Last updated: March 17, 2019
Topic: BusinessEnergy
Sample donated:

In the modern competitive society, like the present, there is an evident rapid increase of business sectors. Along with this increase comes the need for more people to manage and lead in order to compete with the rising business entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is a requirement that every company should have efficient managers and effective leaders to meet the organizational objectives and goals; thus, elevate the company to a higher degree of success and outstanding performance. However, can all managers become leaders? Just like many other questions that might be asked in business; these questions have no one, definite answer.

In the business world, there are leaders and there are managers too. And while some leaders are managers and some managers are leaders, many times leaders and managers are very different individuals. By definition, the word “manage” means “to bring about or succeed in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty or hardship”, while the term “lead” means to “to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort”. [1]As the two words have different definitions both have different purposes. The managers’ goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at resolving conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that there is a smooth flow of organization activities. On the other hand, leaders adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. Leaders look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy.[2] Managers are concerned with the problem at hand; they focus on what has to be done. Leaders on the other hand, notice what has to be done, but spend their time figuring out how to get it done. Leadership is all about taking an organization to a place it would not have otherwise gone without the leader, in a value-adding, measurable way. Through visioning, a leader thinks way into a situation. Therefore, it is the approach in visioning that separates managers from leaders.

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Moreover, the different strategies used by managers and leaders in terms of their use of human resources can also differentiate the major factors that influence each position. This pertains to stewardship. Managers are required to monitor, supervise, and get tasks done in a certain amount of time. Managers have to be efficient, and thus time is the most important human resource for them. By improving their efficiency, managers can improve their managerial success. Leaders, on the other hand, must strategically use not only their time, but energy as well. Thus, leaders should use their energy efficiently because there is only a certain amount of tasks that can be done in one day. Leaders must carefully plan out strategies they will use to accomplish given tasks. The most valuable resource for managers is time, for them to be efficient; thus it is said that they are focused on time. The prime focus in a managerial position is the speed at which tasks are completed. Leaders conversely are and should be more focused on being effective, that is their intentions are on doing the right thing.[3] Managers are to be efficient; leaders are to be effective.

After having known and understood that both managers and leaders have different strategic approaches in utilizing their human resources, we are challenged to conclude that it is in the approach that separates one from the other. Similarly, if managers and leaders focus intentionally on any problem, their outcome will always prevail, over their competitors simply because more effort was put into the task at hand. Indeed there is a difference between managers and leaders and it is eventually the approach taken upon certain methods that is the determinant of leadership role. According to Marc Sanborn, managerial power is positional power; it is power over people whereas leadership is supportive power, and it is power with people. Whether one envisions the destination, or the transportation there, whether one tries to be efficient or effective, and whether one focuses on the speed or the path all come into play as one’s leadership quality level. These qualities can be improved and developed, if they are all focused on the right things. That is why good managers tend to be good leaders, because they can focus on getting tasks done efficiently and also do it right at the same time. It is leadership which is an indispensable quality in a manager. Leadership is a skill that can be learned like any other skill. Leadership is a skill that can be improved with practice.

Management and leadership are two skill sets that are distinct but individual managers can embody one or both attributes. What doesn’t seem to have been clearly articulated is that managers have some non-negotiable business to attend to: managing their staff and lines of business. In leadership literature, pure leaders seem to have been freed of the shackle of management duties in order to focus their attention on vision and synergies.

The difference between being a manager and being a leader is simple. Management is a career. Leadership is a calling. What one has to have is clearly defined convictions – and, more importantly, the courage of convictions to see them manifested into reality. Only when one understands his/her role as guide and steward based on his/her own most deeply held truths can he/she move from manager to leader. [4]

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