The Difference Between Management And Leadership



Leadership and management are two notions that are often used interchangeably. However, these words actually describe two different concepts. In this section, we shall discuss these differences and explain why both terms are thought to be similar.

Leadership is a facet of management
Differences In Perspectives
Subordinate As A Leader
Loyalty
The Leader Is Followed. The Manager Rules
Management Knows How It Works
Conclusion
References



Leadership is a facet of management

Leadership is just one of the many assets a successful manager must possess. Care must be taken in distinguishing between the two concepts. The main aim of a manager is to maximise the output of the organisation through administrative implementation. To achieve this, managers must undertake the following functions:

Leadership is just one important component of the directing function. 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." [1]

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 is just an asset and is not essential.

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Differences In Perspectives

Managers think incrementally, whilst leaders think radically. "Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing." [2]. 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 are governed by their emotions rather than their intelligence" [3]. This quotation illustrates why teams choose to follow leaders.

"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." [4]

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Subordinate As A Leader

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 guide-post for action and behaviour rather than attempting to control others." [5]

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.

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Loyalty

Groups are often more loyal to a leader than a manager. This loyalty is created by the leader taking responsibility in areas such as:

"The leader must take a point of highlighting the successes within a team, using charts or graphs, with little presentations and fun ideas" [6]

"Leaders are observant and sensitive people. They know their team and develop mutual confidence within it." [7]

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The Leader Is Followed. The Manager Rules

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 organisational skills, but his vision unites people behind him.

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Management Knows How It Works

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.

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Conclusion

Managing and leading are two different ways of organising people. The manager uses a formal, rational method whilst the leader uses passion and stirs emotions. William Wallace is one excellent example of a brilliant leader but could never be thought of as the manager of the Scots!

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References

[1] Daniel. F. Predpall, ‘Developing Quality Improvement Processes In Consulting Engineering Firms’, Journal of Management in Engineering, pp 30-31, May-June 1994

[2] Richard Pascale, ‘ Managing on the Edge’, Penguin Book, pp 65, 1990

[3] John Fenton, ‘ 101 Ways to Boost Your Business Performance’, Mandarin Business, pp 113, 1990

[4] John Fenton, ‘ 101 Ways to Boost Your Business Performance’, Mandarin Business, pp 113, 1990

[5] Daniel. F. Predpall, ‘Developing Quality Improvement Processes In Consulting Engineering Firms’, Journal of Management in Engineering, pp 30-31, May-June 1994

[6] John Fenton, ‘ 101 Ways to Boost Your Business Performance’, Mandarin Business, pp 114, 1990

[7] John Fenton, ‘101 Ways to Boost Your Business Performance’, Mandarin Business, pp 113, 1990


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Most recent revision 6 Feb 1997