Is There a Difference Between Management and Leadership?

Posted on August 12, 2013 by Katherine Razzi

Management and leadership are often thought of as very similar concepts.  One of the most important observations to be made is that organizations need both good managers and good leaders to be successful.  Both management and leadership are given power. It is believed that good managers and leaders will use their “socialized power” to benefit employees by encouraging energy and enthusiasm in the workplace.  And on the other hand, management and leadership can abuse the power by bullying employees and causing physical and psychological stress.

One of the most important similarities between management and leadership is the ability to motivate employees.  Managers and leaders alike must use the control they have to better the organization.  Both can motivate employees by developing relationships with subordinates and creating an “open door policy” where employees feel they can communicate concerns to managers and leaders.  Creating an environment in which employees are not afraid of managers and leaders can easily control most employee problems.

Although they are similar in many ways, the differences demonstrate that the two are not the same. Management involves the day-to-day tasks of ensuring that employees are completing the work assigned to them.  Managers are more concerned with the short-term goals of the organization.  Leaders, on the other hand, are concerned with the long-term goals of the organization and implementing changes when necessary.  It is up to leaders to give employees clear and concise guidelines and hold employees accountable for their actions.  Managers often use the guidelines set by leaders to guide subordinates.

As previously stated, leaders often dictate the changes that will occur in an organization.  While managers play a role in ensuring changes are carried out, it is the leader that decides what changes will occur and how they will impact the long-term goals of the organization.  The leaders must believe in the change and demonstrate this to all employees for the change to be accepted.  The leader must hold all employees accountable if the change will happen.  Leaders provide the goals and vision for the organization, while managers ensure that the tasks asked of them are completed.  Management is much more concerned with what is being asked of them at the present time rather than the future of the organization.  This is why leaders are needed in organizations.  They provide the innovation and hope for the future.

What are your views on management and leadership? Are the two mutual exclusive or the same thing?

About Katherine Razzi

Katherine Razzi hails from the Midwest and holds a B.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from National-Louis University, Evanston Campus. Coursework in cultural diversity, management, organizational dynamics, morals and ethics, group interaction, and psychology.

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