Exploring the Differences and Similarities Between a Manager and a Leader

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2. Differences between leadership and management
2.1 Managers maintain things and leaders change things
Studies on the subjects of leadership and management have the underlying difference between a leader and a manager as “managers maintain things and leaders change things.” Gill (2006:26) explains their difference as “Managers plan, allocate resources, administer and control whereas leaders innovate, communicate and motivate”
Weathersby (Management Review Vol 88:3) summarises the contrast between leadership and management as:
Management is the allocation of scarce resources against an organization 's objective, the setting of priorities, the design of work and the achievement of results. Most important, it 's about controlling.
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In the paradigm of management, empowerment is viewed as losing authority and control over people and resources. Generally, people resent being driven, controlled and being seen as part of company equipment. This breeds apathy in employees towards the organisation’s intents in the market place and destroys accountability.
2.8 Leaders focus on people, Managers focus on systems and structures.
An effective leader focuses on people and therefore empathises with them. Empathy is the tool of emotional intelligence which successful leaders apply. When individuals realise that their feelings and concerns are being acknowledged they develop a sense of trust which fosters a strong relationship based on loyalty to the leader - that way people’s hearts are worn to the cause of the leader. Thus, shared values are identified that sustain the quest of vision and purpose as Gill (2006:82) alludes to. He further mentions that all visioning, strategic thinking and goal setting without effective emotional intelligence are impotent.
In comparison, management focuses on systems and structures and is distant from the thoughts and emotions of individuals. It applies coercion in its endeavour to achieve results. The law of force has it that where there is force there is a reciprocating resistance. Therefore, managers do not attain the required attitudes and behaviours in personnel that are in line with the goals of the organisation.
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