What is the difference between management and leadership?

Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus.  His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007.  He consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics.   He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles.  An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.

Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms.   He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years.  A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations.  His most recent book is Master of Illusions:  Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press.   The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.

Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week.  He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

  • Transcript


Question: What is the difference between management and leadership?

D. Quinn Mills: Well, management is focused on efficiency in results. Leadership is focused on adjusting the change, long-term goals, on what ought to be, and they are both by the way--they really are three categories--they are both distinguished dramatically from administration. So, there is really administration, management and leadership, not just leadership and management and an awful lot of our people including many of our people in top offices are extremely confused about this and have administration all confused with management and leadership and that’s a big problem that we have right now.

Recorded on: 9/27/07