Leadership versus Management: What is the difference?
The words leadership and management are often used interchangeably. However, they are not synonymous. Management is more closely associated with directing another person to get from one point to another using a known set of expected behaviours. In contrast, leadership involves working with others through discussion or debate in order to guide them from one point to another.
The method that a project manager chooses to employ reveals a distinct difference in behaviour, self-perception, and project role. Table 1 compares management and leadership on several important levels.
Table 1: Management and Leadership Compared
Project managers need to employ both leadership and management in order to be successful. The skill is in finding the right balance for each situation. The way in which management and leadership are employed often shows up in the project manager's leadership style.
Project managers may lead their teams in many ways. The leadership style a project manager selects may be a personal preference, or the result of the combination of multiple factors associated with the project. The leadership style a project manager uses may change over time based on the factors in play. Major factors to consider are:
Research describes numerous leadership styles that a project manager can adopt:
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