To perform efficiently, it is imperative for organizations to be led by a powerful, focused team. Unlike managers, leaders are able to challenge the status quo and to urge members of an organization on to greater performance. Considering the differences that exist between leaders and managers, it does not automatically follow that a good leader is at the same time a good manager or vice versa.
Generally, people tend to believe that when one is in a management position, he or she is automatically a leader. However, not every manager is a leader. To a great extent, leadership is carried out by men and women not in management positions.
Despite the similarities between management and leadership, the two can not be used interchangeably (Lunenburg, 2011). Both leadership and management can be characterized by a set of functions that completely separate them. Despite the differences, the contributions of leadership and those of management greatly complement each other.
Differences between Management and Leadership
Generally, managers tend to be problem solvers and are mostly consumed with controlling others to ensure that they work toward set goals. The manager worries about problems to be solved and rallies his or her team to come up with strategies for effective performance (Bass, 2010).
A manager, in his or her capacity as a leader is usually seen as a person provides direction to team members in the organization. A manager needs to be a focused and very hard working individual and one who can comfortably manage multiple tasks.
On the other hand, leaders use their power to influence others so as to get them to move in a certain direction. While managers can not operate solely, leaders can work in solitude, a quality that enables them to easily control others.
Ostensibly, the development of great leaders may be affected by is needed to ensure a great team of work groups. Unlike for leaders, goals for managers often result from what leaders expect to happen. A leader provides the position of the organization going into the future while a manager is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that what has been agreed upon by the leaders is realized.
To managers, work appears to be an important process that brings together individuals with different strengths to accomplish a common task. By facilitating healthy associations, managers create an environment where different people come together to devise winning strategies. They plan, organize, staff and control operations on behalf of the organization.
Part of what is done by managers is to deal with conflicts that may arise from time to time and to ensure that every individual contributes to the overall growth of the organization (Kotter, 1990).
While working toward the achievement of his or her goal, a manager may fro time to time, be required to reward or punish other staff within the organization. As mentioned earlier, managers are unlike leaders who prefer to work alone. Managers often work hard to engage every single individual in the affairs of the organization.
Despite the differences that exist between management and leadership roles, there are a number of similarities as well. As noted in this paper, leadership and management complement each in various ways. Strong leadership and strong management are critical requirements that can ensure effective perform across the organization.
Bass, B. (2010). The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. New York, NY: Free Press.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2011). Leadership versus Management: A Key Distinction—At Least in Theory. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 14 (1): 1 – 4.