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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
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


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
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