Being a great manager requires being a great leader. Though the terms leader and manager are often used in business world to describe a person who manages a team of people, these terms have different meanings in the scope of organization. The main difference between leaders and managers is in the way they motivate other team members. Managers are more organizational, they have their plans and people they manage to embody these plans. They are given their role and power to control their subsidiaries in the company, and these subsidiaries get motivated to do their job because of manager’s status. Leaders may not have subsidiaries if they are not managers, but as the members of the team they can be charismatic, do the right things and inspire others to follow them. Leadership results in changes, while management seeks stability. Leadership and management both have their roles in organization and they must be studied to define the main differences between them.
Managers occupy a formal authoritative role in the company and rationally fulfill the following functions: directing, controlling, organization, staffing and planning. The main aim of a manager is the result of corporate cooperation. Manager maximizes the effectiveness of team work through administrative implementation. Sometimes the role of managers goes outside the true people management, for example, the work of project managers and process managers. Managers can be the team members in the past with high effectiveness and performance at the employee level. But in most cases these people are not ready for controlling other people. In order to show the good characteristics of a manager a person must pass the appropriate training. In this case a manager achieves the necessary skills to control people, plan the activities, do the organizational work and other rational activities.
The effectiveness of a manager also depends on his formal authority. “For any quality initiative to take hold, senior management must be involved and act as a role model. This involvement cannot be delegated.” (Predpall 1994)
Different organizations have different views of a good manager. As an example there can be analyzed the effectiveness of the management team of the Bank of America. Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer and president of Bank of America, characterized his management team the following way: “The leadership, judgment, diverse backgrounds, and experience of this team are just what we need to execute on the best business model in our industry. Together we will focus on serving our customers and clients, returning our company to profitability for our shareholders and ensuring our 300000 outstanding fellow associates have all they need to help our company succeed. Bank of America is well-positioned to assist individuals, families, and businesses of all sizes to work through the continuing economic challenges. This management team will not weaver in our commitment to clarity, fairness, to putting the customer and client at the center of everything we do, and to working with public officials and policymakers to achieve our mutual goal of economic prosperity.” (Bank of America website)
Thus, in Bank of America the management is firstly client-oriented. The standards of the organization demand from the managers to possess the following qualities: result-oriented approach to business process, leadership skills, judgment, and industry experience. The code of ethics also plays inseparable role in management process in Bank of America. Brian Moynihan underlines the management team’s “commitment to clarity, fairness, to putting the customer and client at the center of everything we do”.
Management process presupposes the orientation on the result and stability of the company. At the same time, a good manager must also possess leadership skills to ensure the effective work of the team in the organization. It is necessary to define what makes a manager a good leader in the organization.
Leadership can be defined as an important component of directing function. The progress and positive changes inside the organization depend on leaders. Leader thinks radically, while manager thinks incrementally. “Managers to things right, while leaders do the right thing.” (Pascale 1990)
Being a manager presupposes following company policy. Being a leader presupposes following intuition and being emotive to motivate the team for the sake of company benefits. “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” (Fenton 1990)
Sometimes it is not the manager who is the leader in organization. One of the team members subordinate to manager may possess specific qualities and talents and lead the team in a certain direction. This may lead to conflicts as the authority of the formal manager may be questioned. “Leaders must let vision, strategies, goals and values be the guide-post for action and behavior rather than attempting to control others.” (Fenton 1990) Thus, the leader must avoid conflicts and must not infringe on manager’s authority if a leader and a manager are different team members. This statement may lead to another difference between management and leadership discovered. Leader is a person who is followed by people’s own choice, while management is a matter of authority and a manager must be obeyed. At the same time, leaders may not possess some specific organizational skills, may not be trained to control people, but their vision unites people that follow them and lead them to proper direction.
Leadership not necessarily demands experience in the corresponding field. A leader may be a new person in the team with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to bring positive changes in the organization. A manager knows how the organizational system works on each level and uses the knowledge to bring results.
An important role in the organizational process is given to corporate ethics inside the organization. Corporate ethics includes norms and principles to be followed by company members to ensure the effectiveness of the processes at all organizational levels. Corporate ethic policies may be simple (typically such policies are called corporate ethics statement) or detailed containing specific requirements to be followed by employees (corporate ethic codes). These norms are implemented in the organization in different ways. Some companies require employees to sign the agreements of abiding the organization’s rules of conduct; some require employees to attend special seminars devoted to proper business conduct.
As an example, Bank of America embodies corporate ethics policies in a detailed way. Team members must follow the requirements given in the Code of Ethics. Some of the statements in the Code of Ethics include: “Avoiding conflicts, keeping information confidential and secure, properly caring and protecting property and assets, conducting personal financial affairs responsibly, not taking actions violating law or internal policies, promptly reporting information about company associates committing crimes.” (Code of Ethics)
The code of ethics plays an important role in the organization of work, thus it is one of the instruments of the manager. A successful manager ensures that the code of ethics is followed by team members. This makes team more disciplined and results of work more effective.
To sum everything up, being a successful manager requires strong leadership skills for inspiring the team members to work more effectively and bring positive changes into organizational process. Managers possess all the necessary knowledge and skills to control people and bring results. Leaders may not necessarily be the team managers. They may be team members with fresh ideas and emotions inspiring the team to move to right direction. Management is a matter of rationality and following specific rules, leadership is about bringing positive changes and inspiration for better effectiveness of work process. The corporate ethics also plays important role in business process organization. Corporate ethics is used as an instrument for managers to ensure that the team is disciplined and highly effective.
1. Predpall, D., Developing Quality Improvement Processes In Consulting Engineering Firms, Journal of Management in Engineering, May-June 1994, p. 30-31
2. Brian Moynihan Announces Bank of America Management Team,
3. Pascale, R., Managing on the Edge, Penguin Book, 1990, p. 65
4. Fenton, J., 101 Ways to Boost Your Business Performance, Mandarin Business, 1990, p. 113-114
5. Code of Ethics. The official website of Bank of America.