When comparing and contrasting the terms “Leadership” and “Management” one can find both similarities and differences between the two. Throughout this paper, the reader will gain an understanding about the character traits associated with each of the terms and how they relate specifically to a workplace scenario. Each holds critical elements needed to ensure day to day operations are in order, but it can be seen that the terms are set apart from one another through a focus on a vision of the future and being able to successfully drive toward the desired change. The reader will gain insight into the specific definitions of each of these terms and how each fosters their own principles which appear to have similarities but at the same time, set them apart from one another. .
Leadership versus Management
Leadership and management are both important concepts and in many ways the two overlap each other. Good management skills are needed in order to ensure a focus on maintaining what’s already in place by ensuring stability, monitoring current performance and focusing on maintaining balance and control while at the same time leading the way toward doing what is right, leading the way through change and improvement and focusing on a vision of the future with vibrancy and charisma (Whetten and Cameron 2011). When comparing and contrasting leadership and management it is important to first have a clear understanding of their definitions.
According to Business Dictionary.com (2013), the definition of management and leadership are: * Management- The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. * Leadership- Establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and coordinating and balancing conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.
With a clear understanding of the definitions, it can be said that to manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion (Coutts 2000). While the definitions of Leadership and Management clearly focus on different aspects and seek to do different things of the behavior and character of a person who intends to implement these skills must incorporate both to be effective in their role.
Leadership As stated earlier, there are fundamental differences between management and leadership; however, due to the overlapping in some areas, their distinction is not always definite and there are distinctive differences between the two. One of the key aspects of leadership is “vision”. Good leadership focuses on strategic direction, while at the same time fostering an ability to communicate direction and developing trust and respect with others invested in the enterprise. Rather than ensuring the maintenance of current situations, someone possessing leadership qualities will focus more on identifying these current situations while looking toward the future to be prepared for changes that may affect business functioning. Someone possessing good leadership skills will have a knack for prophecy and will investigate, recommend and implement activity with an appreciation of the enterprise and the associates’ interests (Zimmerman 2001).
Effective leadership qualities also include the ability to collaborate by not only being willing to work together with the vision of others, but also setting an example and following it through by ensuring an understanding of strategic direction and aligning resources and behavior, developing a culture that encourages, supports and rewards individual and team achievements in the quest to achieve the vision. Leadership involves adapting to meet the needs of the individual and focuses on developing others through consistent feedback, coaching and mentoring. Leadership demonstrates an ability to “sell” the vision as well continuing to maintain collaboration by demonstrating a willingness to negotiate through disagreements. Introducing or recommending change is rarely an easy endeavor. Someone possessing good leadership qualities can push through the adjustments and enforce tough decisions in order to maintain organizational success through changes while continuing to garner support from subordinates, colleagues and stakeholders (Zimmerman 2001).
Management “Whereas leaders are seen as charismatic and often are admired and held in high esteem, managers frequently are thought of as the organization's taskmasters with a whip in one hand and a bullhorn for screaming out orders in the other hand” (Kotterman 2006). While both leaders and managers are typically tasked with establishing direction, aligning resources and motivating others, managers are more concerned with maintaining current practices and will plan and budget for current situations. Typical management practices have a narrow purpose compared to leadership qualities and work to maintain, stabilize and organize work and resources.
Managers may seem to be less imaginative compared to someone who is seen as possessing leadership qualities due to the fact that their roles typically surround maintaining control over organization standards by ensuring consistency and a stable workplace according to what is required. In order to do this successfully those in a management role “often interpret the laws, regulations, policies and procedures that impact (positively or negatively) the associates in order to ensure a productive working environment” (Zimmerman 2001). Managers typically focus on developing a clear understanding of what is expected “today” and maintaining the status quo.
Conclusion Throughout the report the author provided an overview of the terms “Management” and “Leadership” and compared and contrasted the two. The reader was provided insight into some of the specific details that come with implementing each of these character styles in order to successfully operate an organization and focus on what the future may hold. While it’s clear that there are differences between the two, the reader should have a clear understanding of the importance of utilizing traits from both for a greater chance of success.