Management and Leadership

Essay by chrisrae0310 July 2004

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Leading is establishing direction and influencing others to follow that direction. However, there are many variations and different areas of emphasis to this very simple definition. Whether you're an executive or an entry-level worker in your organization, it's critical for you to have strong skills in leadership. Leadership and management are two notions that are often used interchangeably. However, these words actually describe two different concepts. I will try to discuss these differences and explain why both terms are thought to be similar. Leadership is a facet of management.

A leader is someone who exercises influence over other people toward the achievement of certain aims and objectives. Leadership is just one of the many assets a successful manager must possess. Care must be taken in distinguishing between the two concepts. The main aim of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. To achieve this, managers must undertake the following functions such as organization, planning, staffing, directing, and controlling.

Leadership is just one important component of the directing function. A manager cannot be a leader; he or she also needs formal authority to be effective. For any initiative to take hold, senior management must be involved and act as a role model. This involvement cannot be delegated.

In some circumstances, leadership is not required. For example, self-motivated groups may not require a single leader and may find leaders dominating. The fact that a leader is not always required proves that leadership is just an asset and is not essential.

Managers think incrementally, where as leaders think radically. Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing. This means that managers do things by the book and follow company policy, while leaders follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to...