Leadership vs. Management

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Differences between leadership and management, and capabilities required by leaders to be effective in different organisational settings Martin Chemers (1997) defined the leadership as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". (Chemers 1997) Leadership is important in every single organization in the world, from a family to the biggest multinational titans. Therefore, companies keep investing in leadership development programs to gain and keep competitive advantages. (Holbeche 2008) Leadership is about neither the job title nor responsibilities; leaders can be seen at the all levels of an organisation. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2009) People have been creating perspectives to approach to leadership from the beginning of the 1940s. (Parry & Bryman 2006)In their book, Huczynski & Buchanan (2009) come summarised some quite different views on the nature of leadership. The trait-spotting approach assumes personality traits of people can be identified and can be compared to ones required to be a leader to decide promotions. Style-counselling accepts it is better to develop a leader with required traits instead of looking for one. According to context-fitting approach, success of a leader will depend on the structure of the organisation. The new leadership approach recognises leaders as “heroic, powerful, visionary, and charismatic”. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2009) Distributed leadership defends the idea that, leaders can be at any position and it is collaborative actions of people rather than individuals. “Who needs leaders?” the approach rejects the idea of having a leader, because some leaders are more likely to damage the company while trying to induce a change.

Management is defined as “running an organisation or a part of it” (A Dictionary of Business and Management 2009). Managers support the vital activities in an organisation by performing managerial activities. Canadian academic Henry Mintzberg (1973, 1975) studied these managerial roles. He classified ten managerial roles under three headings. “Decisional roles” are: entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator. “Interpersonal roles” are: figurehead, leader, and liaison. “Informational roles” are: themonitor, disseminator, and spokesperson. (Mintzberg 1973, 1975)

Leadership is often compared with the management. Some theorists say leadership is just a part of management role, however the remaining believes that the leaders and the managers have different roles in organisational dynamics. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2009)

One of the most common phrases, used for pointing out the differences between the managers and leaders, is “Leaders have followers, managers have subordinates”. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2009) People think leaders have a natural ability to steer people they attract and convince people with their qualities. However, in contrast, people obey and follow the managers because they have to. Most of the interactions with the managers are shaped by hierarchical orders, however these interactions with real leaders are shaped by beliefs. Having the rights to manage does not give one absolute power, without the demonstration of leadership skills. Only the potential followers can decide, whether a manager is a leader or not.

Even they are assigned to the same task, a manager and a leader will follow different paths. Managers will concentrate on the task, rules, and compliance. However, a leader will concentrate on people, principles, and purpose. (Harvey 2009) To put it another way, “Managers do things right, leaders do the right thing” (Bennis & Nannus 1985) Martin Luther King, Jr. is a true leader in this context. He had a purpose, which he reflected with his "I Have a Dream” world famous speech in 1963. He stood up for his principles, and the people were in the centre of these principles. He chased a purpose for other people...
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