Philosophers over the span of several centuries have contributed to the theory of leadership. Management being a new theory only dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century (Toor & Ofori, 2008). Although the terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably they are in fact two different functions with two different meanings. This paper will discuss the differences between leadership and management as well as the characteristics of and effective leader.
Leadership versus Management
According to Toor and Ofori (2008), the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines leadership as “the ability to lead; the position of a group of people leading or influencing others within a given context; the action or influence necessary for the direction or organization of effort in a group undertaking” (p. 62-63). The definition of management, also by the OED, is “organization, supervision, or direction; the application of skill or care in the manipulation, use, treatment, or control of a thing or person, or in the conduct of something” (Toor & Ofori, 2008, p. 63). Both definitions are similar only in the fact that leadership and management both provide organization and direction. Leadership is not a position; it is a process involving the leader, followers, and a situation (Toor & Ofori, 2008). Leaders influence, inspire, motivate, and enable their followers to contribute to and achieve certain goals. They also have broad perspectives, which enable them to determine future needs as well as the changes needed to ensure and facilitate growth. Management is not a process; it is a position appointed by an organization (Toor & Ofori, 2008). Managers control and supervise; they are deliberate and structured, authoritative, and persistent. They are more process oriented and are driven to handle routine, which allows them to plan, budget, evaluate, and facilitate more efficiently.
An Effective Leader...