Difference Between Leadership and Management

2 February 2017

Since long, the deep-rooted difference reigning between leadership and management has fuelled a raging debate. According to Bennis, “There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leadership is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. The distinction is crucial. ” In fact, leadership and management are both vital and complementary.

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Certainly distinctive in nature, they nonetheless remain two indispensable systems of actions in a business environment. The engagement into the debate to differentiate the 2 terms, calls for settling down on definitions in endemic framework. Leadership has been subjected to various definitions, one of which is the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.

Keith states that, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen” while according to Ogbonnia “effective leadership is the ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources within the internal and external environment for the attainment of organizational or societal goals. ” This can be expanded into a more complex definition: “Leadership is an interpersonal influence directed towards the achievement of goal/goals, which has led to the emergence of the Trait theory of Leadership”.

The leadership trait theory postulates that people are born with specific features which make up their personality. Since those distinct traits are linked to skillful leadership, it assumes that once people with the right traits have been spotted, potential leaders will be unveiled. Various studies have attempted to determine which qualities are essential in a leader. One American study cites the following: Judgment, Drive, Fairness, Energy, Initiative, Human Relation Skill, Ambition, Emotional Stability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Dedication, Co-operation, Foresight, Dependability, and Objectivity.

Therefore a leader is a person who selects, equips trains and influences one or more follower(s) gifted with specific skills and channels that follower towards achieving the organizational mission and objectives. The leader can exert such a charismatic influence by conveying a futuristic vision in clear terms that is in line with the follower’s beliefs and values in such a way that the latter can understand and translate tomorrow’s unknown into today’s action steps.

In this process, the leader puts forward this vision in contrast to the present status of the organizational and by making use of analytical thinking skills, insight, intuition of convincing grandiloquence and interpersonal communication, the leader smoothens and puts into limelight opinions and beliefs of the followers such that the latter can step out of ambiguity into clarity and shared vision, which results in influencing the follower to embrace the future state of the organization as a covetable condition deserving personal commitment and corporate resources.

A leader achieves this by using ethical means and covets the greater good of the follower during the course of action such that the latter is better off as a result of integral communication with the leader. A leader, aware of the uniqueness of each follower, brings about unity of common goals and vision without jeopardizing the personality of the follower. The leader executes this through modernistic flexible means of education, support that meet, within realms of reality in terms of range of the organizational resources, the demand of the person.

A leader recognizes the major influence of audiences outside of the organization framework and depicts the organization to them with a view of giving good impression of the organization objective. To contrast with, management, in all business and organizational activities ascribes to the action of gathering people with an aim of reaching a certain set of goals and objectives by making an efficient and effective use of available resources.

Since organizations are viewed as systems, management can also be translated as the human effort including design, to ease production of useful outcomes from a system. The term ‘Management’ encompasses so many flows of actions that different writers engaged in defining it, differently. • Mary Follet : “Management is the art of getting ;things done through others” • Jean Allen : ‘Management is what a manager does’. The American Marketing Association: ‘Management is guiding human and physical resources into dynamic organizational units which attain their objectives to the satisfaction of those served within a high degree of moral and sense of attainment on the part of those rendering services. ” • Jean Robert : “Management is a combination of ensuring job satisfaction for staff, and meeting organizational demands. From the enlightenment provided above, we cannot overlook the fact that leadership and management do differ.

The rhetoric about the distinction between leadership and management has been long and until today, put forth with hope of being answered coherently, especially in our modern business world. In many a case, these two terms have been used interchangeably, but in fact, there reigns an immense difference between them. A leader is a manager but a manager is not necessarily a leader; and this is majorly from where stems the various theories highlighting the differences between leadership and management.

In his book, “On Becoming a Leader” Bennis spent much ink delineating the differences, “I tend to think of the differences between leaders and managers as the difference between those who master context and those who surrender to it. There are other differences as well, and they are enormous and crucial. ” 1. ‘The manager administers, the leader innovates’ 2. ‘The manager is a copy, the leader is an original’ 3. “ The manager maintains, the leader develops; 4. ‘The manager focuses on systems and structure, the leader focuses on people; 5. The manager relies on control, the leader inspires trust’ 6. ‘The manager has her eye always on the bottom line, the leader has her eye on the horizon’ 7. ‘The manager accepts the status quo, the leader challenges it’ Since management is a subset of leadership, the trick lies in demarcating where pure management embraces some of the traits of leadership. From the distinctions delineated, one can note that a leader’s style therefore, pertains to Transformational while that of a manager pertains to the Transactional.

As Burns said in his Traditional Transformational leadership behaviour theories, transformational leaders ‘…recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower…(and) looks for potential motives in follower, seeks to satisfy higher needs and engages the full person of the follower’ and contrasts it with the Transactional behaviour being ‘Approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign contributions’.

From Bennis’ point of view, leaders have been identified to use vision to animate, inspire and transform purpose into action, a way of doing which is line with the Transformational style as compared to the Transactional leadership style where managers are more work-focused. As he defines it, transformational leaders ‘see their role as inspiring and motivation others to work at levels beyond mere compliance, espousing Bennis’s thought:” The manager administers, the leaders innovates”.

Only transformational leadership is said to be able to change team/organizational cultures and create a new direction’, further espoused by Bass, ‘the transactional leaders within the organizational culture as it exists, the transformational leader changes the organizational culture’ Leaders adhering to the transformational style, arouse emotions in their followers motivating them to act beyond the framework of what may be described as exchange relations while managers, majorly governed by transactional style, will rather set up a series of rewards and punishments to motivate members of the organization.

Transactional leadership, a popular approach for many managers, consists of working within clear structures whereby it is clear what is required from subordinates, and what rewards shall be conferred for following the orders, as compared to the Transformational leadership whereby the leader puts passion and energy in everything while also caring for the personal success and upliftment of their followers since the transformational leader seeks to transform. Bennis further elaborated on transformational leadership as fulfilling the requirements of the following. Management of attention. Transformational leadership starts with the development, a view of the future that will shape and compel focus as well as excite and convert potential followers. • Management of meaning This evokes the ability to communicate vision. This takes energy & commitment, as few people will immediately buy into a radical vision, and some will join the show much more slowly than others. The Transformational Leader thus takes every opportunity and will use whatever works to convince others to climb on board. • Management of trust

It ascribes to consistency and honesty. This essential part can be linked with Heifetz theory of dispersed leadership where the latter argues that the role of the leader is to help people face reality and to mobilize them to make change (A huge contrast to what management does: “The manager administers, the leader innovates”) • Management of self It ascribes to the personal weakness and strengths. It relates to the ability of recognizing one’s own skills and limitations. While transformational leadership is about implementing new ideas, staying lexible and adaptable and continually improves those around, its polar opposite, transactional leadership stresses on how to be effective within the status quo itself, a style mostly adopted by management. Transactional leadership is thus, more of a ‘telling style, elaborated in Ashridge’s studies where the ‘telling style’ is about the manager making all the decisions and issuing instructions which must be obeyed without question. It is the most efficient type of leadership for highly-programmed work but it does not encourage initiative nor commitment from subordinates, only adherence to compliance (joining back the transactional style)

Zalenic went further into the analysis; espousing that managers are overly rational, somewhat detached and task-oriented- a living personification of Taylor’s theory of scientific management. Purely task-oriented leaders are likely to be psychologically distant managers. Management tends to more task-focused compared to leadership. In this context, Blake&Mouton’s leadership grid define the task-oriented manager as being more concerned with production and the relation-oriented leader as being more ‘concerned for people’. [pic]

This leadership grid attempts to conceptualize how ‘task’ and ‘people’ orientation of a leader helps the organization in attaining its purpose and categorizes leadership into 5 styles: 1. Impoverished Manager (Low people-Low task concern) They exhibit lack of concern for the result of the assigned task as well as for interpersonal relationship, thereby failing to haul up to the exigencies of Adair’s Action centered approach as well as to that of Henri Fayol’s Principle of Administrative Management (Planning, Organizing, coordinating and Controlling). . Country-Club Manager (High people-Low task) They display care and concern for people. They create a comfortable and friendly environment while de-emphasizing the productivity of task. 3. Authority Compliance Manager (Low people-High task concern)

One can derive that pure management leans more on concern for production and that its starts embracing (effective) leadership when it shows a higher concern for people. In fact the Grid theory asserts that effective leadership is the 9-9 style- high people & task concern. In this light, Adair’s Action centered theory can be called upon to draw the line between leadership and management or when management starts fiddling with leadership by using the Inter-relationship of the 3 goals’ diagram. [pic]

Adair suggested that a leader is confronted to the ordeal of achieving the 3 major goals. This study leads to the emergence of his ‘Action Centered Leadership’ theory: A situation where a group of people aiming at achieving a certain goal will pave the way to spot a potential leader. In fact management (solely) will rather focus on task needs, that is, the achievement of a goal or task as being the responsibility of the leader. This relates to the fulfillment of a very practical activity or it may also be a less tangible objective.

For successful completion of the task, the leader must be capable to identify the available resources both in terms of people and systems in line with the fruition of the identified aims. The emergence of more accurate leadership qualities can be noted when Management of Team & Individual is more tightly knitted in. Managing the team requires a leader to encourage members and stimulate them towards collective & mutual commitment to reach the goals. He provides feedback to the group about the overall progress, establishes, agrees and communicates standards of performance and behaviour as well as sorts out culture.

She monitors, maintains discipline, ethics. She is expected to anticipate and resolve group conflicts, and develop team spirit and collective maturity. She enables and eases good internal & external group communication. Managing the individuals relates to meeting the needs of the specific people as the group takes a life on its own but the individuals keep their identify. This is imperative to sustain motivation to complete the task. The leader is expected to wrap to assist and support them through highs and lows, agreeing upon appropriate individual needs and goals.

She confers recognition and praise the person as a means of encouraging efforts and good work (A type of motivational tool usually unused by managers but preferred by transformational leaders) Furthermore, Mintzberg’s thesis on the nature of managerial work can be called upon to spot managers with only management potential from those demonstrating leadership skills too, gauged by the measuring the extent to which they fulfill the interpersonal roles; especially the ‘figurehead’ and ‘leader’ criteria.

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