Last updated: February 26, 2019
Topic: ArtDesign
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Leaders are people oriented managers.  They are the best part of managers.  By these statements, it is posited that the concept of leadership is broader than management which could mean that that managers are only special types of leaders.  Therefore, if managers are just special kinds of leaders, then they must have similarities and distinctions in terms of characteristics.  In school, what is offered is Master of Business Administration (MBA) as a course and not about mastering leadership, which could imply that what is taught is more of the technical thing of handling business or organizations?  This does however discount the possibility of Leadership Seminars offered as short term non-degree course.  This design of things may also mean that from managers, leaders could arise.  This could therefore confirm our earlier inference that the two have similarities and by doing so we could also view leadership as “centralized or decentralized, broad or focused, decision-oriented or morale-centered and intrinsic or derived from some authority.”  (Wikipedia, 2006).
As Hersey and Blanchard (1982, page 3) claimed, leaders would become be separated from the managers when “one attempts to influence the behavior of an individual or group, regardless of the reason.”  (Wikipedia, 2006)

Our theory that leaders are the people-oriented managers, strikes at the very core of organization’s main players, that is, through people.  There could be not leadership therefore without followers or people but there could still be managers without followers for managers if the latter could organizational objectives by working through systems with out people.  The best example is in the case of website management.  A good manager my run a company by automation.  If he for example can design his own website, and he can maintain his own website and communicate through his own customer just through advertising website, he may not need any employees and he may keep his business running.  If he is familiar with this business he could virtually be a big organization but he is purely working through a system.  All the decisions will be made by him or by her since he does need others to decide for him.

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However, the moment he contemplates to expand the organization by hiring people, say marketing people to sell his products, accounting people to process the information, finance people to determine the correct way of handling his portfolio of investment, production people to determine the right quantity and quality of product to be produced then, it is not enough for him to think and act as a pure manager.  He must be a special manager or he must be a leader.  Leadership therefore comes when there are people.  The people he hired have freedoms and they may or may not obey him.  They may do what are in their self interest and make secondary the organization goal attainment because they are given discretions in implementing his decisions.  If discretion is given to other people, leadership begins.

For the leader therefore to be at the top and have his followers obey him in attaining corporate goals and objectives, he must be a motivator of people.  He must be able to direct and influence people to act in the best interest of the organization.  He must have his people realize that the organization must be first; he must be able to convince them they these followers will in turn benefit from the profits or achievement of the organization’s goals.

A leader however must have mastered to be become a manager.  Thus, he must be able to show and prove his familiarity and expertise in management skills.  He must have also the technical know-how of systems for him to become an effective leader.

To further appreciate the leader’s mastery of the work of a manager,  Zaleznik (1977) posited that leaders are inspiring visionaries, concerned about substance; while managers he views as planners who have concerns with process.  Moreover, Warren Bennis (1989) also made further distinctions, some of the most important ones include: Managers administer while leaders innovate; Managers ask how and when, while leaders ask what and why; Managers focus on systems, while leaders focus on people; Managers rely on control, while leaders inspire trust; Managers imitate, while leaders originate  (Wikipedia, 2006).

Analyzing all the characteristics made by other authors, one may observe the dominance of innovation, going for the reason of things, focusing on people, inspiring trust and originality on the life of leaders.  One could also observe their unique which may not easily be taught or acquired and that they sound to be inherent to individuals.  To illustrate, for leaders to inspire a leader must be have the personality or charisma to move people and such personality is borne out originality or innovation and not imitation.  We could then conclude that leaders are better form of managers for seldom could there be organizations without people.

 
2. Professional Development – 2 pages

Describe some of the major approaches taken by researchers in the study of leadership.

Some of the major approaches may include studying the individual differences and conflict management as applied Professor Randall Peterson (n.d.) of the London Business School.  Peterson (n.d.) explained the said approaches below and which this paper is required to describe.

P First, the Professor discussed the impact of personality or individual differences on team interactions and performance.  Peterson said that this stream of his research is the longest running and dates back to his very earliest research working with Phil Tetlock on how integrative complexity as a personality variable predicts perceptions of managerial competence and leadership potential (Tetlock, Peterson, & Berry, 1994).  According to him, having sparked his interest in issues of personality, he began to think about how these differences in personality reflect different approaches to teamwork.  He thus admitted a start of a collaborative relationship with (then Ph.D. student) Lisa Moynihan that resulted in two theoretical publications promoting what they call the contingent configurational approach (Moynihan & Peterson, 2001, 2004).

Moynihan & Peterson, (2001, 2004) explained that in those papers, they argue that past research has taken one of three basic theoretical approaches to explaining the nature of member personality effects on group process and team performance: (1) universal — certain traits always predict teamwork success, (2) contingent — certain traits predict team performance depending on the task or organizational culture, and (3) configuration — the mix of traits within a group, or the “fit” of individual members with each other, predicts team performance.

The above approach basically involves getting certain traits that would characterize successful leaders given the individual difference of people.  It is just extracting what are universal, contingent and configuration characteristics of the team leader and the teams.  The approaches thus may result to various findings and conclusions thus the approaches could be dynamic.  The authors actually then recommended the integration of all three of these approaches into what they call the contingent configuration approach (Peterson, n.d.).  To apply this theory, for example, one may theorize that as rule, good leaders meet their staff at least one everyday.  This could be universal or contingent depending on the statistical analysis of a randomly and validly selected data.  It is possible that the researchers may found the characteristic is a configuration, that is, it may for example depend on its combination with other variables.

Another approach as used by Professor Peterson is conflict management.  He described is as probably the single most important dynamic for groups to get “right” if they are to achieve peak performance.  Peterson (n.d.), quoting (Nemeth, 1986; Peterson & Nemeth, 1996) noted that on the positive side, conflict promises great potential benefits if debate and exchange of ideas is well-managed.  He admitted then that much of his early work looked at the positive aspects of conflict to document, a) that exposure to different points of view encourages divergent thought-expanding cognitive processes (Peterson & Nemeth, 1996), and b) allowing a full discussion encourages buy-in from the group and better quality decision-making (Peterson, 1997).

Nevertheless Peterson (n.d.) found a limit to these effects where he said that the possibility of anyone putting a stop to the group from making a decision and which he saw could actually lead to problems under conditions of persistent or deeply held conflict, citing Peterson (1999).  He thus inferred, citing (Jehn, 1995) that some downsides of conflict management could be the fact that it becomes the source of some of the most poisonous behavior in groups that could distract the group focus from making good decisions, could demoralize group members, and could destroy creativity.  He thus cited previous work about destructive effects of relationship-based or affective conflict (e.g., Peterson & Behfar, 2003).

This approach would like to look at beauty when conflicts are overcome by a common desire to achieve by the ability of the participants to rise above their idiosyncrasies but as admitted there are downsides of the approach.  In fact he has argued and has found support for the notion that the field has causality reversed because interpersonal conflict is a result of performance feedback processes in groups such that poor performance leads to interpersonal conflict, rather than interpersonal conflict leading to poor group performance (Peterson, n.d.).

Leadership is an issue of resolution of conflict hence, in my own assessment; the ability of the leader to resolve and decide what is best in conflict is a good approach the study leadership capabilities of individuals.
1 Page – Issues to Consider

Do you have the qualities to be a leader?  What qualities of leadership do you lack or need to enhance?

Realtor Magazine On line (2006) discussed the ten qualities of a good leader and from the list from I find myself having almost all of them except for one or two I may still have to enhance.

Since I know I almost have them all I except for enhancements, I would just discuss here qualities of having a vision, capacity to make a decision and capacity to take risk.  I agree with Realtor Magazine Online (2006) that to have a vision leaders must a clear sense of where they want to go and how they intend to get there.  The capacity to see the big picture and to create a strategic plan for achieving their goals should be present.  I know that someday I will be the person I want to be and it is a just a step after this MBA program.  My studying is part of that plan.  To prepare a future that I could picture in my mind is an evidence of the vision.  I am interested in the life of big people who have succeeded wanting to learn every bit of information about them and I also read new and classic business books and great leaders’ biographies.

I agree again with Realtor Magazine Online (2006) that the capacity to make decisions is one characteristic of one leader.  The magazine explained that leaders aren’t afraid to make difficult or unpopular decisions because they have confidence in themselves and in their abilities.

This is very true.  I normally choose to decide no matter what is takes.  When I enrolled in course that I am having now, I told myself that I have to finish it on time.  I am aware of the consequences of indecision, a more stacking up at the middle as if one is suspended in animation.  Hence, I agree with the proposition that it is better to have decided although I may feel sometimes that the decision may not perfect.

I know also that I can take risk, a calculated one.  Realtor Magazine Online (2006) believes that leaders should have the courage to act in situations where results aren’t assured and that they should be willing to risk failure.  I see this also as one of my strengths and yet I want to improve more.  Why?  This is because a principle in finance which say that the higher the risk, the higher the return.  I know I could do more.  To study and to work at the same time was a challenging activity for me.  I find enjoyment in what I do as I put more pressure on my self to be the best that I can be, the rewards both economic and psychological would be greater.  Doing this then is already taking risk.

Although I feel suggestion of Realtor Magazine Online (2006) are somewhat familiar to me (This may be because I might have known the principles by experience.), I would like to refresh my mind about improving risk taking as a quality.  Realtor Magazine (2006) suggested that one should analyze the situation in case one will have to make choices, listing pros and cons for each option, and then assign each choice a risk factor rating from 1 to 5.  It also suggested that one should determine the likelihood that each outcome will occur and such will help one to determine how much risk one wants to take.  Being a visionary, as I am capable of taking risk, should be actually not a hard thing to for me to do since looking at the future may involve overcoming challenges along the process.  But as an MBA student cementing my great potential to be leader in an industry, it would really be expected that I should put numbers to my decision variables.
Discussion- What are the differences between leaders and managers?  Which would you be most comfortable being?

Warren Bennis (1989) said: Managers administer while leaders innovate; Managers ask how and when, while leaders ask what and why; and Managers focus on systems, leaders focus on people.

As I could say with confidence that I have almost all the qualities that a leader must have, I am reasserting that I am more of leader than a manager.  Managing or leading people will require certain commitments and policy making abilities and I believe that I have them.  Although either a manager or a leader must have the abilities to be a self-starter, have the knowledge and experience to advise others.  I believe I am more comfortable of being a leader because of my focus on people and my capacity to innovate. Being a self starter and advising people must be in a higher level when one is a leader than as manager, and here comes my capacity to inspire which no every manager could have.

I know and I can declare I am able to make just and honest decisions and that I am ethical in business and therefore looking out for the welfare of my subordinates feels like second nature to me.

This being a leader in me is leading me to the right direction.  I have found that as I go higher the organization, I need more people skills rather than technical skills.  I know that by dealing with people every where I could trust my subordinates to do the task within expectation.  If that is not leadership in producing results, could one just call it simple management ability?  I humbly submit, it is just a sign that I am a leader, a special type of manager by heart and mind.

 

References:

Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. (1982) Management of organisational behaviour.  4th edition.  New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
Jehn, Karen A. 1995. A Multimethod Examination of the Benefits and Demtriments of Intragroup Conflict, Administrative Science Quarterly, 40: 256-282
3.      Moynihan, L. M., & Peterson, R. S. (2004).  The role of personality in group processes.  In B. Schneider & D. B. Smith (Eds.), Personality and organizations (pp. 317-345).  Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

4.       Peterson & Behfar (2003) Peterson, R. S., & Behfar, K. J. (2003).  Leaders as Learners: Self-Regulation as a Metaphor for Group Leadership

5.       Peterson & Nemeth (1996) Peterson, R. S., & Nemeth, C. J. (1996).  Focus versus flexibility: Majority and minority influence can both improve performance.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 14-23.

6.      Peterson (1999).  Peterson, R. S. (1999).  Can you have too much of a good thing?  The limits of voice in improving satisfaction with leaders.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 313-324.

7.       Peterson, (1997).  Peterson, R. S. (1997).  A directive leadership style in group decision making is both virtue and vice: Evidence from elite and experimental groups.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1107-1121

8.      Peterson, R. (n.d.) Research,{www document} URL http://faculty.london.edu/rpeterson/Research.html
, Accessed September 6,2006

9.      Realtor Magazine On line (2006), DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS http://www.realtor.org/rmotoolkits.nsf/pages/brokerlead01a, Accessed September 6,2006

10.  Tetlock, Peterson, & Berry, (1994).  Tetlock, P. E., Peterson, R. S., & Berry, J. M. (1993).  Flattering and unflattering personality portraits of integratively simple and complex managers.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 500-511.

Warren Bennis (1989) Bennis, W. (1989) On Becoming a Leader, Addison Wesley, New York, 1989
12.  Wikipedia (2006), Leadership {www document} URL, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership#Suggested_qualities_of_leadership, September, 2006

Zaleznik, A. (1977) “Managers and Leaders: Is there a difference?”, Harvard Business Review, May-June