Much has been written about the difference between management and leadership. In the past, competent management staffs ran effective companies. In light of our ever-changing world, however, most companies have come to realize that it is much more important to lead than to manage. In today's world the old ways of management no longer work. One reason is that the degree of environmental and competitive change we are experiencing is extreme. Although exciting, the world is also very unstable and confused. In an article entitled What’s the Difference between Your Hospital and the Other? Gary Campbell states that the difference between a manager and a leader is that the manager “finds himself quite willing to
The process of creating the conditions for a learning organization and of challenging long-held assumptions will itself begin to integrate the five disciplines as presented by Peter Senge in his book “ The Fifth Discipline”.
Leadership at times can be a complex topic to delve into and may appear to be a simple and graspable concept for a certain few. Leadership skills are not simply acquired through position, seniority, pay scale, or the amount of titles an individual holds but is a characteristic acquired or is an innate trait for the fortunate few who possess it. Leadership can be misconstrued with management; a manager “manages” the daily operations of a company’s work while a leader envisions, influences, and empowers the individuals around them.
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”
Research on management and leadership in organizations over the past century shows there are still no clear definitions or answers about what counts as effective and successful leadership; the field remains varied and argued. Actual studies of leadership began in the early twentieth century. The research and studies on leadership have resulted in defining what characters, traits and attitudes are considered to be significant for leaders to possess. The early studies of leadership theories focused on the person and their behaviors, currently known as leadership trait theories and behavioral theories. It is important for organizational leaders and managers to understand what characteristics, traits and actions of an individual mark a great leader when forming a strong diverse workforce.
In general, we are familiar with the quote managers do things right while leaders do the right things. In essence, the analytical versus the holistic approach of leadership addresses these two separate and distinct functions within an organization. For instance, a manager focuses on the daily operations of an organization with an emphasis on team delivery, budgeting, and supervising the employees. Contrarily, leaders within an organization focus their time on improvements and innovation. In particular, leaders can perform this function since they are not culpable for routine tasks and mired in the minutia. As a result, there is a misnomer that managers are leaders and leaders remain managers, but they are not exclusive. Therefore, being a manager and a leader requires different abilities and dispositions.
Some theorists use the terms ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ reciprocally as if they are tantamount with one another, while others use them in a very purposeful sense to express that they are, in effect, rather different (Bush, 2003). Organisational successfulness, it is generally accepted, is dependant on both competent leadership and consistent management (Dimmock and Walker, 2005) According to Grace (1995) they do not follow from one or the other, but
There are many differing theories on the styles of management and leadership which attempt to differentiate the skills, strengths and personalities required between management and leadership although it is clear from the studies of these theorists that many of the skills are applicable to both.
So, from the above definitions we may draw a difference between leaders and managers as leaders do have a vision, goal and objective, which he tries to make effective and purposeful. On the contrary, the managers only have to maintain their efficiency on day-to-day basis. In other words administration is the task of managers but innovation is the characteristic of leaders and there is a possibility of a manager becoming a leader by setting high standards and goals for his people. It is not the task of this paper to present a difference between both but it is important to present it only because of its being necessary to clear the concept of a leader. So, a good leader is a person who can look high into the horizons when the people are looking down in the bottom line. This makes other people follow their footsteps as everyone wants to move towards horizon to explore new dimensions of practicality.
Peter Spurgeon and Robert Cragg (2007) contend the current attention paid to the importance of leadership has diminished the value and contribution of management. The discussion concerning leadership and management, at the most extreme, is inclined to portray leadership as 'good' and management as 'bad'. These constraints are rooted in the proposition that people do not want to be managed, with its connotations of bureaucracy and control, but are happy to follow a leader toward a vision. At the core of this perception is the belief that leaders are concerned with the future and with the people in the system, while managers are focused upon greater efficiency and immediate results.
Over the years, a great deal of time, and research has been dedicate to the study of leadership. Even with extensive data on the topic, many still disagree on what leadership really means. Hence, leadership is a word that has many different meanings and different researched theories associated with it. On a basic level, leadership involves having and establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with followers, respecting followers, and leading an organization with excellence while ensuring that everyone is part of the team. Leadership is also a method by which a leader uses his or her influence towards getting a group of followers to take ownership or buy into a vision.
In corporate America the term used to describe a person in a position of power is “Manager”. A leader can be a manager, but a manager is not necessarily a leader. Leaders motivate, challenge, and influence others to achieve goals. Great leaders have the necessary skills and attributes which allow them to connect with the team and organization. Being a leader is not the same as managing an organization. Leader’s posses the interpersonal skills needed to influence others to achieve a goal willingly. Leading is a major part of a manager’s job. Leaders do not need to be a manager to lead people, but managers must know how to lead as well as manage.
In his book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge emphasizes his model of a "learning organization," which he defines as "an organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create its future." A learning organization excels at both adaptive learning and generative learning.
The word ‘leadership’ often times triggers a preconceived image of an ideal leader—typically accompanied by the aura that the effective leader should be at the top of the hierarchy, ready to produce the solutions to complex problems. However, this is not true of leadership, given that effective leadership is not achieved by position but rather through style and situational awareness. Examining leadership requires the consideration of the catalysts for different types of leaders. Popular leader development theories tend to focus on the natural servitude of the leader, his or her capability to manage, and leader behavior.
Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990). He can be said to be responsible for the popularity of the concept of a ‘learning organization’ today.