Finally – a simple explanation of the difference between management and leadership

 “Management is about creating results

Leadership is about creating the conditions in which results occur.”

                - Tony Lenart (

Management is about making the right decisions, taking the right actions, and controlling and organising resources  to create the desired results.
(e.g. Think of a great piano player who presses the right keys at the right time in the right way, to create amazing music.)

Leadership is about creating the conditions (the space / culture / environment) in which other people excel.
(e.g. Think about Google  or Richard Branson or Herb Kelleher or Warren Buffet: Each of them have created an enabling, encouraging and empowering environment in which their staff can excel, can make a difference, and can use their own uniqueness to contribute fully to the organisation.)

If you think about the two examples given above, you will note that the results are great for both.
But the amazing piano player can only play one piano at a time—and the piano itself will never be great unless the piano player is around.

Whereas leaders like Richard Branson have created an environment that has resulted in 200 of his staff becoming millionaires—and his staff and he establishing over 400 subsidiaries to his multi-billion dollar Virgin Group conglomerate.
Tony Lenart

P.S.  The ideal is to be a great manager and a great leader, though the results of a great leader will almost always exceed those of a great manager.

P.S. 2.  Imagine a manager yelling at his staff that they’ll be sacked if they don’t get a report done that night. He may well get the report done—and he might consider himself a good manager because of this but his results will have poisoned most of the commitment his staff may have had. As a result, he has substantially worsened the conditions, the mood, the atmosphere in the firm— and is unlikely to see great results occurring while he is the manager.

P.S. 3.  Try thinking of some examples of great leaders.  (I’m sure you’ll have no problem thinking of a few.)
Now try thinking of some examples of great managers. (You may well find this a lot harder.)

P.S. 4.  Note that the role of a leader is to work with intangible, invisible elements (like motivation, commitment, vision etc.)

A quick way to measure whether you are more of a leader or a manager is to look at how much time and money you invest in improving intangible elements of your business.


“Management is about creating results (through controlling, planning & organising).
Leadership is about creating the conditions (the space, or environment) in which results occur.”
- Tony Lenart



The attitudes, approach, thinking, relationships, and actions that lead to visionary results.


- Tony Lenart,
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