The terms leadership and management are very similar. Quite often, an organization uses the terms leadership and management interchangeably, most likely because the two type of job functions overlap each other and do not have a clear distinction between them. Each role is tied to human interactions, personalities, and specific trait requirements. Most organizations utilize leaders and manager at various levels. Some will state that there is a clear difference between the two, while other state that leadership is one of the many characteristics of management.
There are many differences between management and leadership. It has always been thought that an effective company is run by management. However, with all the recent changes in the world, many companies have come to learn and realize that leadership is much more important than basic management, because in many ways, management is no longer effective or efficient. The reasons for this are many, but advancements in technology and increased environmental awareness are paving the way for change.
Management comprises directing and controlling a group of one or more people or entities for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing that group towards accomplishing a goal. Managers have a position of authority given to them by the company and their subordinates work for them and do as they are told. Most managers use a transactional style, where they tell their subordinates what they want to have done and the subordinate does it because they are at a lower level and could face consequences for not listening. Also, managers are hired and paid to get the job done. They often pass on their own work to their subordinates. It has been researched that managers tend to come from “normal” and comfortable backgrounds. This leads a manager risk-aversion and they often avoid conflicts (Gupta).
Leadership means “the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members.”
Leaders do not have subordinates unless they are also managers. A leader gives up authoritarian control to have followers. Telling people what to do makes people feel like they are being bossed around – and that does not inspire anyone to follow. Leaders with charisma attract many followers by offering other benefits besides pay. In order to keep the leading, leaders keep separation with their friends and co-workers. Leaders are focused and goal oriented, but they have the ability to encourage others to work toward the same goal and vision. Research also shows that managers are risk-averse and that leaders tend to be risk-seekers. Leaders have a vision and will do anything and everything possible to overcome problems that get in the way of achieving that vision. They are not afraid of risks and take advantage of obstacles in order to get things done (Paterson).
Warren Bennis, a writer of leadership resources, defines the difference between managers and leaders: “1.The manager administers; the leader innovates. 2. The manager maintains; the leader develops. 3. The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it. 4. The manager focuses on systems and structures; the leader focuses on people. 5. The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust. 6. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. 7.
The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. 8. The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his or her eye on the horizon. 9. The manager imitates; the leader originates. 10. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it. 11. The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person (Managers and Leaders Based on Warren Bennis).” The culture of a company has a vision that it is embedded in, as well as the actions and attitude of it employees. Managers work hard at keeping the traditional culture of the company, while a leader ensures the employees are following this culture and that the culture is innovated, in order to compete with other companies (Compare Anything).
The importance is related to the career growth of an individual aspiring to step up in the management ladder in the organization. A successful manager or supervisor does not guarantee the same success in the higher levels of organizational hierarchy, usually because the amount of leadership roles that increases (Gupta).
There are many differences between management and leadership, but both are needed to have a successful company or organization. However, in order to keep a company ahead or on par with industry competitors, it is most important to have strong leadership. With a strong leader, the culture of the organization not only uses old traditions, but also incorporates innovative opportunities. Organizations with strong leadership are open for a change and welcome challenges. With a strong leader, an organization will continue to change with their environment and keep ahead of the competition.