administrative discipline (built into the organization as how that individual will enforce procedures, standards, scheduling, etc.). The cliche captures it well, "Leadership is doing the right thing and management is doing things right". To elaborate, leadership, indicated as informal in this perspective, is something anyone in the organization can demonstrate. Even people who are not managers can be leaders. They are mutually exclusive. You can be a bad manager and a good leader and v.v.

In action, leadership looks like a person taking initiative to do something that needs to be done but is unassigned. It looks like a person rallying a team while asking for help to do things they are not authorized to mandate others to do. In action, management looks like scheduling tasks, coordinating inputs, monitoring processes, and assessing outputs. You can train people to be managers. Leadership is something that can be developed to varying degrees but has more dimensions and a longer timeline that learning to manage.

"Though often used interchangeably, leadership and management differ and serve distinct organizational roles.

Leadership primarily involves influencing and inspiring people to achieve common objectives. It's about setting direction, building an inspiring vision, and creating something new. Leadership is dynamic and involves taking risks.

Management, on the other hand, focuses on overseeing and optimizing resources to achieve specific goals. These resources include time, money, equipment, and even human effort in the form of organized tasks and responsibilities. Unlike leaders, managers work within established processes and systems to maintain order and efficiency.

Conceptually, leadership is about setting the course and motivating people, whereas management deals with the administration and execution of the organizational strategy. In action, a leader motivates and guides, while a manager organizes and coordinates."

"Leadership as I define it as providing the “why” behind a task or desired end state, letting your team determine how to get there, but staying personally invested and involved in the task at hand. In that capacity you are allowing them to learn and grow, but are readily available to be a mentor and make changes if required. Quality Leadership leads to respect because those on your team are able to see that you are actually part of the team and are working with them to the greater good. Leaders also look out for their people and are able to keep them motivated.

Management, to me, is the opposite typically. The manager needs XYZ done and tells the staff do to XYZ, sometimes specifically how, and often does not answer the “Why”. Management tend to try to keep the company happy, though good managers will also look out for their people. In action, a manager will step to the side and not really be involved while a task is being completed, but will set deadlines and attempt to ensure completion on time. "

"Leadership is the responsibility to inspire people to achieve more than what they are capable of alone.

Management is the requirement to meet organizational standards while looking for optimal outcomes (profits or performance)."

"Leadership - inspiring people, and/or groups of them (teams, organizations) to direct efforts towards achieving a defined goal (whether a discrete/terminable end state, or an ongoing/continuous collective action). Management - organizing things: schedules, inventories, policies, training curricula, etc. The two concepts obviously overlap, but are not interdependent."

"Leadership is influence. Convincing others to complete tasks together as a team without threat, coercion, reward, promises. To me leadership is setting an example that is a minimum but encourages exceptional performance. People want to be on your team because of who you are and what you do.

Management is control over things. Sometimes it’s people but it’s also material objects. Management is placing people within your team in positions that will yield the best results for your team, and equipping them as best you can. Ensuring that they are supported with the correct material at the right time. "

"Management cares solely about the output with blindness towards the humanity behind the sweat equity to produce the result. Leadership understands the results only come as a result of taking ownership of your role as a leader, understanding that success will arrive as a result of investment in the individuals who are producing. Leadership breeds trust, confidence, and care within its workforce and appreciates the need to earn respect through its own performance. 

Leadership is also not fearful of being overtaken. It empowers its personnel to grow so they may one day assume the leadership role. Finally, leadership embraces a level of servitude. It does not hide behind a desk and demand. Leadership works alongside when needed, advocates for in times of challenge, and generally seeks to improve conditions for the personnel over whom it has ownership. "

"You manage things. You lead people. You manage processes, programs, things that are structured and you ensure the process is pushed along and compliant. Hard left and right boundaries. Leadership is fluid, I feel like as a leader you have to be adaptive to the people you're leading. Much more rewarding but in my opinion much more difficult. "


Examples of good leadership, and poor management (or vice versa) from an individual? Examples of those who excelled at both?

"At my last battalion, a company commander established a culture of excellence, positivity, and community in his unit. The unquestioned main effort of the battalion, his mixture of relentless optimism, tactical expertise, and sense of “tribe” bought fantastic buy in from his Marines. He was involved with the men and gave his subordinates room to thrive and take initiative.

As a leader, he built a company into a community. This rising major allowed a decentralized style to carry the day, where putting intelligent people at the point of friction trumped deliberate processes. He prioritized culture over organizational and administrative details, and as a company commander you can get away with that.

As a battalion operations officer, you cannot. The size of a battalion requires deliberate management years in advance: training plans to synchronize company efforts, coordination with units spread across the DOD, and the codification of the TTPs required to command and control 850 Marines. This process requires adherence to timelines, consistent well ran meetings, and the ability to not just communicate with but coordinate several different units that have different priorities.

Simply put, this Major, who has thrived as a Captain, was not up to the task of management. He struggled to synchronize the efforts of his supporting sections, let the line companies operate with too much independence to support battalion level training, and could not produce a long range training document. By decentralizing conduct of training to subordinate elements, he was never able to hold people accountable to the commander’s intent, and was eventually relieved.

While leadership and management never exist in isolation, we see command and staff billets that prioritize one over the other. This commander struggled to translate his charisma, decentralization, and people-first style to a billet that demanded specific organizational processes. "

"In my experience and in my profession, leadership without management is a conman. They give a damn good speech and make you feel all good inside but that all goes to shit because they can't plan, execute, adjust and re-engage, or they're constantly delegating and abdicating their responsibility and authority.

Management without leadership is some pinhead firing off email after email. They follow processes for the sake of following processes. The self-important wizard locked in his ivory tower that has lost touch with reality and is too arrogant to admit as much."

"Any leaders must also be managers; managers aren’t necessarily leaders. The latter can be effective for the organization in the short run, but will ultimately undermine it long term.
A small unit with good manager/bad leader is one that focuses on accomplishing tasks without any regard for how it impacts the members, achieving goals but driving away future applicants. "

"I work with someone who has great leadership qualities. He won’t ask anything of you that he won’t ask of himself. He demands excellence, starting with himself. It works until it doesn’t. He is missing certain quality management principles to include conducting effective meetings and actually seeking input from subject matter experts. Sometimes the leadership qualities are enough, but a good crisis exposes those management shortcomings by way of inefficiency and redundancy. "

"An example of good leadership and bad management is a Squadron Commander who inspires members to execute and complete the mission with enthusiasm but personally fails to accomplish their required administrative tasks on time.

An example of bad leadership and good management is a Squadron Commander who is mostly absent from the primary mission but handles all administrative tasks on time and actively works on high visibility projects that look good to higher leadership.

An example of a Squadron Commander who excelled at both leadership and management personally contributed, lead, and inspired excellence in the primary mission while clearly communicating when administrative tasks were due in advance allowing members to focus on the primary mission and budget appropriate time for administrative work when necessary. "

"Poor leadership= the leader centering themselves and reminding folks of their positional authority. Staying in the way instead of out of the way. Failing to give accurate and timely feedback, both positive and constructive. Taking opportunities for yourself rather than providing them to your team. lacking clear values.

Poor management= lack of clarity, continuously shifting priorities without logical reason, assigning a task and never following up on it or referencing the work product--which leads to a "why did I do this" feeling on behalf of the employee. Inconsistency."

"Good: Balanced leader with an open mind who supports team to accomplish mission.

Bad: A self-centered supervisor who forgot that they exist to support team and mission, finding themselves relying on authority instead.

Good Management: Balanced structure and communication.

Bad management: Persistent micro-management for selfish reasons or zero management direction using hope as a strategy.

"Had an operations officer who was a great leader and people enjoyed being around him because he was inspiring due to personality and genuine care for the people and their plights/endeavors. Was a terrible manager though because he could not communicate ideas or organize tasks/events for the team to ensure coordination occurred or that plans were disseminated. "

"Good leadership will set clear goals but let managers have autonomy to make and own the decisions about particulars. Leaders should hold accountable for end results.

Good managers will own the decision and have enough experience to know when particulars are not working- should be able to course correct to complete end goal. Will advise leadership if end goal needs to change or if they need additional resources. "

"Good leaders can influence people through charisma and confidence. If a good leader has poor management skills then the organization will lack proper guidance and vector. "

"I found one of the best examples of those who excelled at both during my enlistment in the Marine Corps (30 years ago). I was in the Infantry, Weapons Company, Heavy Guns Platoon. We had a brand new Second Lieutenant fresh out of The Basic School and graduate of Stanford University. He was an exceptional example of what a commander should be. He was physically capable of performing any task at the highest level, knew how to do any task better than anyone else in the room, and could prioritize correctly. He focused on the things that mattered, and dispensed with, or at least softened, on the things that didn't. He was eternally calm and positive and was quick to tell a joke when things sucked, just to keep morale from dropping when it otherwise would. We loved him because of how he carried himself, and trusted him because he knew what he was doing. 

The biggest studs know they are studs, but never, ever act like it. He was one of the first such studs I encountered and there have only been a few since then. He made a significant impression on me at the time because I was so young, but it has stayed with me for decades because I have encountered so few that were in the same category.

The biggest take away from my experience with that Lieutenant was that to be elite, you have to be able to both do the thing and teach the thing at the highest level. Many can do, some can teach, few can handle both. I have been in law enforcement for the past 30 years (8 local, 22 federal) and have met a few exceptional leaders in that time. I think I can say without bias though that, on balance, the military still produces the best leaders in terms of quality combined with quantity. "

"Reagan envisioned a peaceful Cold War endgame, and succeeded in achieving that by inspiring a shared vision with Gorbachev-- one of peace and prosperity.

Beginning with Bush Sr. through present day, the several presidents have poorly managed post-Soviet relations, exacerbating differences rather than optimizing that shared vision for peace and prosperity. The proof is in the persistent conflict, which is fundamentally inefficient and therefore poor management."

"Let's take Eisenhower and Montgomery for examples. They both served as generals devising D-Day. The first is known as a good military administrator and the latter as the Spartan General. The first was unlike Patton or Chesty Puller or Dick Winters, all renowned combat leaders. Yet he was a central figure in probably one of the most complex maneuver of the 21st century, an amphibious landing with a parachuting operation between multiple nations while maintaining operational secrecy and even misleading the enemy. As a president, he administered the USA in the great post war boom.
Monty was hard to get along with but he lead his troops with a fierce resolve and wouldn't shy away from the fight. Monty went on to serve in Nato, but we can imagine how he probably never amassed the political capital to rise to higher echelons.
One's not so much a leader as a genius administrator, the other a fearless leader.

General Pagonis is a great example of both a good leader and wise administrator. His book Moving Mountains should be a logistics and operations piece of study, and his way of leading his personnel was to be there and listen. Presence and attention. Not just issuing directives and drafting orders or policies.

I'm studying management, I work in a management position in construction, but I learned to lead in the Canadian army being Master Corporal at 21 and in charge of a section then being Platoon 2IC in a crisis deployment and PsyOps CSM. When I started in construction, I asked to be sent on sites to do the shittiest jobs. I did them with a grin. The guys took me in. I'm not a tradesman, but I'm not above their work. That was planned and it had the desired effect. Our daily collaboration is based on mutual respect. I serve them and they give their best in their work. "

"Good leadership and poor management… me. I was new (laboratory operations) and had yet to learn all of the moving parts in the organization (large biotech company). It wasn’t difficult and my coworkers were cooperative in helping me get those details, so I missed things. But more importantly, because of my approach (informal authority) of asking and not directing help, of creating buy in, of giving people an understanding of their own importance and allowing them to choose their deadlines, I was able to get stuff done.

Poor leadership, good management… my boss. She couldn’t let go of her own responsibilities to her subordinates, which made it look like a lack of trust. Really, it was because she was thrust into her position and she was not aware of how to build a team by delegating work. I know that sounds like a management problem, but it was a matter of understanding our capabilities and allowing us to fail or succeed on our own. She also treated us equally - meaning she didn’t hold the terrible employee accountable for his laziness and mistakes, and the rock stars like me got nothing more in recognition. For getting the larger things done, she was great at coordinating and scheduling tasks."

"Good Leadership: Effective leaders are intelligent, perceptive, and empathetic—they genuinely see, hear, and value their teams. They excel in understanding both individual needs and organizational goals. By fostering a psychologically safe, inclusive, and supportive environment, they enable their teams to thrive, especially during critical moments and transitions. Such leaders often emerge or are appointed in challenging times, guiding their teams with vision and authenticity.

Good Management: Competent managers are adept at assessing the situation and the resources available within the contemporary (and evolving) environment. They strategically allocate these resources to maximize efficiency and meet objectives. Good managers ensure every team member has the tools they need to succeed (or is informed why they can't have them because of more important priorities), thus optimizing the organization's overall performance.

Poor Leadership: Ineffective leaders often lack empathy and fail to connect with their team. They may pursue personal agendas or lead with a focus on self-gain, which can demotivate and disenfranchise their team members. This leadership style can lead to a lack of trust and a disintegrated and dysfunctional team dynamic, especially during crises.

Poor Management: Poor managers struggle with resource allocation and situational awareness. They may misjudge or allocate the resources required for tasks inefficiently, leading to suboptimal outcomes and potential resource wastage. This not only affects immediate tasks but can also undermine long-term strategic goals.

Individuals Excelling at Both: Some individuals excel at both leading and managing. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower was renowned for his exceptional leadership and managerial skills during WWII and as President of the U.S. His ability to inspire action, strategic vision, and adept resource and personnel management exemplify excellence in both domains. General Joe Dunford (USMC, Retired) "

"I worked for a gas pipeline for a time. The manager was awful. He was not at all familiar with how our job as operations and maintenance worked and was either unwilling or incapable of learning. He would assign work haphazardly and in a manner with little to no logic, often leading to longer than normal work hours, and then complain about our overtime. "

"(Leadership - bad) Pete Carol, specifically when he coached USC and let Reggie Bush take the fall for all of the infractions his staff (potentially he himself) allowed to implement.

(Management - good) IDEO and how they are able to harness technical skills/ expertise consistently as they apply their design methodology to a diverse range of projects."

"Much more common to find decent managers (can run an efficient and focused meeting, write a coherent policy, or provide a quality training experience) than good leaders - people who have strong vision, can see the need for developing the next policy, generate a novel solution to a complex or evolving problem, etc. Not mutually exclusive traits, but seems very rare to find individuals who can do both well. We probably all know people who are excellent, detail-oriented managers who couldn't lead a team out of a paper bag, because they just don't possess/haven't developed the "vision thing.""

"Good leadership/ poor management: someone who gets buy in from their team everyone wants to do hard work but keeps a person in a position they are unqualified for or unable to perform in. They may also not pass information in a timely manner or provide/replace equipment as necessary. Poor leadership but good management: no tact, no social skills, but able to identify peoples strengths and weaknesses and is able to leverage those capabilities to accomplish tasks.

Having spent very little time outside the military, I don’t know many. The military is full of good leaders and managers. Few excel at both but also are not often afforded the opportunity to handpick their teams outside of competitions and tier one teams. "


What are the critical components of being both a good leader and a good manager?

"Being humble but also being firm and able to accomplish goals. Leading with the thoughts of your people first before yourself."

"The individuals I’ve seen succeed as both leaders and managers possess adaptability, the ability to develop subordinates, and long term vision.

Managers and leaders distinguish themselves through their skill in navigating chaos and change. The human factor of a leader who can remain calm, make a decision, and show the trust in his men to carry out the mission cannot be overstated. Additionally, in order for this decision to succeed the commander must understand the constraints of manpower, time, resources, and external support that affect him. And both these processes of leadership and management have to be repeated over and over again as the problem set inevitability evolves. The commanders who excel at both leadership and management are able to both refine plans and shape the team around those refinements.

Next, good leaders and managers alike give their subordinates the resources and room to succeed! For managers, this is practical. Constant supervision drains the manager’s energy, and does not allow the subordinate to master his craft if he is constantly being micromanaged. The leader understands that empowerment brings confidence and shared trust, which foster initiative on the part of the subordinate.

Finally, the leader and manager understands the importance of a clearly communicated vision. For the manager, this is a long range training plan, a detailed organizational schedule, or a standard operating procedure. All these enable him to prepare for complex problems in the future, and built his efforts towards bettering the organization rather than maintaining the status quo. The leader understands that people want a purpose, something to strive towards and work towards instead of merely punching a clock. He builds it as something to attain, a shared objective that will fulfill the members of the team in both its pursuit and attainment. It’s not merely winning, but winning the right way, in a manner that gives people community and pride. "

"Leaders focus on soft-skills and human connection. They want to build up and develop the individual to support the unit and the mission. If someone is distracted with their personal life they're not focusing on accomplishing tasks. People will make mistakes so be ready to peel back the layers of the onion to find out the real reasons why. Relationships are paramount.

Managers need courage to make tough decisions. You have to compartmentalize your emotions when organizing your people and resources, but don't deny them entirely. Demand your people strive for and meet more than the minimum but give them what they need to succeed and be willing to compensate them fairly. Be ready when the train jump the tracks, it happens early and often. Realism is the default but cautious optimism is okay, too."

"Managers understand tasks and the processes to accomplish them. They understand what is required to get a specific job done. They are more specialized.

Leaders understand people. They might not understand the nuances of a task, but they understand how to enable subordinates to achieve goals. They also leverage relationships to get expert knowledge to assist them in making decisions."

"Good leaders make time for their teammates and create conditions for the success of the individual and the team. Good managers manage resources to enable individuals and teams to excel."

"Balancing the task and the people. "

"Communication and organization. Both leadership and management imply more than just a singular person. We can certainly lead ourselves and manage our tasks but in general the discussion of leadership and management focuses on the position in a group of some degree. In these groups good leaders and managers must be organized and understand their primary tasks and the implied tasks that support the overall task. They must be able to communicate these primary and supporting tasks and help their members prioritize and execute them effectively and in a timely manner. Good leaders and managers artfully apply inspirational and task oriented methods to accomplish the whole mission and support tasks. "

"Finding ways to "be there, without being in the way." Balancing support and encouraging self reliance. Establish a crystal clear commanders intent and then support your team to act on their own in accordance with that intent. Focus always on how your responses to questions and comments impact the employee, what responses are uplifting, what responses are shut folks down. Realizing when you have said enough, even if you haven't said everything.

Clear processes, expectations, organization."

"Humility. Ownership. Teamwork. Communication. Prioritization. Empowering. Mentoring. Open mind. "

"Being able to swap between using systems and coordinating events and disseminating information and the human aspect of the job. Having the empathy to understand a situation while finding a way to still accomplish the task at hand. "

"Leaders- listening, determining competence, setting huge goals but being realistic.

Management- stay open minded to big ideas, keep end goal/bigger picture in mind, "

"Good leader: open-minded; creative; authentic; passionate; self-sacrificing; inspirational; effective communicator; visionary; resilient; adaptable.

Good manager: diligent; responsible; disciplined; fair; reliable; efficient. "

"An example for others to follow by there soft skills such as work ethic, dedication, and integrity. "

"1. Positive mental attitude
2. Clear vision & intent - sense of purpose
3. Living the principles of a positive and enabling culture to execute - integrity
4. Holding one's self and others to high standards - excellence"

"To be attentive and present to what happens or not, what is said or not.
To discern between what's legitimate or what's bullshit.
What requires immediate action and what can wait.
To discern when you're helpful, when not.
To see further than the first contact.
To relish in the sharing of burdens.
What needs improvement and how?
To frame work as service.
Know people's name. "

"Good leader: build trust, create a common vision, serve others, set the standard.
Good manager: stay organized, delegate, look ahead, protect the team. Make these attributes work together. Be open and accessible.

"Critical components of being both a good leader and a good manager include the following things:

-Emotional and Social Intelligence: This includes empathy, which allows leaders and managers to understand and connect with others on a personal level, enhancing team cohesion and motivation.

-Communication Skills: Strong communication is pivotal. It ensures clarity, persuasiveness, and the ability to listen effectively. This fosters a transparent and inclusive environment where ideas and concerns can be openly shared.

-Decision-Making Abilities: It is crucial to prioritize and execute decisions effectively. This involves assessing various factors, risks, and benefits to make informed choices that align with the organization's goals.

-Personal Qualities: Optimism, humor, integrity, persistence, perseverance, and resilience are vital. These traits help to inspire and motivate teams, navigate challenges, and drive toward success even under pressure or during setbacks.

-Awareness: A good leader and manager must be keenly aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, the dynamics of their team, and the broader organizational context. This awareness guides their actions and decisions strategically and responsively."

"It’s hard to be both, and something I’ve rarely seen. Critical thinking,
Compassion, empathy, knowledge, the ability to communicate effectively, be organized, skilled in whatever program is being lead/managed, able to take criticism/feedback then make appropriate changes, and most
Importantly, must be able to maintain respect. This list isn’t all inclusive by any means. "

"Good Leader - empathy, relentlessness, humility

Good management - technical skills and competence in domain. The ability to teach requisite skills across the team."

"Integrity is obviously the key, along with ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and possess a sincere commitment to the collective vision/mission, but also the team. That integrity includes development and enforcement of standards, applying them fairly, and demonstrating an ironclad loyalty to your people (up and down the chain) if and when you're able to align your collective goals towards the vision. As such, a genuine leader takes on the implicit responsibility of taking fire that may be directed at team members, as their actions are typically going to relate to the pursuit of the vision you've laid out for them. Managers can absolutely be a critical piece of that process, but often without the burden of that level of accountability."

"Receiving criticism with humility. As a person in charge you don’t have to defend yourself every time. You’re the boss at the end of the day and you don’t have to prove how smart you are all the time.

Giving criticism with humility. You’re the boss you don’t need to hammer people and you shouldn’t do in front of subordinates.

Caring about your subordinates. Even if it’s just for the sake of the team. I’ve had many soldiers I couldn’t stand personally but I needed them on the line.

Upholding standards. You have to live by them too."

"A good leader is also a good manager. One must be recognizant of the need to produce to a certain level in order to lead as a central tenet of leadership is rallying a group towards a common goal. It is the manner in which the group is communicated to and work with that makes the dramatic difference. The manager communicates the unidimensional need to produce X number of widgets or hit X sales goal. The leader understands the unidimensional goals and also maps his/her human terrain to understand how to achieve those goals then acts to enhance the terrain to achieve the goals. The manager constantly lives in fear of his/her personnel not achieving the goals and this fear is communicated to the workforce in threats and agitated communications/behavior (akin to negative reinforcement). The leader is stoic, buffers agitation coming from above, advocates for his people so they may be more productive, and appreciates the spectrum of touch and impact his personnel may need in order to achieve. Additionally, the leader seeks input from his personnel as he/she understands they may not see all angles of the process to achieve their goals.

The time when a manager is necessary is when the risk is high and people need to do exactly as they are told. I recall commanding fire scenes where I had a global picture of all of the crews performing specific functions and when I gave a command to a new or recycled crew it was because I needed a specific task accomplished without question. During these times I was not seeking input from personnel nor was I debating the directive."

"Compassion, understanding, strong technical/institutional knowledge, and a strong level of maturity. "


Any other thoughts on the topic?

"As a Marine officer, I’ve struggled to balance between leading and managing with the limited time in a day and competing organizational priorities. It’s the classic conundrum of being “sucked into the office” to be a good manager or “always away in the field” to be a good leader with the Marines. As a young (green) platoon commander, I would curse the administrative requirements levied on me by my company commander as ponderous tasks meant to make him look good at the expense of “being with the guys.”

Getting older, I’ve learned to not see the two in such disparate terms and give my old commander some credit. Building detailed schedules for your Marines not only organizes the platoon timeline, it gives them confidence in your ability to plan and pass word. The time you spend making rosters in garrison expedites accountability in the field and allows your Marines to focus on training, and not counting rifles at midnight because you’re unsure about what you brought with you. Detailed confirmation briefs are not micromanagement, it’s an opportunity to level set with higher and supporting agencies to get the best possible training to build confidence and cohesion. Good management and leadership feed off one another, and let us take care of the men and accomplish the mission in the process.

What I’ll tell all young leaders, military or otherwise, is that a lot of the “leadership” things you think *you* need to be doing can be delegated to your subordinates; a process that will only empower them further and develop trust between you. Let your squad leaders do their own team building activities, physical training, and form strong independent identities that allow them to thrive without you. We always want to in the action ourselves, but if we do this we neglect our own responsibilities and deny our subordinate leaders the chance to thrive in their own right. "

"An effective leader is an effective manager and vice versa; they're two sides of the same coin. Similar to Gurdjieff describing the stupid saint and the weak yogi. You can't be one-sided and fully effective."

"At the tactical level, proficiency at specific skills is more critical because of the direct oversight and monitoring component. As leaders become more strategic, managing people becomes more important.

While job knowledge is a component of leadership, simply being good at your job (completing tasks) does not necessarily mean you should be in charge of others. Not everyone can be a leader. "

"Managers get a bad name because everyone wants a leader. However, sometimes what you need is a good manager. Effective management with sufficient emotional intelligence can go a long way.

With that said, quality leadership can unlock the power of the team both collectively and individually. "

"Some modern discussions on this topic can villainize mangers and their methods. Teams and organizations with tasks and missions need good management or managers. Likewise, leadership or leaders are not always positive. Leaders have inspired cults or negative progress / processes. Pick your extreme dictator from history and they show exceptional traits and results of leadership. Groups need both management and leadership. I strive to be excellent at both. I’m grateful for the examples throughout my career who showed it was possible and ways to artfully apply both appropriately helping inspire myself and the members in our organization to steward our primary and supporting tasks effectively. "

" Leaders need to understand the mind of a typical manager and foresee roadblocks. Often leaders have the bigger than life personality, charisma, and persuasive personality that helps them overcome lots of obstacles. Not every manager has those skills.

Managers need to think bigger like the leader and understand the bigger picture. Managers should think “how can I/we” as opposed to “that can’t work” and throw up objections. "

"I think the best managers will have a very difficult time being great leaders, and vice versa. They are different skillsets and mentalities-- managers think inside-the-box, leaders think outside-the-box.

The exception may be in the case where somebody is genuinely passionate about their work and has some transcendant purpose for what they are accomplishing regardless of their function as manager or leader; perhaps these internal and external forces can drive them succeed in both roles-- with the practical help of a mentor grooming the manager for leadership."

"As a young 2d Lt (USAF), a senior captain taught me there were three things I needed to do as a leader:

1. Provide direction & guidance
2. Give clear, actionable feedback
3. Get out of the way so the team can be successful

Those principles as well as others I've listed elsewhere have served me well for nearly 25 years as a leader and senior manager in both the military and the defense industry."

"Management creep.
Parasite bureaucrats that leech energy our of the proper administration of people and resources. There are legions of them, hiding in dark corners or showing fake gold in lieu of added value. Management teaches that managers solve issues that will inevitably cause other issues. Guess what? They'll need solving too. Which will cause other issues, and on, and on... Once a mandate is accomplished, a creep manager will seek a mean to extend its employment.
If there's no limits of exploitation set, not clear end-state, no boundaries, then this cancerous mass grows.

Let's pray for a courageous leader who's also a wise steward. "

"Today the narcissism of the "me culture" complicates the ability of leaders, there is an expectation to care about everyone's personality making the leadership role even more challenging, and military it is easier

There is not enough leadership in the military service as well as corporate, too many people are promoted to management positions with no idea how to lead. Not everyone is a leader and should not be in a leadership position"

"The distinction between leaders and managers is crucial, yet both roles are interconnected and vital for organizational success. Here are additional thoughts on how these roles complement each other and what enhances their effectiveness:

-Interdependency: Leaders and managers must often blend their roles, especially in smaller organizations or situations requiring rapid change. Influential leaders sometimes take on management tasks, and effective managers often need to lead their teams directly.

Vision and Execution: Leaders are typically more focused on setting the vision and strategic direction for the team or organization, inspiring and motivating the team toward a long-term goal. Managers must execute these visions by organizing resources, creating detailed plans, and ensuring that day-to-day operations align with the strategic objectives.

-Culture and Structure: Leaders play a key role in shaping and maintaining organizational culture, influencing the core values, ethics, and environment that define the workplace. Managers ensure that the organizational structure supports the culture and that policies and procedures are followed, helping maintain alignment between the organization's culture and operational practices.

-Adaptability and Stability: Leadership requires adaptability to changing environments and needs, which involves embracing innovation and risk-taking. Management provides stability and consistency through structured planning and resource allocation, balancing the organization's need for innovation with its need for operational reliability.

-Development and Growth: Both roles contribute to the development and growth of employees. Leaders often mentor and develop potential leaders, focusing on career and personal development aligned with the organization's needs. Managers, meanwhile, focus on skills development, ensuring that employees are competent and effective in their current roles.

-Feedback & Improvement: Leaders & managers need feedback."

"Between my 17 years in the military and 6 in federal law enforcement, I have found that the best leaders tend to be those individuals that are natural leaders, but that don’t typically want to be in a leadership role. Instead they see there is a need for a leader, other team members already constantly look to them as a leader, and they end up in that role because there is a need. "

"The best humans are able to do both as required."

"Great teams without leaders may flounder for a while and partially achieve some good outcomes, but are ultimately doomed. Great leaders with subpar teams are almost by definition able to find mechanisms and solutions to pull teams together and improve. often without optimal resources and support from organizations...but it's very difficult, takes times, and generates the type of frustration that elicits burnout and risk of long-term failure."

"No such things as bad teams just bad leaders. "

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