Written by Katie Bielefeld
Leadership, defined as the ‘behavioral process of influencing individuals and groups towards set goals” (Barrow, 1997) is significantly different than management. A manager is generally more concerned with plans, schedules, employees, and organization. There are more differences between the two, managers and leaders, than one might think.
Leaders specialize in their ability to influence personal growth. They aim to improve character and quality of life, both for themselves and those around them. A leader can use influence to create a desire in people to follow advice. They are not only people centered, but can also be activity centered. Leaders are futuristic. They look toward impacting results in the future. They use tools and activities that teach attitudes and ideals. Leaders are concerned with what is happening to those they are influencing, how they will perform and what goals and values they will reach for.
Managers or instructors teach a skill. They work to improve the skills of those they are teaching. Their concern is mainly attached to activity and how well a person can perform now. Managers use position and authority to get results or compliance of those they are managing. They are results driven, and often consider the activity to be the end. They are not concerned with those not involved with the activity or program they are managing.
In conclusion, managers and leaders may have different roles. However, it takes a little of both to coach a successful team. For example, a coach may be in a position of management as they attend to the operations of planning games, budgeting for uniforms and recruiting players. That same coach is probably also going to take on a position of leadership as he/she provides support to team players and leads them to grow and mature during their participation in the activity or sport.
Weinberg, R. & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.