Differences between leaders and managers

The success of every organization that exists these days relies upon practicality of its managers and creativity of its leaders. Gaining knowledge about the difference between ‘Management’ and ‘Leadership’ will help to gain better understanding about the difference between a manager and a leader. The differences between management and leadership are, perhaps, one of the significant and impactful relations in an organization. Management can be defined as “a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling; utilizing in each both science and art, and followed in order to accomplish pre-determined objectives.”(George R Terry, 1877-1955), by considering the definition of management, a manager can be defined as “the person responsible for planning and directing the work of a group of individuals, monitoring their work, and taking corrective action when necessary” (F. John Reh, 1998) while leadership is “a development of a clear and complete system of expectations in order to identify evoke and use the strengths of all resources in the organization the most important of which is people.” (Batten, J.D. ‘Tough-minded Leadership’,1989 p. 35),hence taking the definition into consideration a leader can be defined as “a man who can persuade people to do what they do not want to do, or do what they are too lazy to do, and like it.”(Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972). Leadership transforms anything possible into reality, it can be part of management but not the whole of it.
Differences among leaders and managers is mainly based on the conceptions they hold, since leaders and managers are both complementary, an organization may need both in order to succeed and achieve the set objectives or goals. The following essay will differentiate between leaders and managers by defining, comparing and contrasting different qualities, roles and different styles that leaders and managers adopt such as the motivation theories and different leadership styles, throughout their leadership and management processes, this will help to know if managers and leaders are actually different or just similar :-
– Managers ensure that the given tasks are finished in a timely manner and all the set objectives are met, managers may need to provide additional training to employees in order to guide them into completing tasks whilst leaders unite the team to believe in a common vision in order to successfully achieve the set task or target. By leaders and mangers working together there is high possibility of gaining desired results (Brown, 2010). A leader is the one who guides people and helps people to trust in a cause. An organization is nothing without its managers while on the other hand, leaders mostly come into the role when a change is introduced, during this times people have to face the change rather than being frightened (Allman, 2009).
-Their attitude toward their goals, “An attitude can be defined as an enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and cognitive process with respect to some aspects of the individual’s world”(S.Norbert et al, 2001).Things and situations of managers towards the goal is intended to be impersonal if not passive. Manager goals mostly occur as necessities rather than being their needs or requirements, manager need to provide a positive attitude which will help in inspiring the workers, a negative attitude may lead to an enormous negative impact on the organization example high rate of absence from work which may lead to a bad effect on the achieving goals. While leaders take up a personal and an active attitude toward the stated goals which may not be a necessity, leaders need to keep the negative attitude away from them, having a positive attitude with them will help them to lead the people they are leading in a better way.
-Their conceptions of effort/work, managers normally view that work is a process which involves a combination of people and different ideas which helps to set up strategies and in building decisions. Managers’ strategy appears to be flexible, they bargain and negotiate and on the other side, they use punishments, rewards and other methods of compulsion. Managers frequently need to coordinate and have balance to the opposing views in order to get people to agree toward solutions to a difficulty, whilst leaders work in an opposite way completely, they create new methods to tackle the standing problems.
-Interaction with the others or the relation they have with others, mostly managers’ work with people rather than being alone, because being alone makes them feel anxious, collaboration stands to be a significant characteristic of managers, they communicate with people according to the specific roles that each person plays in the progression of events or in any process of decision making, while leaders, who are anxious with ideas normally relate in an instinctive and concerned way. They adopt three types of leadership styles which are autocratic, democratic and laizze-faire. An autocrat leader is the one who takes all decisions himself and therefore there is no much interaction between the leader and followers may de-motivate the followers, a democrat leader is the one who involves followers in decision making so the followers feel they are part of it and get motivated and in the last leadership style the leader gives freedom to the employees, laizze- fair meaning “do whatever you want”, coming up with new strategies as well as good ideas is a responsibility of the leader, leaders have to make sure that the organization runs on a ahead thinking phase, while managers have to keep the organization in a way that disorders within an organization should not arise which may lead to conflicts and this could be done by having appropriate control strategies over the people associated within the organization.

-Managers take risks in hopes of gaining short-term outcome while leaders take risks based on long-term gains (Doug Plucknett, 2014), managers mostly pay attention in the daily results produced, and if the day-to-day running task results have a direct impact on the objectives that need to be achieved, which makes the manger has to be concerned about. Leaders mostly are concerned about the future data rather than considering what was in the past, they use ‘leading indicators’ in order to gain latest technologies, skilled labour and gaining new equipments which can lead them to gain good market share as well as expand the business. These leading indicators are an intrinsic part of the business structure, these indicators lead to a financial break of a margin of two or less than that.
-Leaders are good motivators, leaders know by what means can you motivate people, to motivate employees leaders make them part of any decision making process, which make them feel part of the organization. They are great communicators as well as good listeners. Employees in an organization are engaged in doing one specific task in an organization but leaders use job rotation or other methods such as job enrichment & enlargement in order to make them feel more challenged and gaining some new skills which even helps in motivating. However it does not mean managers do not motivate people, they do, but in terms of finance such as an employee gaining 30% more over his salary if he/she works overtime or gaining fringe benefits, “these are compensation in addition to direct wages or salaries”(IRS, 2014) such as cars. Mostly managers are concerned about the results, how the company performed and comparing with other past results in terms of output produced, overtime done by employees and mostly focuses on the profits gained from the output. In order to get good results managers make use of these fringe benefits and motivate employees to be more focused towards the tasks. Yet managers are not good motivators as leaders but may be ahead of the leader in motivating people through financial means as a leader cannot provide such motivation methods.
-Managers tend to follow predetermined rules and be somewhat more comfortable with bureaucracy while leaders are more creative and spontaneous. That can also mean that managers are more reactive and stay within the organizational boundaries. Leaders push those boundaries and are likely to be more proactive. The balancing of these two is critical in organizations since there is a need to challenge the status quo to move forward yet there is also a need to maintain some structure to retain a degree of stability. The manager/leader combination helps to achieve this balance.
– The most important factor of leaders is that, leaders tend to build strong relationship between their followers/ team members. The team members learn to believe in leadership. Leaders involve their team members in decisions and make each member believe as if they matter, as if they make a disparity. This makes the followers believe that the leader has belief in them. This is what makes a leader completely different from a manager (Kumle, 2006). Managers ensure certain necessary goals are met. In a lot of ways, a manager’s work is very difficult and challenging since the managers are the ones who have to ensure that all tasks that are needed to achieve a certain goal, are accomplished at a specific date and time, they handle routine things and set things to be in order (Romero, 2010).

Source: Essay UK - http://buystrangestuff.com/essays/management/differences-between-leaders-and-managers/

Not what you're looking for?

Search our thousands of essays:


About this resource

This Management essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

  • Order a custom essay
  • Print this page
  • Search again

Word count:

This page has approximately words.



If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay UK, Differences between leaders and managers. Available from: <http://buystrangestuff.com/essays/management/differences-between-leaders-and-managers/> [24-03-18].

More information:

If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Essay and dissertation help

Latest essays in this category:

Our free essays: