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Management versus leadership

Management Versus Leadership

Webster's (1988) offers no help here for it defines "management" in terms of the words handling, controlling, and directing-words nearly identical to those with which it defines "leadership". But in a Management Versus Leadership Research Papers, it is necessary to make a distinction between the two words in terms of the types of organizations that managers lead. Managers can be seen as being what mathematics calls a "proper subset" of leaders. Business and MBA Research point out that they are a type of leader, that type of leader that handles, controls, and directs bureaucratic enterprises. They are, by virtue of the nature of the organizations they lead, distinct from leaders of armies and politicians. Business leadership, i.e. management, is circumscribed by the nature of the organization that is led, the proper domain of behavior associated with such organizations generally, and the type of goals which such organizations are expected to accomplish.

  • Leadership is less like a role, than it is an occasional action.
  • Leadership is the intention of a leader to inspire his or her followers to achieve their common goals.
  • The focus of a leader is on the entirety of a project or goal. The followers, under the guides of leadership, assume the responsibility of carrying out the necessary actions required to achieve whatever goal is at hand.
Management, on the other hand, handles the delegation of authority differently. Managers are concerned with all levels in the chain of command. Unlike the leaders, managers have subordinates - which, differing from followers, have much less personal inspiration for the work at hand. Managers have to overcome their subordinates' personal desires with incentives. "Management requires efficiency, profitability, and depends on minimal inputs for maximum returns".

The relationship between business management Versus leadership and political leadership, particularly political leadership in a democracy, is the converse of the relationship between business and military leadership. Here the business leader/manager has more power to compel obedience than does his political counterpart. For the political leader gains his status as leader-and holds it-through the creation of consensus. In terms of policy direction-that too is a matter of consensus creation. Bill Clinton once complained that the presidency is like managing a graveyard because, as president, he had plenty of people under him, but that none of them listened to him. Business managers should be effective consensus builders, but when push comes to shove, they have the power to compel obedience in a way political leaders, operating in a checks and balances political system, do not. There is therefore a continuum of leadership in which political leadership is weakest and military leadership strongest with business leadership, management, occupying the middle ground. What constitutes effective behavior for all three groups is determined by the amount of power that their varying roles allow for. It would greatly help, I believe, if management theoreticians would more carefully observe the distinction between the two terms "management" and "leadership" and pay due attention to the fact that management is but one distinct type of leadership.

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