Management and leadership are two distinct things that are often confused to mean the same thing, in an organization these two aspects are complementary and necessary for a successful business enterprise. Business management entails planning and organizing business capital and human resources with aim of attaining the company’s goals and objectives. Management involves planning, staffing, directing and organizing the available human, financial, natural and technological resources.
Leadership is a process through an individual influences others towards achieving a common target; it involves embarking on human emotions and charisma to motivate their followers. Good leadership provides an enabling environment for adopting with changes .leadership and management complementary in that management without leadership skills is not better , likewise good leadership without management skills is not effective. for example management involves recruiting staff for various positions ,this personnel needs to be inspired and motivated using leadership skills .it is necessary for a ideal set up the manager to be a good leader in order to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. Burns (1978)
A manager can be referred to as the person, who plays the role of management, i.e. organizing, staffing, planning and controlling .it is vital for the manager to have a good knowledge of the specific management role .This roles includes from human resource, financial ,marketing, operations , strategic and information technology management. Managers should be aware of the consequences of their long term decisions and should put in places measures to accommodate external factors such as market fluctuations. In addition managers should be responsible for their decisions.
A leader is an individual who stand out in a group as one who inspire and motivates them, thus one who plays the role of leadership. Leadership is acquired in the job through demonstrations of ones leadership skills. Good leader sets example for others to follow, makes sound decision regarding the organization and the other team mates, takes self responsibility and responsibility for others and is keen team player. Leaders do not necessary hold managerial positions but can also emerge from group of individuals performing same task.
Both leadership and management can be enhance through training, there exist noticeable difference between the two in terms of the responsibilities they take, their approach to situations, their decision making process, their qualities and characteristics, the nature of task they deal with. (Abraham Zaleznik.1977) asserts that the difference between a leader and a manager lies in the “conceptions they hold, deep in the psyches, of chaos and order”. Most differences between a manager and a leader are discussed below in the context of business management.
The manager administrates an organization, meaning that he check on the operations of the firm or the business organization to ascertain that it is performing toward achieving its goals and objectives. Incase the operations are not up to standards he directs the concerned employees to take the necessary action as directed by the organizational policies. A leader is on the other hand is an innovator .this implies that a leader is a pioneer who identifies new ways of doing things in an organization so that improvements can be realized. As an innovator the leader also modifies the existing ways of doing things. The contrast brought about is that of creativity.
The focus of a manager is within the systems and structure of the firm or business enterprise, he focuses on the interrelationship among various departments or branches of the business enterprise .This is geared towards achieving harmony within the entire organizational structures. It ensures that there is no conflict of interest among the departments. On contrary the leader focuses on the people within the business enterprise, with the aim of ensuring harmonious relationship among the employees .in addition the leader seek to establish harmony between employee’s interest and the firm interest. For example the activities done should be of benefit to the organization and the employees.
Managers usually have short range view, this means that they focuses on achieving short term objectives and realization of immediate benefits .this may be particularly brought about by the fact that they are hire on contracts and the extension of their contracts is dependent on the realization of some set goals. Their future success in managing the business enterprise is evaluated on their current performance, on contrary a leader’s perspective is always on long term basis .therefore leaders consider long term implication of any move made by the enterprise .the leader will embark on implementing policies that will ensure long term success of the organization.
The manager imitates or copies on what other successful mangers have done .this may not be applicable in the organization due to difference in business environment .a policy which might have made one organization to succeed may prove to undermine operations of another organization ,which discourages direct borrowing of policies. On the other hand leaders’ tries to be original .they deliberate on issues and come up with new ways of solving problems .they do thing in their own way, meaning that they do not fear applying new strategies. Managers may not be willing to apply new strategies because of fear of failure .this may have a direct implication on the company especially when dealing with new and unique situations or when the company needs to have an overhaul of policies.
Managers accept status quo. They always advocates for regulations and company operations to stay the way they have been. This means that they are in many times opposed to radical changes taking place. They have the fear that new way of doing this may not work or may imply that their management policies have being over taken by time. Leaders challenge status quo by bringing new ways of doing things they advocate for facing out all outdated policies .the are eager to see things operating the way they should but not the way they have been .for them what justifies presence of a policy is the benefits it brings to all the members of the organization, but not mere length of time a policy has existed. To managers things should always stay according to the way they have being designed because changing the way (procedure) then the goal cannot be realized.
Manager manages tasks and projects but not people; their thinking is on returns which the business reaps from any activity done. They only approve a budget by considering cost benefit analysis .they may not consider the harm suffered by employees. A leader deals with personal issues of a group, this because they consider interpersonal relationships to be the highest contributor to the success of the organization. This implies that a project is viable only when majority have approved it .to a leader the welfare of employees is of importance because a worker who is satisfied tries to ensure success of a proposed project.
Leaders seek to inspire the employees, they encourage workers to have intrinsic motivation .this brings about a feeling that any role they play in the organization is of their benefit .therefore employees will always care about the welfare of the organization hence they may not need supervision to carry out their duties. Managers believe on putting in place controls to ensure workers perform as expected. They do not mind about monotony brought about by repetitive jobs and direct supervision. They have the thinking that workers cannot think on their behalf hence the need of direct monitoring.
Managers have subordinates whom they give instructions .they sometimes delegate responsibilities to their subordinates but when they do this they require to be updated on every step taken. This is because they believe that things can only be done the righty way when they have firm control .A leader has followers whom he inspires to have similar thinking .they mainly discuss issues and come up with a way forward. Therefore leaders do not need to direct control their followers because is them who decide what to do, when to do it and where to do it. This means that a leader believes that every person has a unique idea to contribute in ensuring organizational goals are met. (Northouse, G. 2007).
Manager focuses on scientifically proved methods of leadership e.g. bureaucracy where everything is done according laid down system of rules and regulations with a lot of consideration on hierarchy. They depend more on the rules as they strive towards achievement of goals. On the other hand a leader focuses on human emotion and charisma to achieve their goals. To them rules and regulations alone cannot influence employees to direct all their efforts towards realizing organizational goals. That is why they mainly consider motivating and inspiring trust rather than deploying fear among the employees.
Managers advocate that things should be done in the right way. This is due to the thinking that results can only be obtained if every step is followed. Their way of thinking or doing things makes them to ask their subordinates questions like: why something has been done? Or when was something done? On contrary a leader is concerned about the employees doing the right thing, hence they ask: what was done? And why was it done? .meaning that any action of employee which is fruitful to the organization should be done even when some procedures are not followed or without approval incase of emergency. This may bring the sense that managers only think that something can be obtained only if they are done as per the laid down policy. Leaders have the perception that employees can bring a bout new ways of obtaining the same result efficiently.
Leaders are always ready to learn from their followers. They do have nice communication habits where by they take time to listen to their followers. This is because they lead by example i.e. they listen to others because they expect the same. In addition a leader doest despise ideas of their followers without giving valid reason. This is unlike a manager who expects little from employees and may in many accounts despise employee’s proposal on basis that organization rules are against the idea even when the rules can be modified to allow a new brilliant idea. To a manager something is only right if the rules say so but to a leader something is right when it can justify its existence. (Bass, B. M. 1990)
The above description brings clear distinction between a leader and a manager. Therefore there is no successful manager who does not incorporate leadership traits in his management. Manager should therefore apply knowledge and skill as well as use his personal traits to influence employees to direct all their actions towards attaining organizational goals. A manager should always lead by example; his actions should not contradict what he stands for i.e. rules and regulations which are critical for success of organization. Organization can only succeed when the manager is keen to sacrifice that is the organization should be the priority. It is worthy noting that manager continuously learning as time goes. Herbert Spencer (1984)
Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill's handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications (3rd Ed.). New York, NY, US: Free Press.
Day, D. V., & Lord, R. G. (1988). Executive leadership and organizational performance: suggestions for a new theory and methodology. Journal of Management, 14(3), 453-464.
Howard, A., & Bray, D. W. (1988). Managerial lives in transition: advancing age and changing times: New York: Guilford Pres
Northouse, G. (2007).leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oak, London, New Delhe, Sage Publications, Inc.