Leadership vs. Management
10 December 2012
What determines the success of an organization? There is not one simple answer to this question, but indeed several factors involved. Although, there are several factors that play a role in the success of an organization, I’ll focus on two of the most important ones: leadership and motivation. In the absence of either of the two entities the likelihood of an organization achieving its goals would decrease immensely. Likewise, another factor affecting an organization’s success is the role of both its leaders and managers respectively; their roles cannot be stressed enough in relation to the success of an organization. There are both differences and similarities in the role that each play in an organization’s infrastructure and I’ll explain these as well. While serving in the U.S Air Force, I worked for both managers and leaders, and learned much about the significance of them both. Now, let’s turn our attention to the subject of leadership and the tool often used by leaders called motivation. The role of leadership in an organization is one of upmost importance. It can be defined as the ability to influence people to willingly follow one’s guidance or adhere to one’s decisions. In order to be effective, leaders sometimes influence people through the use of motivation; informal organizational leaders use a combination of referent and expert power to motivate others. The term motivation refers to anything that activates human behavior, directs this behavior toward goal accomplishment, and also the ability to sustain this behavior. Simply noted, leaders know how to motivate people; great leaders utilize more than one single approach to motivation. In certain situations, leaders may or may not have any formal authority; this lack of formal authority is substituted by power obtained by possessing knowledge or strong personal characteristics. House and Aditya (1997) describe leadership as generally involving articulation of an organizations vision. The person in the leadership role introduces organizational change, provides inspiration, and deals with the stressful and troublesome aspects of the external environment of the organization. Now, let’s focus on management and the role it plays in the success of an organization. The functions of management are equally important as the role of leadership in an organization. Management can be defined as the ability to handle or direct with a degree of skill, to make and keep compliant, to treat with care, and to exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of a business (Kinnes, 2004). Effective business skills are imperative to provide the best quality service to people. Typically, companies focus on profit, market share or growth, but in order to maintain productivity, first-class management skills are essential. Management skills are not easy to come across, as they are hard to learn and quantify. Most managers come from within an organization, as it is imperative to send employees through management skills courses. Management is the process of planning, organizing, staffing, motivating, and controlling through legitimate power (Rue & Byars, 2009). The main aim of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. There are several similarities between leadership and management. One example comes in the form of hierarchical position within an organization. Most of the time, leaders hold some kind of management position within a company which provides them with formal authority and legitimate, reward, and coercive power as well. Most members of upper management gauge a manager's success by statistical figures; this ties in greatly to how a manager leads the different employees in a company. One leadership quality is to have...
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