Leadership: The Difference with Management.

Essay by angelofanelli September 2005

download word file, 6 pages 3.4

What is your ideal of leadership?



Leadership - what is it? Many definitions have been offered, cultural stereotypes abound, numerous programs focus on leadership development, but the question remains. In fact, leadership is many different things to different people in different circumstances. When we business people think of leadership, we often think first of famous individuals. We think of charismatic and highly successful CEOs: Jack Welch, John Chambers, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. Otherwise, we may think of great political leaders: Washington, Churchill, Roosevelt. We may think of the leaders of social movements: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Caesar Chavez. We may think of spiritual leaders: Jesus, Mohammed, Mother Teresa. In our 'visions of leadership', we invite only corporate leaders and not social, political or environmental leaders. But, an exploration of leadership quickly takes us beyond the lists of the famous when we consider the examples of leadership in our own lives: family members, friends, teachers, ministers, and others who by their lives and examples have influenced and led us in various ways.

When we look at leadership in communities we see many leaders who may never become famous, but are vehicles of enormous change in their surroundings. My ideal of leader is the person who has a vision, which goes towards betterment of his surroundings and stands up to lead the people by taking them along with him and becomes the driver of the change. It is then immaterial if the leadership is demonstrated in corporate world, environmental issues, community issues, social issues, information issues, human rights or any other aspect.

Speaking about business, what is corporate leadership, and what is the difference between leadership and management? In my opinion, leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow. A leader is...