Managers vs Leaders

Topics: Management, Leadership, Control Pages: 6 (1697 words) Published: April 23, 2013

Using examples, compare and contrast the characteristics of both managers and leaders. There is a lot of confusion, or at least very different views, about what is meant by management and what is meant by leadership, about whether the work of managers is fundamentally different from the work of leaders, and whether they are in fact different roles at all. Of course the meaning of such ambiguous words will depend on the definition people choose to give those words, and there are many authors who use management and leadership interchangeably while there are other authors who stipulate very separate definitions for each. As Summarized by Professor Warren Bennis, “Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done” (Bennis 1989). Whilst managers have the authority to make people get work done, leaders will inspire, motivate and mentor people in to getting this work done. Many managers have not yet mastered the interpersonal skills needed in order to have good leadership skills. (The Talent Management Experts, 2007). “Leadership occurs through the use of influence, not the use of force” (Naddafpour, 2012). Jim Clemmer’s idea is that “we manage things and we lead people” (Clemmer 2012). Management is said to focus more on work. We manage physical assets such as money, paperwork, equipment, etc. Management tends to maintain focus on Fayols four functions of Planning, Organising, controlling, and leading. (Waddell, Jones and George 2011) They also problem solve, cope with complexity, budget and make effective decisions. Whereas Leadership focuses on people and how they are mentored. Leaders will typically create vision and set a direction to promote change and develop strategies to inspire, innovate and motivate people, forming relationships and creating teamwork (Future Visions. n.d.). Typically these are the general definitions given by most authors however everyone has their own ideas about the work that each does. In a Harvard Business Review Classic article, Zaleznik (1992, 15) observed that managerial culture emphasizes rationality, order and control, and that a manager is a problem solver. He went on to suggest that leadership requires very different skills and behaviours more similar to an artist, that leaders tolerate chaos and lack of structure, they are creative and concerned with transformation. Zaleznik argued that the development of a leader is very different to that of a manager. In so doing Zaleznik not only proposes that leadership work is indeed different from management work but also that managers and leaders are different roles and different people. In another Harvard Business Review article entitled “What Leaders really Do” Kotter (2001, 85) writes that management and leadership are “two distinctive and complementary systems of action…. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment.” For Kotter, management is about coping with complexity, about creating order and stability. In contrast, leadership is about coping with change. He uses a military analogy: a peacetime army is about administration and management with good leadership only necessary at the top, whereas in wartime people must be led into battle by leaders at all levels. Kotter elaborates that management is about planning and budgeting whereas leadership is about setting direction, management is about organizing and staffing whereas leadership is about aligning people, and finally management is about controlling and problem solving whereas leadership requires motivating and inspiring. Kotter describes the commonly parroted list of differences between what leaders do and managers do. It is probably more accurately a description of management behaviours/work and leadership behaviours/work than a distinction between "managers" and "leaders". In truth many managers do much leadership work, and many leaders do much...
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