1Distinctions between Leadership and Management Loren Karl Schwappach Colorado Technical University
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 2 AbstractThis paper is a short analysis of the distinctions that separate managers from leaders. Itsummarizes that great leaders act as visionaries and strategists honed in the art of managingenergy which is distinct from managers which in a tactical nature seek to successful action andexecution of the leadership’s vision.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 3 Distinctions between Leadership and Management1. Introduction As the recently appointed compliance officer of Expert Consulting Group (ECG), I havespent the last week conducting in-depth research understanding and delineating the distinctionsbetween a leader and a manager. With thoughtful implementation of these distinctionsthroughout ECG an improvement in company motivation, ethical practices, and the quality ofconsulting services provided by ECG should see full spectrum improvement.2. Leaders and Managers A leader is a strategist and leadership is the art of providing a vision and strategy whilemanaging the energy first in oneself and thereafter in others to achieve strategic goals. TheItalian statesman Niccolo Machiavelli is credited as being one of the earliest researchers to studyleadership. In his book “The Prince” Machiavelli stated that leadership “involves the notion ofpersuading people to ignore their individual concerns and devote themselves instead towards acommon goal that is important for the welfare of the group.” (LEADERSHIP, THEORIES OF,2006) Leadership was originally theorized to be a fixed attribute of an individual linked by aseries of leadership traits. This was known as trait theory and from the early 1900s to 1950sresearch focused on personal characteristics and traits found in leaders. Edwin Ghiselli sited thatinitiative, self-confidence, individuality, supervisory ability, decisiveness and intelligence were
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 4the six qualities common to good leaders. However the trait theory was abandoned by laterscholars that noted that “the differences found between leaders and followers were quite smalland of little practical or theoretical value.” (LEADERSHIP, THEORIES OF, 2006) Paul Von Hindenburg a German field marshal and statesman believed that the two axis ofleadership that developed great leaders could be simplified by an individual’s energy andintelligence. Hindenburg created a chart where a person of high energy and great intelligencewould best act as a field commander in comparison to a person of high energy and lowintelligence that would perform best as a frontline soldier. A person of low energy and highintelligence would perform good at staff officer functions while a person of low energy and lowintelligence was best left to find their own level of effectiveness. Kurt Lewin claimed there were three leadership styles utilized by leaders to includeautocratic or tightly controlled, democratic or majority rule, and laissez-faire or hands-offleadership. Each one of these leadership styles can be either effective or ineffective and shouldbe modeled in such a ways as to most effectively engage and inspire others in accomplishing theleaders strategy. Rensis Likert found two dimensions of behavior consistent in leadership job/missioncentered or employee centered individuals. However, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developeda managerial grid showing that the best leaders (considered fully functional leaders) had both ahigh degree of concern for their people and a high degree of concern for production. There arealso paternalistic leaders which have a high concern for production and use reward methods toincrease loyalty and compliance in followers and opportunistic leaders which spend more timeand concern for self promotion than their concern for people or production.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 5 Margot Morrell found four successful habits of good leadership while documentingErnest Shackleton’s (an Anglo-Irish explorer who led several Antarctic expeditions) enduranceexpedition in which Shackleton’s vessel Endurance became trapped in ice forcing the party tocamp for months on a large flat floe hoping it would drift to Paulet Island over two hundred andfifty miles away. Morrell credited Shackleton for leading by example, communicating a vision,keeping up moral, and maintaining a positive attitude during the crews 497 days adrift and awayfrom solid land. James Clawson communicates in his book titled “Level Three Leadership” that goodleadership requires a “Leadership Point of View” (Clawson, 2012) which involves “seeing whatneeds to be done, understanding ALL the underlying forces at play in a situation, and having thecourage to initiate action to make things better.” (Clawson, 2012) In comparison to a leader a manager is a tactician. Managers are responsible for actingon and executing a plan toward achieving a set objective/mission in line with the leader’s visionand strategy. Management style is usually transactional, such that the managers play an active role inproviding subordinates with tasks to accomplish, and the subordinates complete these tasks inorder to achieve some reward such as a salary or bonus. Managers tend to receive pay based upon what they accomplish often within theconstraints of time and money, and thus often delegate tasks towards subordinates in order toaccomplish the greatest amount of tasks in the shortest amount of time, thus good managers oftenconcentrate on doing things as efficient, productive, and effectively as possible.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 6 Managers analyze issues by breaking them down into sub groups and then solve each ofthese problems one at a time (top-down approach), Leaders use synthesis to combine severalissues and solve them holistically (bottom-up approach). Before joining on with ECG, I acted as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC)for a deployable communications team for the United States Air Force. In my position as amanager I was responsible for ensuring our team was well trained, equipment ready, anddeployable so that we could act and execute our mission anywhere/anytime. The officer chainprovided the leadership and strategic vision while the NCO chain provided the management andmission execution. However a good manager also requires leadership skills in order to motivateand inspire ones subordinates towards accomplishing a mission in the same that a good leaderneeds to know how to provide a clear vision and strategy to energize his followers.3. Conclusion A leader is a strategist and leadership involves providing a vision and strategy tofollowers while managing the energy in others to achieve goals. It requires seeing what needs tobe done, understanding the forces at play, and the courage to act in order to make things better.Leaders inspire and motivate others to drive themselves and authority is innate in the approachtowards leadership whether autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire style is used.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 7 A manager is a tactician and management requires acting and execution of a plan toensure mission/job accomplishment. A manager receives authority over subordinates based onhis/her role and utilizes resources need to complete a job/project/mission.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT 8 References"LEADERSHIP, THEORIES OF." Elseviers Dictionary of Psychological Theories. Oxford: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2006. Credo Reference. 29 May 2008. Web. 10 July 2011. <http://www.credoreference.com/entry/estpsyctheory/leadership_theories_of>.Clawson, J. (2012). Level three leadership getting below the surface, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, Boston, Mass.