Skip main navigation

The characteristics of leaders and managers

Lunenburg's take on the difference between leadership and management.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

You have just seen how Kotter associated different characteristics to leaders and managers. Lunenburg (2011) looked at leadership and management as different ends of a spectrum, suggesting that a person (or business executive) does things or conducts themselves in a different way, depending on if they tend towards leadership or management. His ideas are summarised below:

Category Leadership Management
Thinking process Focuses on people
Looks outward
Focuses on things
Looks inward
Goal setting Articulates a vision
Creates the future
Sees the forest
Executes plans
Improves the present
Sees the trees
Employee relations Empowers colleagues
Trusts and develops
Controls
Subordinates
Directs and coordinates
Operation Does the right things
Creates change
Serves subordinates
Does things right
Manages change
Serves superordinates
Governance Uses influence
Uses conflict
Acts decisively
Uses authority
Avoids conflict
Acts responsibly

References

Lunenburg, F.C. (2011) ‘Leadership versus Management: A Key Distinction – at Least in Theory’. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration 14 (1), 2

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

International Leadership: The Evolution of Management and Leadership Theory

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education