Differences Between Leadership and Management

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Leadership and management are two very crucial elements in any organization. Although a distinction can be drawn between the two they are closely related and complementary to each other. Leadership can be defined as the art of giving directions and providing innovative ideas to individuals to realize a common goal. Management on the other hand, is the exercise of executing, administering, and providing supervisory direction to a group of individuals (Kotter, 1990). In justice context efficient management and inspiring leaders are needed to competently plan, budget, mitigate problems and control outcomes on top of giving a defined direction, motivations and alignment geared towards achieving certain organization’s or department’s objectives.

Leadership emanates from a leader’s intuition of a given situation while management is as a result of operating as per the laid down policies. Leaders solve problems based on their analysis and conclusion of the underlying factors while managers solve the obstacles based on the companies’ policies stipulating the action to be taken when tackling certain obstacles. Intuition enables leaders to be confidence and inspire employees in organizations. (Kotter, 1990). In fact, leadership entails establishing innovative visions and guidelines while management ensures that resources are efficiently allocated with regard to the existing principles.

In criminal justice departments, there exist both the people as in employees and the systems and structures used in operation. Leadership would be mainly concerned with the systems and structures while the latter falling under management. Management requires good judgment of talents. (Kotter, 1990). LAPD under leadership of Bratton inspired its officers to relentlessly perform their duties and focus on crime corrections by providing them with real-time and accurate information and intelligence (The Los Angeles Police Department, 2012).

Management most of the times is task oriented while leadership is vision or inspiration oriented. In an organization, employees require frequent inspirations directed towards achieving goal. Thus they would tend to follow leaders rather than managers. For instance, visionary leadership was experienced by LAPD when Chief William Bratton re-engineered the police department resulting into a reduction of crimes, gang violence and terrorism threats (The Los Angeles Police Department, 2012).

Managers have subordinates, transactional style, work focus, and tend to seek comfort. Leaders have followers, charisma, transformational style, focus on people and seek risks. In colleges for example, management would focus on students behaving as per the set rules and regulations while leadership would focus mainly on the causes of these behaviors and long-term mitigation measures.

Operational leadership results in positive, required change in an organization while proficient management results in surety, organizational order and consistency in producing positive results. These factors are interlinked and fundamental in achieving goals. Sherriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County underscores the importance of the public and he always delivers positive results as per their demands e.g. unique programs, tough policies and delivery of justice without prejudice.

Leadership is an influence correlation while management is an authoritative liaison. Leadership influences organizations through development of future visions which are achieved through management as a result of allocating resources so as to achieve the organization’s objectives. For example, a county prone to crimes and gangs would require long-term policies and careful allocation of resources to those areas that urgently require action which for this case might be crime against humanity.

A leader is someone full of transferable energy and inspiration. A manager is someone flexible in adjusting, planning and monitoring results. Understanding the difference here is kind of difficult but thinking of leadership as inspiration oriented and management as result oriented helps put things into their perspective.

Since leadership coherent vision, it empowers and encourages upward growth. On the other hand, management executes and control plans guiding individuals in attaining the goals. Justice departments normally have laid down strategies that ensure officers and the department’s growth while executing the current plans.

Present and future modalities in any organization affect its operations. This aura of thought requires leadership since it evaluates and creates the future. At the same time it requires management since management is more concerned with improving the present. Justice departments as an example may deal presently with the cases brought to their notice thus management and look into the future flexibility of the cases thus leadership.

Leaders use their influence to effectively administer their duties while managers use authority, a fact attributed to one referring to intuition and the other already established principles or values. This calls for decisiveness on the part of leaders and responsibility on the side of managers. Sheriff Charles Moose was depicted as a very controversial man in his cases. His actions depicted true management which some argue would have worked better if linked with leadership skills. Nevertheless, he is honored for his undercover missions (Answers, 2003).

Management involves organizing and staffing, making job placements and establishing rules and procedures while leadership entails aligning people, communicating goals, seeking commitment, team building and coalition.

Although the above discussions attempt to draw a line between leadership and management, a good manager must also be a good leader. Meaning the two elements can be used interchangeably and are complement of each other. No manager would succinctly say he/she is not a leader and no leader would also do the same. Therefore, it is suffice to say that for any organization to achieve its goals and objectives, justice departments included, both effective and efficient leadership and management is paramount.


Answers: Charles Moose. (2003). Web.

Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: how leadership differs from management. New York: Free Press.

The Los Angeles Police Department: William J. Bratton. (2012). Web.

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