Leadership & Management
Sanjay Ghodawat Institutes
Sohan Tiwade | Asst. Professor | Sanjay Ghodawat Institutes

You catch a cab! You direct the cab driver as to where you want it to reach and when. The cab driver follows your instructions and veers through the busy traffic efficiently and manages all the workings of the engine of the car, he puts on the right gear at the right time, he drives it at the right speed that gives him fuel efficiency and at the same time the needed speed to arrive at the destination on time, he follows the rules of the traffic, he is constantly looking at the Google Map on his car to see that he is not away from the desired target. After the efficient ride, you arrive at the right location.

This is an exact description of the differences of functions that leadership and management entail in an organization. You the one who took the cab and instructed the driver where to reach are functioning as a leader; whereas the cab driver who managed the car, road, traffic rules etc to take you to your desired location is functioning as a manager.

The great management Guru, Peter Drucker termed the difference between the functions of Leadership and Management when he said, “Leadership is doing the right thing, Management is doing things right.” Simply put, a leader decides where to take the organization; a manager sees to it that we reach there with the available resources.

Many people glorify leadership over management these days. But both the functions are necessary to the success of an organization. We should remember that both the functions are complementary to each other. It is true that today we have over managed organization, families, societies and even nations and there is lack of leadership but leadership without proper management is bound to be stunted leadership. Let us see in brief both the functions.


“Management is the coordination of all resources through the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling in order to attain stated objective.” 

  • Henry L Sisk.

From this definition, we all get the right picture of what management entails. A Manager has to first plan how to take his/her organization towards the desired destination. This is the first creation. Now the second creation involves the manager to organize the necessary resources, people, time, money etc and direct them towards the desired end. She has to keep the tab whether everything is on the desired path and constantly take feedback and keep a constant watch that everything is in line.

It’s like the pilots who are constantly veering the aeroplane towards the desired location. More than 90 % of the time the aeroplane is away from the desired direction, but it arrives at the desired location and that’s where the importance of pilots comes in. The pilots work like a manager in planning the route to take, organizing, and directing the resources and the airplane and controlling it so that it reaches its destination. Simply put by now it is clear that the manger gets the work done.


“Leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal.”

  • Kevin Kruse.

This definition will throw some light on what is or what is not leadership. Leadership doesn’t come by position or authority, it stems up when you are able to influence people with your vision, behaviour, courage and skills. True leadership is not external but internal as it inspires people so that they maximize their efforts toward the achievement of a goal. It is the leader who has given them the vision and those goals that serve as stepping-stones to the attainment of the same.

We have had leaders like Mahatma Gandhi who could translate a vision of free nation to the masses and through his actions channelize the entire nation towards the attainment of the same in non – violent way. A leader is exemplified in a person like Mohammad Yunus (Noble Peace Prize winner) who founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to organize funds for the poor artisans to bring them out of debt and slavery. When you ask Mohammad Yunus, his vision is ‘A world free of poverty.’

Many times, a vision outlives the life span of the leader and it will require many leaders to attain it. A leader goes further when he provides the necessary environment for his people where they come together as a team and work towards the attainment of the goal. Leadership styles differ and they span from authoritarian, democratic, lassies faire, transactional and now the servant leadership style. Many times, it is situational leadership as put forth by Ken Blanchard that works effectively as it helps the leader to be flexible as per the contextual requirement. Leadership is also influencing people to bring out their best game, their hidden potential to the fore and channelize it towards attainment of worthy ideals.

Leadership & Management:

So, what’s our take from this? As mentioned in the beginning, both roles are complementary, and both are required for the growth and success of an organization. Many problems in organization could be avoided if we heed to this quote from Grace Hooper (US Navy Admiral), “We manage things, and we lead people.”

Problems arise when we mix up the two and try to manage people. Leadership is to do with the people; management on the other hand has more to do with resources. What it simply means is true leadership influences people to rise to action, true leadership makes people responsible for themselves, their actions and they need no supervision.

We today have a dearth of such leadership; we don’t have leaders to whom we can look up to and get inspired. We find this lack in all areas viz. politics, organizations, families, societies, religious institutions, schools etc. When we take a survey, we find that all these are being managed not led! It’s good to have Management Schools (B Schools) that churn out efficient managers, but the need of the hour probably is ‘Leadership Schools’ today where young effective leaders with encompassing vision walk out and make our families, societies, institutions, nations and the world better places. The answer lies in building up of character.

Also, many managers need to learn to be leaders and many leaders need to know how to manage when the times and the context calls them to.

Four people are pushing a car and it is not moving an inch, why? Another person walking by makes them aware that two are pushing from behind while the other two are pushing from front! He directs all four to push from one side and the car moves. The 4 people are necessary to help move the car, they are the managers, but the leader is one who sees that their efforts are directed in the right path! Let me end with this concocted quote about my understanding of the two roles – “A Leader sees what path we ought to take, a Manager sees that we take the path.”

By Sohan Tiwade, Corporate Soft Skills Trainer & Professional Speaker, ‘The Edge’, Asst. Professor at Sanjay Ghodawat Institutes.

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