Difference Between Leadership and Management

Topics: Management, Leadership, Situational leadership theory Pages: 9 (2503 words) Published: June 26, 2011
Since long, the deep-rooted difference reigning between leadership and management has fuelled a raging debate. According to Bennis, “There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leadership is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. The distinction is crucial.” In fact, leadership and management are both vital and complementary. Certainly distinctive in nature, they nonetheless remain two indispensable systems of actions in a business environment. The engagement into the debate to differentiate the 2 terms, calls for settling down on definitions in endemic framework.

Leadership has been subjected to various definitions, one of which is the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Keith states that, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen” while according to Ogbonnia “effective leadership is the ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources within the internal and external environment for the attainment of organizational or societal goals.” This can be expanded into a more complex definition:

“Leadership is an interpersonal influence directed towards the achievement of goal/goals, which has led to the emergence of the Trait theory of Leadership”. The leadership trait theory postulates that people are born with specific features which make up their personality. Since those distinct traits are linked to skillful leadership, it assumes that once people with the right traits have been spotted, potential leaders will be unveiled. Various studies have attempted to determine which qualities are essential in a leader. One American study cites the following: Judgment, Drive, Fairness, Energy, Initiative, Human Relation Skill, Ambition, Emotional Stability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Dedication, Co-operation, Foresight, Dependability, and Objectivity.

Therefore a leader is a person who selects, equips trains and influences one or more follower(s) gifted with specific skills and channels that follower towards achieving the organizational mission and objectives. The leader can exert such a charismatic influence by conveying a futuristic vision in clear terms that is in line with the follower’s beliefs and values in such a way that the latter can understand and translate tomorrow’s unknown into today’s action steps. In this process, the leader puts forward this vision in contrast to the present status of the organizational and by making use of analytical thinking skills, insight, intuition of convincing grandiloquence and interpersonal communication, the leader smoothens and puts into limelight opinions and beliefs of the followers such that the latter can step out of ambiguity into clarity and shared vision, which results in influencing the follower to embrace the future state of the organization as a covetable condition deserving personal commitment and corporate resources. A leader achieves this by using ethical means and covets the greater good of the follower during the course of action such that the latter is better off as a result of integral communication with the leader. A leader, aware of the uniqueness of each follower, brings about unity of common goals and vision without jeopardizing the personality of the follower. The leader executes this through modernistic flexible means of education, support that meet, within realms of reality in terms of range of the organizational resources, the demand of the person. A leader recognizes the major influence of audiences outside of the organization framework and depicts the organization to them with a view of giving good impression of the organization objective.

To contrast with, management, in all business and...
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