What Makes the Difference in Leadership?

Topics: Leadership, Management, Charismatic authority Pages: 7 (2494 words) Published: May 8, 2006
What Makes the Difference in Leadership?
Leadership is a term that is used a lot in the modern business world. Many companies emphasize the need for a strong, powerful leader. Struggling businesses prosper with the help of an effective leader and well-established ones earn even more profit and market share. A good leader can motivate his team and push his employees to their limit. He is an integral part of a successful organization. So what does it take to be a good, strong and effective leader? What makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one? One of the key components to understanding leadership is having a clear understand what a leader actually is. Many people believe that a leader and a manager are synonyms. It is true that they go hand in hand and are both vital parts of an organization, but they have core differences. A manager is all about the mind, whereas a leader is about the soul. Managers promote stability and structure; leaders provide vision, values and interests. These differences are outlined in the table below:

FlexibleProblem Solving
Initiates ChangeStabilizing
Personal PowerPosition Power

A leader's job is to come up with an idea, vision or goal and inspire his subordinates to implement it. He is responsible for motivating them and getting them to give all they got to make his vision become a reality. A good leader will present his vision in a way that it will become his employees' personal goal to achieve what the leader wants. A manager's job then is to provide control, monitor the progress and give suggestions along the way, making sure that everything is running smoothly and according to the strategy. He is in charge of making sure that the vision that the leader has gets fulfilled, and the job is done in a way that is profitable to the company. The way they achieve those goals and have the authority over their subordinates is through power. There are two main types of power: Position Power, possessed by a good manager and Personal Power, possessed by a good leader. Position power comes from the organization and the standards that it imposes on the hierarchy. This power is one of the most powerful tools in a manager's disposal. The three forms of this power are Legitimate, Reward and Coercive. Legitimate power is very basic and comes from the understanding that a supervisor has the authority over his subordinates. This power is undisputable and is understood by all employees, as long as the company has a well-defined hierarchy. For example, if a new regional manager is appointed, it is assumed that the factory staff understands that he is in charge and if he tells them to do something, they have to do it. Reward power comes from the manager's ability to give out rewards for good performance, in the form of yearly bonuses or pay increases. For example, if a manager's team beat the annual profit estimate, they may receive an end-of-year bonus from their boss, which will act as an encouraging factor for them to try even harder the following year. That promotes the manager's overall power even further. Coercive power is the opposite of reward power and comes from the manager's ability to punish people for bad performance. If a manager's team didn't perform as well as they could have, the manager is in the position to punish them by not giving them an annual bonus, or leaving negative feedback in their file, decreasing their chances for promotion or finding a better job. The use of this power can have a negative effect on the manager, as he could be perceived by his employees as a tyrant, which doesn't leave much opportunity to establish personal relationships with his team. Personal Power is the other type of power and its two forms include Expert Power and Referent Power....
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