Over the years, the terms leadership and management have been used interchangeably in the organizational context. However, it is not always that these two terms will be synonyms. In other words, leadership and management can have the same contextual meaning, but at other times they will have contrasting meaning. In this paper, I aim to do a comparison of leadership and management, as well as derive the contrasts in their application. To begin the comparison between leadership and management, it is essential to first define the two terms.
Leadership is the processes whereby an individual or a group of individuals exert social influence with the support of others with the aim of accomplishing a specific task which is beneficial to all parties involved (Vorria, & Bolhoris, 2010). Management, on its part, is the process by which an individual or a group of individuals exerts control over a group of other people towards achieving a set of objectives specific for an organization (Vorria, & Bolhoris, 2010).
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The meaning of the two terms therefore overlaps in some sense, but while leadership is founded on a set of personal attributes like charisma, charm and trustworthiness, management the application of vested authority to control people and resources. A manager will have to be placed in a commanding position or in a higher office but a leader does not necessarily need to have an official title to be effective. There are however some similarities between a leader and a manager.
Both titles need vision and imagination to be executed effectively since they both involve managing and developing resources as well as motivating a given clique of people (Manson, 2010). A leader and a manager will both need to engage their subjects through communication and feedback so that a vector in the direction of influence can be established. Both positions also need the holder to motivate his subjects to intentionally propel them towards a given pre-defined target objective. Leadership and management both need consistency and clarity of thought.
Leadership is defined depending on the personality traits one has which must always be virtuous (for a good leader) and consistency is one of them (Janet, 2004). Management also involves, as said above, motivating people within an organizational structure so that objectives may be met. Without consistency, a manager will not draw the desired level of engagement from his team. Leadership and management are also similar in that both need innovation and vigor in their execution since both are aimed at achieving a positive change (Janet, 2004).
There are however some fundamental differences between leadership and management. For one, leadership is broad-based and multi-dimensional in such a way that if someone was asked the question, “what makes a good manager? ” one appropriate response would be “He or she must be a good leader. ” In other words, an effective manager will need to possess the qualities that define a good leader. Management is therefore like one dimension out of the many dimensions that define leadership (Vower, 2010).
Leadership is all about possessing a set of ingrown talents which inspire other people to follow or act in a specific manner while management involves utilizing seniority to control and manage people and resources within the frameworks of an organization. There is a saying that goes: “managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. ” This is the saying that I am going to use in bringing out the contrasts between leadership.
First of all, leadership is about innovation and is solely reliant on personal power and the ability to establish strong interpersonal relationships with people at different levels (Rickets, 2009). Excellent personal skills and positive personal attributes and behaviors that support these are therefore prerequisites for leadership. Management on the other hand is solely committed to an employing organization. The work of management is to effectively manage the people and resources at the disposal of the organization towards achieving its objectives (Rickets, 2009).
In other words, people choose whether or not to follow a leader, but a manager must be obeyed and his or her instructions adhered to at all times. Management and leadership also follow in their role. A manager has the role of ensuring that the organization he or she manages maintains its status while the role of a leader is to develop capacity and empower a specific group of people. Managements work with reality while leaderships conduct thorough investigations to identify the root cause of issues and wisely make decisions on the way forward (Vower, 2010).
Another very vital distinction between leadership and management is that management focuses on the systems and structures existing within an organization with the aim of promoting the organization and protecting it while leadership focuses on people and ways of empowering them (Manson, 2010). This is why a leader is supposed to inspire trust and the natural ability to win people over through influencing them. Managers on the other hand rely on control to manipulate their subjects. In conclusion, leadership becomes a very essential part of management.
Managers lacking leadership qualities may not be effective, that is why the concepts of leadership and management must be integrated together to form stronger organizational structures. References Janet, M. (2004). “Leadership” VS. “Management” Special Interest Group. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa4022/is_200411/ai_n9471657/ Mason, B. (2010). Leadership Vs Management - Leaders Manage, Do Managers Lead? Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://ezinearticles. com/?
Leadership- Vs- Management- - - Leaders- Manage,- Do- Managers- Lead? &id=4075630 Rickets, K. (2009). Leadership vs. Management. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://www. ca. uky. edu/agc/pubs/elk1/elk1103/elk1103. pdf Vorria, E. , & Bolhoris, G. (2010). Leadership vs. Management Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://www. ep. liu. se/ecp/026/076/ecp0726076. pdf Vower, D. (2010). Leadership Vs Management. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from http://ezinearticles. com/? Leadership- Vs- Management&id=3551247
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