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Management and Leadership Essay


This paper describes the difference between leadership and management, followed by an examination of the role responsibility of leaders in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture. It explains that a leader is someone who can offer a compelling invitation for others to take action, while managers manage and accomplish work through others. Today’s leader needs a multitude of characteristics but most important is the ability to develop a vision and to articulate it. This paper critically examines and articulates key conceptual and practical differences between leadership and management through an analysis of the differences in the form, function and influence processes which underpin these complementary organizational roles. It attempts to show that while management involves a key responsibility for leadership, effective management also needs to include the skillful application of other power bases which underpin the wider influencing tactics of effective leadership.

Management and Leadership

Today’s organizations become more complex, more ambiguous, and more unpredictable. So how should managers and leaders respond to these challenges?

Along with the world is changing constantly, everything has been changing, like the Internet and information revolution, globalization of economies, demographics and ageing population, decrease in new born babies…etc. Changing is the trend of development of society. All kinds of environment such as investing, marketing, financing and operating environment has been changing for organizations.

Leadership and management are two notions that are often used interchangeably. However, these words actually describe two different concepts. Leadership is a facet of management and is just one of the many assets a successful manager must possess. Care must be taken in distinguishing these two concepts. The main aim of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. To achieve this, managers must undertake the following functions: Organizing, planning, leading and controlling.

A manager cannot just be a leader; he also needs formal authority to be effective. For any quality initiative to take hold, senior management must be involved and act as a role model. This involvement cannot be delegated. In some circumstances, leadership is not required. For example, self-motivated groups may not require a single leader and may find leaders dominating. The fact that a leader is not always required proves that leadership can be just an asset and is not essential for certain groups or organizations.

Managers think incrementally, whilst leaders think radically. “Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing” (Ikeda, 2003). This means that managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to the company. A leader is more emotional than a manager. Men or women are governed by their emotions rather than their intelligence. Leaders stand out by being different. They question assumption and are suspicious of tradition. They seek out the truth and make decisions based on fact, not prejudice. They have a preference for innovation.

Often with small groups, it is not the manager who emerges as the leader. In many cases it is a subordinate member with specific talents who leads the group in a certain direction. Leaders must let vision, strategies, goals, and values be the best guide-post for action and behavior rather than attempting to control others. When a natural leader emerges in a group containing a manager, conflict may arise if they have different views. When a manager sees the group looking towards someone else for leadership he may feel his authority is being questioned.

Groups are often more loyal to a leader than a manager. This loyalty is created by the leader taking responsibility in areas such as: Taking the blame when things go wrong, celebrating group achievements, even minor ones, giving credit where it is due.

The leader must take a point of highlighting the successes within a team, using charts or graphs, with little presentations and fun ideas. Leaders are observant and sensitive people. They know their team and develop mutual confidence within it.

“The leader is followed, the manager rules” (The University of Edinburgh, 1997).

A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed. A manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as a result of his leadership qualities. A leader may have no organizational skills, but his vision unites people behind him.

Management usually consists of people who are experienced in their field, and who have worked their way up the company. A manager knows how each layer of the system works and may also possess a good technical knowledge. A leader can be a new arrival to a company who has bold, fresh, new ideas but might not have experience or wisdom.

Leading, often confused with managing, is the process of creating a vision and motivating people to achieve certain goals. On the other hand, managing is the process of organizing, planning, controlling, and leading; hence, leadership is a characteristic of managing but managing is not necessarily a function of leading. Often employees prefer employers to express roles of leading over those of managing. “If given the choice, most people would rather follow a leader than managed by a manager. To manage is to control and manipulate. To lead is to guide, influence and persuade. In today’s business world, both management and leadership skills are vital, but it’s important to use them in the proper manner – things are managed and people are led” (Iscoe, n.d.).

For employers to be successful it is imperative that they distinguish the difference between managing and leading and are able to express all functions of management (leading included), for if they do not profit maximization is hindered and failure inevitable.

For leaders to influence others to become interested in their vision often they need to put some attention toward creating a healthy organizational culture. This is important because when an employee feels comfortable in their work environment it is more likely that they develop loyalty and interest for their employer. Unfortunately, due to costs and lack of regulating standards for creating a healthy organization culture many employers express unwillingness and look towards other creative means to improve employees health. “So many companies find it easier to try to ‘fix’ the employee than the organization. Focus on employees’ unhealthy behaviors – poor diets, smoking, lack of exercise. Promote self-management of health. That’s today’s typical ‘control strategy,’ but it does nothing to address the deeper organizational ills” (Johnson, 2001).

Another creative way to maintain a healthy organization culture is to offer, at the employee’s expense, authorized absence (leave). This has been a common occurrence from those that I know who are in the Navy. Employers will allow an employee to take, at their own expense, additional time as needed off when stress levels are high. I believe that employers do this in attempts to avoid morale drop that could arise out of employees having health problems (some relating to stress). As far as leaders and managers having to be responsible for creating a positive work environment, it is by their own choice and in their best interest. They must make the cost-benefit analysis to decide if expenses are worth an increase in constitution of employees. Unless employers are literally doing something immoral to employees, a positive atmosphere can often be overlooked.

In conclusion, leadership is an important function of management and is essential if one wishes to be triumphant. For my captain his leadership was enthralling to anyone that he met, making him and his crew more interested in furthering his career in the military. Creating pride in employees’ job and using your position as a leader or a manager to excel organizational goals and influence employees to work towards positive goals either for themselves or the organization is my vision of healthy organizational culture.


University of Edinburgh (1997). The Difference Between Management And Leadership.

Retrieved April 30, 2005 from:


Ikeda J. (2003) Addressing the Leadership Crises: Clarifying Leaders’ Responsibilities.

Retrieved April 30, 2005 from: http://www.linkageinc.com/company/news_events/link_learn_enewsletter/archive/2003/11_03_leadership_ikeda.aspx

Iscoe, S. (2004) Link to Success: Management Versus Leadership. Retrieved April 30,

2005 from: http://linktosuccess.com/success-articles/management.html

Johnson, D. (2001). Creating a healthy workplace for today’s stressed-out employees.

Retrieved April 30, 2005 from:


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