Leadership and Management Essay Sample

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management are often confused, because they have some common features. However, they are different. Therefore, it is necessary to provide clear definitions of leadership and management. There are many various definitions of leadership, and they have differences from one author to another, because the term is very complicated.  Therefore, it is necessary to form an integrated definition of leadership. It can be such: leadership is a complex phenomenon that includes different social, personal and organizational processes. Leadership is based on the process of influence, as people are inspired and want to achieve their goals via personal motivation (Bolden, 2004). Moreover, it is important to mention that leadership is based on personal features of a person who can be formal or informal leader. Unlike leadership, management is usually formal. It is usually associated with an organization or a firm. Management can be defined as the process of coordinating all resources in an organization via planning, organizing, directing and controlling processes in order to reach the goals of an organization (“Nature and Scope of Management,” 2015). Thus, a leader is not necessary a manager because he/she can be informal. At the same time, a good manager should have necessary leadership features and skills to reach the goals of an organization via management.

Leadership and management have some differences, and it is important to understand them. To differentiate them clearly, it is positive to use an integrated table from the article “Leadership versus Management: A Key Distinction - At Least in Theory” by Fred C. Lunenburg. The author provides integrated comparison between leadership and management using information from different books and publications. First, leadership and management differ in terms of thinking processes of people who provide them. Leadership focuses on people and looking outward. At the same time, management is more focused on the inner things (within an organization) and on resources, but not people. Second, setting of goals differs. Leadership is based on articulating the vision and creating the future. A leader sees the general situation and how to reach general goals. Management is more detailed and focused on details. Managers develop and execute clear plans and are focused on improving the present situation. Third, leadership and management differ in terms of employee relations. Leaders are more informal and focused on followers. They empower people, develop them, and trust them. Controversially, management is focused on formal directing, coordinating and control over the followers. Fourth, leaders create changes themselves, and managers only direct the changes, but not create them. Fifth, leaders base their power on own influence on the followers. If the conflicts arise, they manage them. They are focused on decisions. Managers use their authority to lead followers; they usually avoid conflicts and are responsible for everything (Lunenburg, 2011, p.2). Thus, it can be stated that management is more formal process than leadership. Managers pay more attention to details and current situation, while leaders focus mostly on the future. Leaders are less responsible, and they inspire the followers without being responsible for their actions. Managers are responsible, and they influence the followers by using their formal authority.

In order to understand the differences better, some examples can be used. I can provide two personal examples of two different people I knew. One of them was a leader, and the second was a manager. One who was a leader in the organization was very respected by the employees. His vision of the future inspired them to work better and achieve the goals. Moreover, he provided personal examples on how to reach goals. At the same time, he turned to be a bad manager because he was unable to set clear current goals, and coordinate as well as control the current activities of his followers. His activity was informal and focused on the future. The second person could not lead people properly because he could not inspire them. At the same time, he was focused on formal activities, clear plans, and goals. Thus, his managerial skills helped the organization to reach goals. Those two people show that management and leadership both have advantages and disadvantages. If an organization wants to reach all goals efficiently, it is better to focus on combing management and leadership properly.

Leadership and management possess a set of roles. Some of them are similar, while some are different. Managers should play interpersonal roles derived from their formal authority. The informational roles mean being able to monitor the followers, to disseminate information and knowledge, and speak to the followers to persuade them to reach the goals. Access to information is a measure of a manager’s power, and a manager should be able to transmit this information to the followers. Managers also have decisional roles as they make decisions on plans and resources allocation. The role of a designer means the ability of a manager to organize the activity to reach certain goals. The role of strategist assists in adapting managerial plans and processes to a changing environment of the organization. Finally, a manager should play a leader role that integrates the roles of a designer and a strategist (Darr, 2014).

The roles of leadership have some features in similar, as well as some differences. Appelbaum and Paese define nine leadership roles. They include:

Navigator – ability to resolve many key issues quickly and efficiently.

Entrepreneur – ability to use the opportunities of new products and markets.

Strategist – ability to set clear goals to reach strategic vision in the future.

Mobilizer – ability to integrate resources, capabilities and resources efficiently to reach the goals.

Captivator – being personally interested in reaching the common goal, and inspiring others to reach it.

Talent advocate – ability to find talents of followers and use them to reach goals.

Global thinker – using information from different sources and integrating it to reach organizational strategies.

Enterprise guardian – making decisions that support the enterprise and maintain shareholder value.

Change driver – focusing on changes and creating appropriate environment for them (Appelbaum & Paese, 2015).

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