Both ‘collegiality’ and ‘distributed leadership’ have, as terms, occasioned a good deal of debate. Conceptually elastic, they are often used interchangeably, or not appreciated as embodying a range of leadership styles and relationships. Spurred by an unanswered query from a research project, this theoretical article attempts to clarify what the two words mean – especially in relation to each other. Collegiality is defined as an approach, characterised by equality, whereas distributed leadership is seen to be much more closely aligned to the goals of a team or organisation, thus making it more to do with utility. While formal distributed leadership is indifferent to collegiality - although not hostile to it - informal distributed leadership, it is argued, requires collegiality to be in place before it can exist, much less thrive.