Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Difference Between Leadership and Management

BOND: What’s the difference between a leader and a manager?

PINN: You’ve used the term vision a lot and I guess I’ve not really responded to that because I think of vision in many different ways and I’m not sure I have a set vision. But I think that’s probably the key to the difference between a manager and a leader. A manager is someone you can put in and they can handle what they’ve got to do. A leader is someone who’s got the vision, who can manage but also lead where you need to go, so it’s, to me, a different set of traits. It’s a different set of qualities and it’s probably more in terms of being able to see direction as opposed to — and to pursue a new direction or pursue a directed effort versus just making sure something happens. That’s what I think of as a manager, someone who sort of makes sure something’s taking place that the manager may or may not have determined needs to take place, but leadership to me is more than that.

Leadership is setting an example. Leadership is helping the manager to manage the product or the people or the effort and I think they’re very different, different qualities involved.

BOND: So the leader might have a vision but the manager doesn’t require a vision?

PINN: Yes. I think that’s — I’m not sure everybody agrees with that, but that’s my concept of the major difference.