Strong organizations have strong leaders and managers. The utilization of organizational functions to meet business needs does not change between organizations; however, the way each function is carried out differs
depending on the size and services of the establishment. In this paper, the differences between management and leaders, as well as the roles and responsibilities of leaders in the workplace are discussed.
There are many differences between managers and leaders. For example, leaders cope with change, while managers cope with difficult situations.
Successful managers must posses many assets, one of which is leadership. The main purpose of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. In order to achieve this, managers must undertake the four functions of management: organization, planning, directing and controlling. One important part of directing is leadership. A manager must be more than a leader; he needs to have formal authority in order to be effective. “For any quality initiative to take hold, senior management must be involved and act as a role model.” (Predpall, 1994)
It is true that in some situations, single leadership is not necessary. Self-motivated groups may find leaders dominating rather than a single leader. During my last class at the University of Phoenix, there were three members, including myself in my learning team. While creating the team charter, we decided not to have any one person take on the role of the designated leader for the group. Other learning teams had rotating leadership roles where each member took turns being leader for the week. Although this could have merits, many teams faced the problem of having poor leadership some weeks, which resulted in members waiting for direction or miscommunication. This is because leadership is an asset, not a requirement. In my learning team, each member honestly voiced what he/she could do to contribute to the task at hand. We were fortunate not to run into any problems. I had great team members, each possessing different strengths and weaknesses. I realize that in a different situation, this may not always prove positive; however, for my learning team, the lack of single leadership proved to encourage and motivate each member to do a little more.
According to Richard Pascale, “Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing.” In other words, managers do things according to established ways, while leaders follow their instinct, which may prove to benefit their organization. Leaders are more emotional than managers. Leaders have the power to motivate people, while managers control and problem-solve. Managers have the ability to bring order and stability in the workplace. They have the authority to make things happen by using rewards and punishments, or by pulling rank. Leaders, on the other hand, influence people. Influence stems from trust. In simpler terms, people have no choice but to follow managers; however, people choose to follow leaders.
Roles and Responsibilities
There are several roles and responsibilities a leader has in creating a healthy organizational culture. One is to be proficient in the job. A leader needs to be able to combine the competencies of him/herself with the competencies of the other people to make a smooth functioning team. Leaders should start working earlier, stay later and work harder than the rest of the team. This is because a leader is completely responsible for the achievements and failures of the overall goal. Good leaders are able to put themselves out in front and support their people in all situations. Leaders lead continuously.
Although I have no personal experience in the managerial aspect of work, my definition of management is getting the task at hand completed in an efficient and effect manner not only through, but also with other people. I believe managers should have a developed science for each aspect of an individual’s work, and should be capable of selecting training and developing members of his team. This does not mean that management is an autocracy. Managers need to be able to cooperate with and understand his/her staff.
Communication is also key in management. Without effective communication skills, managers are not able to convey ideas and key points. Miscommunication can lead to stress and frustration. In my personal experience, I have seen many times where bad communication lead not only to workplace stress, but to people leaving the organization. It is unfortunate that many managers lack leadership qualities.
Some people have the potential of being great managers, but lack being a strong leader. Leadership and management are techniques of organizing people. While a manager uses a more formal and established method, a leader uses charisma and passion to stir emotions.