Leadership vs management cartoon

Management vs leadership comic strip

What is the difference between leadership and management? This cartoon / comic strip is my attempt at describing the difference. It was for a client who wanted to promote a more holistic view of management and leadership within their organisation.

Leadership skills have become increasingly important as more and more non-managerial staff members are given responsibilities that used to be the exclusive domain of managers. But can leadership be learnt? Or are some people just naturally better at big picture thinking and inspiring others? And can you fluently switch between leadership and management mode of thinking? And will managers soon be algorithms? I wonder.

Virpi Oinonen

By | 2018-01-26T20:56:36+00:00 June 12th, 2013|Cartoons, Portfolio|11 Comments

About the Author:

Professional visual simplifier. Former digital campaigner.


  1. Steve G June 13, 2013 at 10:06 - Reply

    Love this strip and “leaderment”

  2. Vishal June 14, 2013 at 06:56 - Reply

    I really like the funny focus on reality. I am also interested in this debate from a long time. I have written a small article on my blog few years back, would like to share with here.


    • Virpi June 14, 2013 at 20:20 - Reply

      I think you summed up leadership nicely in your post: it’s about having vision and wanting to take responsibility. You can probably tease out these qualities from people by providing opportunities for people to practice both (and encouraging them to do so). That said, most people don’t seem to want to be leaders. And is this a problem? Are leadership skills so important in today’s world that we can’t afford to have ordinary managers who just execute other people’s ideas?

  3. Gé Mol June 14, 2013 at 06:57 - Reply

    Visualization is the best way to teach “leaderment”. Very nice cartoon. Thank you.

  4. Lee W. June 14, 2013 at 10:58 - Reply

    Virpi – A big thumbs up!!

  5. The pupil June 14, 2013 at 16:03 - Reply

    Well done!!! People need to appreciate the differences in the mindset of each and while doing that move to bridge the gap and have the two parts working as a whole.

  6. Virpi June 14, 2013 at 20:06 - Reply

    Thanks for your lovely feedback – much appreciated.

  7. Ross July 1, 2013 at 07:44 - Reply

    I collaborated with an artist for an eight page comic commissioned by the Women in Prison Advisory Network (WIPAN) – an Australian Organisation. What resulted I believe was a very effective way of communicating to the target group.

    Virpi, your comic is quite effective too! However there’s a couple of things that could be improved to make it even more effective regarding panel composition and character speech. Maybe we could discuss?


    Ross Murray
    The Comic Dr

  8. John Lowe July 9, 2013 at 17:43 - Reply

    I’d lettered some historical and informational comics a couple years ago. One was all about identity theft. They don’t always make for dramatic reading, but can be good at laying out information, especially if it’s the reader’s introduction to the subject.


  9. Prasad Das September 9, 2018 at 10:18 - Reply

    Certainly a superb illustration and effective I might add …well done to ‘un-confuse’

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